January 30, 2018 Advocacy Alert
Since 2005, the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program has been instrumental in helping more than 75,000 older adults and people with disabilities transition from institutional settings back to the community. However, new funding for MFP expired in 2016, and advocates and lawmakers have been working to promote a bipartisan plan to extend funding that would enable 43 states to continue rebalancing their Medicaid long-term services and supports (LTSS) programs. Additional funding is critical to continue building on the success of MFP.
Earlier this month, Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced a bipartisan reauthorization bill that would extend MFP funding for five years. The Ensuring Medicaid Provides Opportunities for Widespread Equity, Resources, and Care (EMPOWER) Act, S. 2227, provides funding for MFP through 2022 and would make improvements in the program, including allowing beneficiaries living in institutional facilitates to access the MFP benefit sooner than they are currently allowed to.
Not only does the program increase the independence of older adults and people with disabilities, it has also helped states improve access to home and community-based services (HCBS). When people are provided with less-expensive HCBS instead of institutional services, both the state and the federal government save money. In fact, independent evaluations have proven that MFP improves the quality of life for individuals, and has reduced Medicaid and Medicare expenditures for participants by nearly a quarter. n4a and other national advocacy organizations are working to ensure that Congress understands the importance of continuing this valuable program that improves lives and saves money.
Please reach out to your Senators today to both educate them about the value of the MFP program—especially if you have MFP success stories in your district and state—and to ask that they support the EMPOWER Act (S. 2227) by signing on as a co-sponsor.
- Tell your Senators why MFP is so important to older adults and people with disabilities in your community! Outreach on MFP is especially important if your Senator serves on the Senate Finance Committee. Even if your Senator is not on the Finance Committee, it is still critical to reach out, and ask your Member to sign on as a co-sponsor of the EMPOWER Act. Communicate the following message, but make sure to personalize your outreach with local success stories!
MFP gives people the right to decide where they live and receive home and community-based services and supports. It provides assistance to help older adults and people with disabilities transition out of institutional settings back to the community.
Since 2005, MFP has assisted more than 75,000 people with moving back to the community, and has helped 44 states improve access to HCBS. MFP is a program that helps everyone win: individuals regain their independence, and state and federal governments save money because it costs less to provide services and supports in the community rather than in an institution.
Congress must extend funding for MFP or states will be unable to continue this cost-effective program that promotes independence for older adults and people with disabilities. Please consider supporting and co-sponsoring the EMPOWER Act (S. 2227) today!
- Participate in the national Money Follows the Person call-in day THIS Thursday, February 1! The national Disability and Aging Collaborative, of which n4a is a member, is hosting a call-in opportunity for advocates to promote MFP to their Senators on Thursday, February 1. More information about this opportunity, including scripts and call-in numbers, is available online.
- Participate in the #FundMFP Social Media Day THIS Friday, February 2! Join n4a and other organizations and advocates as we take to social media to promote funding for MFP on Friday, February 2! Use #FundMFP to make your voice heard to your Senators on Twitter and Facebook. Use this toolkit with sample messages as a guide.
- Engage your community! Please encourage your providers, advisory boards and partners, and consumers to take action by engaging your Senators today and this week! U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202.224.3121. Email: www.senate.gov.
Thank you for your advocacy on this important issue!