Wolf Administration Announces $1.2 Billion American Rescue Act-Funded Plan to Better Serve Pennsylvanians in Their Communities
November 22, 2021
Governor Tom Wolf today announced the spending plan for approximately $1.2 billion in American Rescue Plan Act federal funding to support Medicaid’s home and community-based services (HCBS) system throughout the commonwealth, allowing more Pennsylvanians the access to critical services in their communities.
The temporary funding enhancement will be directed toward Medicaid-funded essential care services to seniors, adults with intellectual and physical disabilities, adults with behavioral health needs such as substance use disorder or mental illness, and children with chronic complex medical needs.
“More than 3 million Pennsylvanians are able to access essential physical and behavioral health care because of Medicaid, but beyond that, Medicaid makes it possible for individuals to live safely and supported in their communities among their families and peers,” said Gov. Wolf. “As Pennsylvania continues to rebuild from a difficult two years, this funding will be an invaluable investment in normalizing and advancing services and supports for Pennsylvanians.”
The American Rescue Plan Act provides states with a temporary, one-year 10 percent increase to the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) for certain home and community-based services funded through Medicaid. States must reinvest the state savings to enhance, expand or strengthen HCBS under the Medicaid program.
“A robust, thriving home and community-based services system is an essential part of our health care system and recognizes the inherent freedom of individuals to live independently,” said DHS Acting Secretary Meg Snead. “Our service systems, providers and workforce have continued to deliver care throughout the pandemic with incredible resiliency and flexibility. This enhanced funding is an opportunity for us to invest in them as they invest in their communities and the people they serve. On behalf of DHS and the Wolf Administration, we are grateful for their dedication to their work, and we look forward to using this funding to recognize their service and support growth and innovation moving forward.”
Pennsylvania’s funding plan focuses on the following domains:
- Increasing access to home and community-based services
- Staff recruiting and retention
- Providing necessary supplies to safely facilitate services
- Additional trainings and learning opportunities through workforce support
- Supporting families caring for their loved one
- Improving functional capabilities of people with disabilities
- Enhancing transitional supports
- Home and community-based services capacity building
DHS first submitted its proposed spending plan to the federal CMS in June 2021, which was revised and resubmitted in late August following a public comment period and initial feedback from CMS. Pennsylvania’s plan is pending full approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), but planning is already underway so that DHS is prepared to implement the activities in the plan once the formal approval is received.
The full submitted plan is available on DHS’ website here.