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News and Notes   |    
News Briefs
Psychiatric Services 2011; doi:
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Copyright © 2011 by the American Psychiatric Association.

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National Council fact sheet on effects of Medicaid expansion on people with disabilities: Most individuals newly eligible for Medicaid under health reform will be enrolled in benchmark coverage, rather than the traditional full Medicaid package. However, recent federal regulations allow children with serious emotional disturbances, individuals with disabling mental disorders, and individuals with mental disabilities that prevent them from performing tasks of daily living to be exempted from enrollment in benchmark plans. A fact sheet from the National Council, “Medicaid Benchmark Benefits in Health Reform: Improvements and Exemptions,” describes differences between benchmark and standard coverage, improvements to benchmark coverage under health reform, and implications of these changes for individuals with disabilities. States will need to develop processes to identify individuals who meet criteria for a disabling mental disorder or functional impairment. The processes must include those applying for Medicaid for the first time as well as to those who are currently enrolled. The National Council encourages community behavioral health organizations to work with their state Medicaid departments. The fact sheet is available at www.thenationalcouncil.org/galleries/policy-file/Medicaid%20Benchmark%20Coverage%20Health%20Reform.pdf.

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