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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
USICH Tips: Questions to Ask in Using Health Reform to End Homelessness
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Health reform will offer new opportunities to fund homeless services under expanded Medicaid enrollment. However, many aspects of health reform will be decided at the state level. The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) offers key questions to help homeless service agencies gain a better understanding of the impact of health reform on funding for homeless services in their state.

HRC is pleased to share the following tips, originally published by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) and used with permission from the USICH.

USICH Tips: Questions to Ask in Using Health Reform to End Homelessness

  • Learn the language of Medicaid in your state. Some states call it Medicaid; some states call it something else. What is Medicaid called in your state?
  • Are there other state-operated health insurance plans? What are they called and who are they for?
  • Does your state pay for Medicaid through health plans, or does it pay providers directly, fee-for-service?
  • Does your state have a Medicaid package of benefits that pays for supportive services in the community for people with mental illness or people who might otherwise be in an institutional setting?
  • How much money does your state contribute to Medicaid? How does that compare to state spending on homelessness?
  • How much federal money does your state get for homeless programs? How does that compare to how much your state gets from the federal government for its Medicaid program?
  • How will health reform and Medicaid expansion change who has health insurance in your state?
  • Are there providers helping people experiencing homelessness in your community who are able to use Medicaid to fund all or part of the services they provide? Who are they? How do they do it?
  • Who is your state's Medicaid Director?
  • Who are other Medicaid experts in your community? How can you meet them and talk with them about the benefits of the work you are doing to end homelessness?

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