Health and Human Services

Developmental disability waiver approved

Lawmakers passed a bill April 13 intended to supplement existing services for children with developmental disabilities in Nebraska.

Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh
Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh

LB376, introduced last session by Omaha Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh, requires the state Department of Health and Human Services to apply for a three-year Medicaid waiver to start a family support program for developmental disability services.

The program, which will be implemented only if the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approve the state’s waiver application or another funding mechanism is authorized, will:
• be administered by the DHHS Division of Developmental Disabilities;
• not exceed 850 participants;
• allow families to self-direct services;
• cap long-term services and supports at $10,000 per person;
• offer Medicaid eligibility for children with disabilities by disregarding parental income; and
• adopt an intermediate care facility institutional level of care.

Also included are provisions of LB1004, introduced by the Health and Human Services Committee, which require DHHS to engage a nationally recognized and independent consultant to evaluate Nebraska’s developmental disabilities system. The consultant must complete their report no later than Dec. 31, 2023.

LB376 passed on a 42-0 vote.

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