Using Medicaid to Support Working Age Adults with Serious Mental Illnesses in the Community

Gary Smith, Cille Kennedy, Sarah Knipper, John O'Brien and Janet O'Keeffe

 

January 2005

 

This Handbook is designed to improve understanding and provide greater clarity concerning Medicaid’s contribution in supporting working-age adults with serious mental illnesses in the community. The Handbook focuses on working age adults between the ages of 21 and 64 with serious mental illnesses, whose need for support extends beyond mental health services that can be effectively provided by primary care physicians or periodic visits to outpatient settings. The mental illnesses these individuals experience result in significant functional impairment and have serious repercussions when left untreated. They may need intensive services over an extended period of time, either continuously or episodically, as well as ongoing access to appropriate services and interventions while in recovery. The Handbook assembles considerable information about pertinent federal policies into a single publication. It also contains information about how individual states have supported individuals with serious mental illnesses under Medicaid. The Handbook seeks to provide useful, practical, reliable and comprehensive information to state policymakers and state officials – in both state mental health authorities and state Medicaid agencies. The Handbook focuses on Medicaid but recognizes that other federal, state and local funding streams are also essential contributors to fashioning a comprehensive array of critical supports. The Handbook also is intended to serve as a resource to others who want to understand how Medicaid supports individuals with serious mental illnesses.

 

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