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The Medicaid Personal Care Services Benefit: Practices in States that Offer the Optional State Plan Benefit

With the trend toward more community-based care as an alternative to institutional care, the optional Medicaid Personal Care Services benefit plays an important role in ensuring that people with disabilities can remain in the community by getting the individualized assistance with everyday activities that they need. The 27 states (including the District of Columbia) that offer this benefit to older persons were surveyed. This AARP Public Policy Institute Issue Paper by Laura L. Summer and Emily S. Ihara of Georgetown University reports on the eligibility requirements, characteristics of beneficiaries, program expenditures, types of services, and methods of service delivery. Major findings from the 25 responding states include: almost 700,000 beneficiaries of all ages received personal care services in state fiscal year 2003; and expenditures for the PCS benefit totaled $6.3 billion. (50 pages)