Maine DHHS Decides to Go Slow on Changes to MaineCare Section 17- Community Support Services

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In response to an outcry of opposition at the Legislature to changes in eligibility for MaineCare Section 17 services, which covers Community Support Services, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) agreed to give those who are no longer eligible for Section 17 under the new rule up to one (1) year to transition to a new service.

As a result of advocacy efforts, rental assistance under the Bridging Rental Assistance Program (BRAP) was also protected. BRAP was at risk under the proposed rule change because BRAP eligibility is based upon either being eligible for Section 17 or AMHI Class Membership. BRAP eligibility may also be expanded to include people who are eligible under other sections of MaineCare behavioral health services. These changes will help to prevent homelessness for hundreds of people with mental illness who were at risk of losing BRAP under the proposal.

MEJP has identified a number of areas where there is confusion for providers.  We are working with DHHS, providers of Section 17 services, our clients and with other advocacy organizations to clear up these areas of confusion to ensure that the changes in Section 17, including the new agreed to changes, are implemented to minimize any harm to those people who use the services.  We are hopeful that when the dust settles, very few individuals will ultimately lose Section 17 services.

(Click here for Q & A on the Rule 17 Changes)