Money Follows the Person (MFP) Program Explained

Learn how the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program, a federal Medicaid initiative, supports nursing home residents by helping them transition back to their homes or the homes of their loved ones.
Published on
July 13, 2023
Written by
Katie Wilkinson
Reviewed by
Max Mayblum
Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Presented by Givers
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The Money Follows the Person Program is available in:

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The Money Follows the Person (MFP) program is a vital federal Medicaid initiative that aims to transition people out of nursing homes and back into their own homes or the homes of their loved ones, fostering independence and improved quality of life. In some states, the program even extends its assistance to individuals at immediate risk of nursing home placement.

Overview of the Money Follows the Person (MFP) Program

The primary objective of the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program is to promote independence, enhance the quality of life, and provide community-based care options for individuals who would otherwise remain in institutional settings.

The program targets elderly individuals who require long-term care and reside in nursing homes. It also extends its assistance to individuals at immediate risk of nursing home placement.

The specific goals of the MFP program include:

  1. Transitioning individuals from nursing homes to home or community-based settings facilitates greater independence and autonomy while ensuring access to necessary care and services.
  2. Enhancing community-based services that include personal care assistance, home modifications, respite care, and other supports enable individuals to live safely and comfortably in their communities.
  3. Ensuring person-centered care to services and supports tailored to the individual's goals and promoting their overall well-being.

Eligibility Requirements

Individuals must meet specific eligibility requirements to qualify for the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program. While these requirements may vary slightly between states, the following are common criteria considered for participation:

  1. Age and Disability: The MFP program typically targets older adults aged 65 and older who require long-term care services. Individuals under 65 with physical disabilities or cognitive impairments may also be eligible.
  2. Medicaid Recipient: Applicants must be eligible for Medicaid, as the MFP program operates within the Medicaid system. This requirement ensures that individuals access the necessary healthcare coverage and services.
  3. Nursing Home Residency: Initially, individuals must reside in a nursing home for at least 90 days before transitioning back to the community.
  4. Care Needs Assessment: A comprehensive assessment determines the care recipient's needs and support requirements.
  5. Desire for Community Living: Individuals must express a desire and willingness to transition from the nursing home to their homes or community settings.
  6. Approval for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS): Individuals must be approved for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers which provide funding and support for individuals to receive long-term care services in their homes or community settings.

Eligibility requirements may differ among states, and additional factors such as income and resource limits could influence eligibility.

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Alternate names for the MFP Program

MFP programs often have different names in different states. Some state-specific MFP programs go by the following names:

Services and Supports

While the specific services may vary by state, the following are typical examples of the types of support provided:

  1. Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS): The MFP program emphasizes the availability of HCBS waivers, which include various services like personal care assistance, respite care, adult day care, home modifications, and transportation assistance.
  2. Care Coordination: MFP participants receive care coordination services to help navigate their transition process. Care coordinators work closely with individuals, their families, and healthcare providers to develop comprehensive care plans and ensure the availability of necessary services.
  3. Medical and Behavioral Health Services: The program aims to address participants' medical and behavioral health needs with access to primary healthcare, specialty care, mental health services, and medication management.
  4. Assistive Technologies and Medical Equipment: MFP participants may have access to assistive technologies and medical equipment to support their independence and enhance their quality of life. This can include wheelchairs, walkers, hearing aids, and communication aids.
  5. Home Modifications and Accessibility: The MFP program supports home modifications to ensure accessibility and safety with adaptations like ramps, grab bars, widened doorways, and accessible bathrooms to accommodate the specific needs of individuals.
  6. Respite Care: Caregivers can receive respite care services for much-needed breaks while ensuring continuity of care for the MFP participant.
  7. Counseling and Training: The program may offer counseling services and training opportunities for participants and caregivers, covering topics such as managing chronic conditions, caregiver support groups, and education on utilizing community resources effectively.
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Earn up to $20/hr for the care you give.
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Compensation for Caregivers

The Money Follows the Person (MFP) program utilizes existing Medicaid resources, notably Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers, to assist individuals and compensate family caregivers. To obtain detailed information about the compensation available for family caregivers under HCBS waivers, we advise you to consult the guidelines and resources provided by the specific state's Medicaid agency or the local MFP program office. They can give precise information about the compensation process, documentation requirements, and any additional support available to family caregivers.

Limitations and Challenges

While the Money Follows the Person (MFP), program holds significant promise, certain limitations and challenges impact its effectiveness:

  1. Funding Constraints: Limited funding can pose challenges in fully implementing and expanding the MFP program. Insufficient resources may result in a restricted number of participants who can benefit from the program, leading to gaps in coverage or services.
  2. Waiting Lists: High demand for the MFP program can result in waiting lists, where individuals may experience delays accessing the desired benefits and transitioning out of nursing homes. These waiting lists can hinder the timely provision of care and support.
  3. State-Specific Variations: The MFP program operates state-by-state, leading to variations in eligibility criteria, available services, and coverage, creating possible disparities in access to services and support for individuals depending on their location.
  4. Limited Coverage for Certain Services: While the MFP program provides a range of services, there may be limitations or gaps in coverage for certain specialized healthcare services, assistive technologies, or home modifications. These limitations can affect the comprehensiveness of care and support available to participants.

A Note from Givers

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