DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES
Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance
SUMMARY OF PROPOSED AMENDMENTS
The proposal amends the Title XIX Medicaid State Plan, the Title XXI Delaware Healthy Children Program State Plan and, the Division of Social Services Manual (DSSM) regarding the income disregards utilized in the Medicaid income eligibility determination process. Currently, individuals eligible for coverage under the Medicaid program are allowed disregards for certain types of income in the determination of their eligibility. The proposed change will add a disregard for income earned from temporary employment with the United States Census Bureau in completing a Decennial Census. In the past, the Census Bureau has successfully recruited program participants to help fill these vacancies, and wishes to do the same for the upcoming 2010 Census.
• Section 1902(r)(2) of the Social Security Act, The methodology to be employed in determining income and resource eligibility…;
• Section 1931 of the Social Security Act, Assuring coverage for certain low-income families
CMS, State Health Officials Letter dated February 18, 2000, Eligibility for Those Individuals and Families Who Were Temporarily Hired for the 2000 Census Bureau
Delaware received a request from the United States Census Bureau asking that income from temporary census employment be excluded. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is encouraging states to exclude the earned income of temporary census workers for purposes of eligibility. Doing so would mean that temporary income from census employment would not result in recipients losing access to medical assistance. The exclusion of this income will allow the Census Bureau to hire people to work in the neighborhoods in which they live to ensure the workforce reflects the diversity of the United States population.
Over the course of the 2010 Census, the Census Bureau currently expect to recruit more than 3 million applicants and hire more than 900,000 employees nationwide. Although Local Census Offices will require some staff from the fall of 2008 through the end of 2010, most positions are part of either the Address Canvassing or Nonresponse Follow-up operations occurring in 2009 and 2010, respectively. In 2009, over 100,000 people will be employed as part of the decennial census. Almost 600,000 people will be employed solely for the Nonresponse Follow-up operation in 2010.
Census work provides valuable job skills that could lead to permanent employment elsewhere (enumerators complete four to five days of paid training). Some of the skills involved in Census work include:
• Using handheld computers,
• Following detailed instructions,
• Completing paperwork,
• Working independently,
• Public contact skills, and
• Work during nights, weekends, and/or normal business hours depending on the operation.
Preliminary activities related to the 2010 Census have already begun in some states.
Summary of Proposal
The proposed rule allows the Division of Medicaid and Medicaid Assistance (DMMA) to exercise the federal option, in years in which there is a federal census, to exclude earned income paid by the Census Bureau to temporary census workers from the determination of the individual's eligibility for the following programs:
• Delaware Medical Assistance Program (DMAP);
• Delaware Healthy Children Program (DHCP).
Previous policy/state plan language specifically excluded wages from temporary employment related to Census 2000 activities. This exclusion was applied to the last federal census, but the reference was time-limited. These amendments will make the exclusion permanent.
Please note that this exclusion applies to temporary census workers only; income received by permanent census workers will be treated as countable income in the above programs.
Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will not allow states to exclude income received by temporary census workers in determining eligibility and benefits for the Food Supplement Program. Delaware's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (Delaware TANF) Program has also opted not to provide this exclusion.
The Child Care Subsidy Program has had this wage exclusion for temporary Census activities at DSSM 11003.9.1 since October 2005 and will remain in place.
The provisions of the state plan amendments are subject to approval by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).