Autistic young adults in the United States are more likely to lose their Medicaid coverage if they live in a state that doesn’t provide waivers than if they live in one that does, according to a new study.
Some states use the waivers to extend services to people with a disability who, because of their income, might otherwise be ineligible for Medicaid — a government-funded health insurance program for people with low income in the U.S. Some autistic children and adults qualify for Medicaid regardless of income, but each state has its own criteria.
The findings suggest that the waivers are necessary to retain these youth as they transition into adulthood, says Joel Cantor, distinguished professor of public policy at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, who was not involved in the study.
Some people simply might not have the time to complete the paperwork needed to keep themselves enrolled, even when they are eligible, Cantor says.