Settlement preserves major California Medicaid program

The state of California will continue to provide services through its Adult Day Health Care program, which was set to expire December 1, under a legal settlement announced Thursday.

Health Center Sign in front of building with trees
Health Care Services Preserved

The program, which serves 35,000 people with disabilities and low income seniors, provides health care, therapies, transportation and other services at approximately 280 centers across the the state.

The state legislature voted two years to eliminate the program, in a bid to save $169 million, according to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. Disability Rights California, along with the National Senior Citizens Law Center, the National Health Law Program and the AARP Foundation Litigation, filed a class-action lawsuit, arguing that the move would potentially force tens of thousands with people with disabilities to move from their homes into institutions.

Under the settlement, the Adult Day Health Care program will be replaced by a new Community-Based Adult Service program, which will also be funded through Medicaid. While most of the people on the current program will receive services through the new program, those whom are no longer eligible will receive enhanced case management to ensure they are receiving other long-term services.

“This settlement preserves the rights of plaintiffs and class members under the Americans with Disabilities Act to continue to live in their own homes and communities, and receive the healthcare services and supports needed to remain independent,” said Elissa Gershon, an attorney with Disability Rights California, in a news release. “We are pleased that we were able to work with the state to maintain critical benefits for some of California’s most vulnerable citizens.”

The U.S. Justice Department filed an amicus brief on behalf of the plaintiffs this past summer.

Disability Rights California is part of the federally funded protection and advocacy system and a member of the National Disability Rights Network.