BREAKING NEWS: McNesby Act will be fully funded this year!

The Ability Network of Delaware (A.N.D.) thanks the members of the General Assembly and Governor Carney for fully funding the McNesby Act, which was passed in 2018. The state’s FY 2023 budget increases funding for I/DD services by $16.4 million, which will draw down another $27.5 million in Medicaid matching funds. This funding is on top of the $17.2 million increase for I/DD services included in the FY 2022 budget, for a total of $42 million in state funds that have been invested in I/DD services since 2018. By passing the final installment of the funds recommended in the 2019 rate study, the state of Delaware is fully funding I/DD services for the first time since 2004, when the funding recommendations of the rate study that was published that year were acted on by the General Assembly.

The recommendations for funding increases in the rate studies done in 2008 (unpublished) and 2014 were never implemented. Another highlight of the legislative session that ended after midnight this morning was the passage of H.B. 303, which capped off four years of hard work by A.N.D.’s Associate Executive Director Carolyn Petrak and Verity Watson from Ruggerio, Willson, & Associates. This bill creates an annual pre-deductible Behavioral Health Well Check insurance benefit for Delawareans. This expanded benefit puts behavioral health preventive services on a par with preventive services for other health conditions, like diabetes. A 2013 survey by KFF found that the only preventive services specific to mental health in the 34 states that offered them was a screening for depression.