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Federal FY 2023 Funding Update
President Biden released his budget for FY 23 that begins on October 1, 2022. As with every budget, it’s a mixed bag. However, once the President releases his budget, the process moves to Congress who will ultimately produce funding bills for all federal agencies.
As it relates to aging programs the budget has some good areas and disappointing areas. The Older Americans Act saw a $300 million increase for the nutrition programs with the increase directed towards congregate meals. The chart below provides more details:
Behavioral and Mental Health Funding
Building on the President’s announcement in early March on his national mental health strategy, this budget allots $5 million into research on promising treatment models for mental health conditions. This budget directs $3.5 billion to:
- Improving mental health access for Medicare beneficiaries through updating fee-for-service benefits
- Covering three behavioral health visits per year without cost sharing
- Imposing mental health parity rules.
This July, Health and Human Services will launch the 9-8-8 mental health crisis service hotline, which will change the previous 10-digit number crisis number to the more simple 9-8-8). There will also be budget increases of $590 million for 9-8-8 and the SAMSHA Behavioral Health Services Program. This is on top of the $300 million provided in the American Rescue Plan to support the transition to the 9-8-8 hotline number, as well as the $15 million for community based mobile crisis intervention services and the $282 million to help states hire staff and strengthen the program infrastructure.
Biden is asking for $275 million to go to the Labor Department to enforce mental health coverage rules among large-group health plans, including covering mental healthcare with adequate provider networks and parity of coverage of behavioral health and medical benefits. When a plan has parity, it means what is provided for a chronic condition like diabetes must be offered for a mental health condition such as depression. The focus now shifts to funding for Fiscal Year 2023, which begins on October 1.
The Washington Update is produced monthly with our partners at Matz, Blancato & Associates to share the latest information about policy issues impacting older adults and their families. Subscribe here.