State Complaint Number for MLTC Problems - 1-866-712-7197
Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) plans are insurance plans that are paid a monthly premium ("capitation") by the New York Medicaid program to approve and provide Medicaid home care and other long-term care services (listed below) to people who need long-term care because of a long-lasting health condition or disability. The MLTC plans take over the job the local CASA or Medicaid offices used to do – they decide whether you need Medicaid home care and how many hours you may receive, and arrange for the care by a network of providers that the plan contracts with.. They also approve, manage and pay for the other long-term care services listed below.
In addition to this article, for latest updates on MLTC --see this NEWS ARTICLE on MLTC Implementation.
November 2021 WARNING: See changes in Transition Rights that take effect on Nov. 8, 2021 - see separate article here
In General -- NYS Shift from a Voluntary Option to Mandatory Enrollment in MLTC
New York has had managed long term care plans for many years. Before, however, enrollment was voluntary, and MLTC was just one option of several types of Medicaid home care one could choose. Other choices included personal care services, approved by the local CASA/DSS office, Lombardi program or other waiver services, or Certified Home Health Agency services. On Sept. 4, 2012, the federal government Medicaid agency "CMS" approved the state's request for an "1115 waiver" that will allow NYS to require that all dually eligible (those who have Medicare and Medicaid) adults age 21+ now receiving -- or who will apply for -- community-based long-term care services -- particularly personal care/home attendant services, long-term Certified Home Health Agency services, Consumer-Directed Personal Assistance program services (CDPAP), private duty nursing and medical adult day care -- to enroll in a Managed Long-Term Care (MLTC) plan. The MLTC plan will now control access to, approve, and pay for all Medicaid home care services and other long-term care services in the MLTC service package. This is the only way to obtain these services for adults who are dually eligible, unless they are exempt or excluded from MLTC.
If they do not choose a MLTC plan then they will be auto-assigned to a plan.
In 2020 this law was amended to restrict MLTC eligibility -- and eligibility for all personal care and CDPAP services -- to those who need physical assistance with THREE Activities of Daily Living (ADL), unless they have dementia, and are then eligible if they need supervision with TWO ADLs. The same law also requires a battery of new assessments for all MLTC applicants and members.
NYLAG Evelyn Frank program webinar on the changes conducted on Sept. 9, 2020 can be viewed here (and download the Powerpoint).
In July 2020, DOH proposed to amend state regulations to implement these restrictions -- posted here. In Sept. 2020 NYLAG submitted extensive comments on the proposed regulations. A summary of the comments is on the first few pages of the PDF.
NYS DIRECTIVES, CONTRACTS, POLICY GUIDANCE -- Medicaid Redesign Team MRT 90 page - Click on
What is "Capitation" -- What is the difference between Fully Capitated and Partially Capitated Plans? What are the different types of plans?
The monthly premium that the State pays to the plans "per member per month" is called a "capitation rate." The amount of this premium is the same for every enrollee, but it is not a cap on the cost of services that any individual enrollee may receive. Instead, the plan must pool all the capitation premiums it receives. The rate is supposed to be enough for the plan to save money on members who need few services, so that it can provide more services to those who need more care. To make it more confusing, there are two general types of plans, based on what services the capitation rate is intended to cover:
I. "Partial Capitation" -- Managed Long-Term Care Plans - "MLTC" - Cover certain Medicaid services only
"Managed long-term care" plans are the most familiar and have the most people enrolled. They provide Medicaid long-term care services (like home health, adult day care, and nursing home care) and ancillary and ambulatory services (including dentistry, optometry, audiology, podiatry, eyeglasses, and durable medical equipment and supplies), and receive Medicaid payment only, with NO Medicare coverage.
These plans DO NOT cover most primary and acute medical care. Members continue to use their original Medicare cards or Medicare Advantage plan, and regular Medicaid card for primary care, inpatient hospital care, and other services. The MLTC plan does not control or provide any Medicare services, and does not control or provide most primary MEDICAID care. Managed long-term care plan enrollees must be at least age 18, but some require a minimum age of 21. See state's chart with age limits.
It is this partially capitated MLTC plan that is becoming mandatory for adults age 21+ who need Medicaid home care and other community-based long-term care services. But consumersl have the option of enrolling in "fully capitated" plans as well -- so it's important to know the differences. A summary chart is posted here.
II. "Full Capitation" - Plans cover all Medicare & Medicaid services -- PACE & Medicaid Advantage Plus
PACE and Medicaid Advantage Plus plans provide ALL Medicare and Medicaid services in one plan, including primary, acute and long-term care. All care must be in plan's network (hospitals, doctors, nursing homes, labs, clinics, home care agencies, dentists, etc.). For these plans, your need for daily care must be such that you would be eligible for admission to a nursing home. When you join one of these plans, you give up your original Medicare card or Medicare Advantage card. Instead, you use your new plan card for ALL of your Medicare and Medicaid services. There are 2 types of FULL CAPITATION plans that cover Medcaid long-term care:
(2) MEDICAID ADVANTAGE PLUS [MAP] - age requirements vary among plans from 18+ to 65+
NOTE: MEDICAID ADVANTAGE PLANS are a slight variation on the MEDICAID ADVANTAGE PLUS plans. They provide and control access to all primary medical care paid for by MEDICARE and MEDICAID, EXCEPT that they do not cover most long-term care services by either Medicaid or Medicare. Anyone who needs Medicaid home care should NOT join this 3rd type of plan!
Read about unique Integrated Appeals process in MAP plans here - with advantages and disadvantages.
See this chart summarizing the differences between the four types of managed care plans described above. The chart also includes a 5th type of managed care plan - Medicaid Managed Care - these plans are mandatory for most Medicaid recipients who do NOT have Medicare. The capitated payment they receive covers almost all Medicaid services, including personal care and CHHA home health aide services, with some exceptions of services that are not in the benefit package.
See this chart of plans in NYC organized by insurance company, showing which of the different types of plans are offered by each company as of Feb. 2013
WHO MUST ENROLL -- Medicaid recipients who:
Must not be "exempt" or "excluded" from enrolling in an MLTC plan. See below.
Medicaid recipients still excluded from MLTC: - People in Assisted Living Program, TBI and Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Waiver Programs -will eventually all be required to enroll. TBI and NHTDW now scheduled for Jan. 1, 2022 (Just extended from 2019 per NYS Budget enacted 4/1/2018). ALP delayed indefinitely.
Phase -In of mandatory MLTC -
MLTC was phased in beginning in Sept. 2012 in New York City through July 2015 gradually rolling out to all counties in NYS, and including all of the services listed above. See details of the phase in schedule here.
WHO MAY NOT ENROLL IN A MLTC? (Who is EXCLUDED from MLTC?)
Download New York Medicaid Choice MLTC Exclusion Form - must be signed by physician
Effective Oct. 1, 2020, or later if postponed, new applicants will be barred from applying for Housekeeping-only services. This is under the budget amendments enacted 4/1/20. Those changes restrict eligibility for personal care to people who need assistance with ADLs. See above. Since Houskeeping is for people who are independent with ADLs, this stand-alone service will no longer be authorized for new applicants. We understand existing recipients will be grandfathered in.
WHO MAY ENROLL IN MLTC BUT IS NOT REQUIRED TO? (WHO is EXEMPT FROM MLTC?)
Since May 16, 2022, adults newly requesting enrollment into an MLTC plan must call the new NY Independent Assessor in order to schedule TWO assessments required to enroll in MLTC plans. To schedule an evaluation, call 1-855-222-8350 - the same number used before to request a Conflict Free assessment. NYIA is run by the same company that ran the Conflict Free Assessments - Maximus, known as NY Medicaid Choice in NYS.
There are 2 official NYIA websites:
The new NYIA process to enroll in an MLTC has TWO instead of only ONE assessments:
WHERE - the 2 assessments above must be conducted in the home, hospital or nursing home, but also can be done by telehealth.
WHEN - BOTH of the 2 above assessments are SUPPOSED to be scheduled in 14 days. See the DOH guidance posted in the Document Repository. Even if assessments are scheduled to use Telehealth, instead of In Person , NYIA rarely if ever meets the 14-day deadline.
WHY - NYIA was authorized by the FY 2020 NYS Budget, upon recommendation of the NYS Medicaid Redesign Team 2 The State wanted an "independent physician" to determine eligibility, rather than the consumer's physician, who the State apparently believed was biased. See more about the various MRT-2 changes and their status here.
If consumer faces DELAYS in scheduling the 2 above assessments, or cannot get an in-person assessment instead of a telehealth one, see WHERE TO COMPLAIN.
The Outcome Notice might refer the consumer back to call NYIA for counseling on finding an MLTC plan. The consumer can also contact MLTC plans on her own to be assessed for potential enrollment. The MLTC Plan she selects will decide on the plan of care, obtaining as much additional information as they need. If the consumer agrees to this plan of care, she can enroll.
However, if the MLTC plan determines that a prospective enrollee needs more than 12 hours/day on average (generally this means 24/7 care) then they must refer it back to NYIA for a third assessment - the Independent Review Panel (IRP) described below. However, the consumer can go ahead and enroll in the plan while the IRP referral is pending. They do not have to wait til this 3rd assessment is scheduled and completed before enrolling.
Unlike the CFEEC, a NYIA inding of eligibility is good for ONE YEAR - it no longer expires after 75 days -You must enroll in a plan and the plan must submit your enrollment form to DSS and Maximus.
For more information on NYIA see this link. - including NYLAG advocacy on NYIA, NYLAG's recent slide deck here on NYIA (current as of July 11, 2022), WHERE TO COMPLAIN about delays, and other problems.
NYLAG's Guide and Explanation on the CFEEC and MLTC Evaluation Process - while this is no longer a CFEEC, the same tips apply to the NYIA nurse assessment.
MLTC plans must provide the services in the MLTC Benefit Package listed below. Once you are enrolled in a MLTC plan, you may no longer use your Medicaid card for any of these services, and you must use providers in the MLTC plan’s network for all of these services, including your dentist. The providers will be paid by the MLTC plan, rather than billing Medicaid directly.
MLTC Benefit Package (Partial Capitation) (Plan must cover these services, if deemed medically necessary. Member must use providers within the plan's provider network for these services).
SOURCE: NYS DOH Model Contract for MLTC Plans (See Appendix G) - Find most recent version of model contract on the MRT 90 WEBPAGE also see CMS Special Terms & Conditions, (eff. 9/2016), at p. 119 of PDF -- Attachment B
NOTE WHICH SERVICES ARE NOT COVERED BY MLTC PARTIALLY CAPITATED PLANS -- but are covered by "fully capitated" Medicaid Advantage Plus or PACE plans
HOW DO PEOPLE IN MLTC Partial Capitation Plans Receive services not covered by the plans? These use -
WHAT SERVICES ARE "MEDICALLY NECESSARY?" The Federal Medicaid statute requires that all managed care plans make services available to the same extent they are available to recipients of fee-for- service Medicaid. 42 U.S.C. § 1396b(m)(1)(A)(i); 42 C.F.R. §§ 438.210(a)(2) and (a) (4)(i). The NYS DOH Model Contract for MLTC Plans also includes this clause: “Managed care organizations may not define covered services more restrictively than the Medicaid Program"
ENROLLMENT: What letters are sent in newly mandatory counties to people receiving Medicaid home care services through county, CHHA, etc -- 60 days to choose MLTC PLAN
You will receive a series of letters from New York Medicaid Choice (www.nymedicaidchoice.com), also known as MAXIMUS, the company hired by New York State to handle MLTC enrollment. See PowerPoint explaining Maximus/NY Medicaid Choice's role in MLTC enrollment (this is written by by Maximus)
NYC lists -
CLICK HERE FOR TOOLS FOR CHOOSING AN MLTC PLAN.
CONTINUITY OF CARE -- One important factor in choosing a plan is whether you can keep your aide that worked with you when CASA/DSS, a CHHA, or a Lombardi program authorized your care before you enrolled in the MLTC plan. When MLTC began, the plans were required to contract with all of the home care agencies and Lombardi programs that had contracts with the local DSS for personal care/ home attendant services, and pay them the same rates paid by the local DSS in July 2012. That requirement ended March 1, 2014.
If you don't select and enroll in a plan, midway through the 60-day period to select a plan, you will receive a letter with the name of the MLTC plan to which you will be randomly assigned if you do not select a plan. You will still have til the third Friday of that month to select his/her own plan. For example, the first assignment letters to lower Manhattan residents were sent Oct. 2, 2012. If those individuals enrolled in a different plan by Oct. 19, 2012, their own selection would trump the auto-assignment, and they would be enrolled in their selected plan as of Nov. 1, 2012.
HOW DO I ENROLL IN A PLAN --
ONCE you select a plan, you can enroll either directly with the Plan, by signing their enrollment form, OR if you are selecting an MLTC Partially Capitated plan, you can enroll with NY Medicaid Choice. If you are selecting a Medicaid Advantage Plus (MAP) or PACE plan, you must enroll directly with the plan.
WHEN IS MY ENROLLMENT IN AN MLTC PLAN EFFECTIVE?
Enrollment in MLTC, MAP and PACE plans is always effective on the 1st of the month. The plan is paid its "capitation" rate or premium on a monthly basis, so enrollment is effective on the 1st of the month.
If you enrolled late in the month (after the third Friday of the month), the enrollment will not be effective -- and the new plan will not take charge of your care -- until the first of the second month after you enroll.
NEW APPLICANTS -- If you were not previously receiving Medicaid personal care, CDPAP, CHHA Lombardi, private duty nursing or adult day care program services --
Must request a Conflict-Free Eligibility assessment. Click here for more information.
"TRANSITION RIGHTS" --AFTER YOU are required to ENROLL IN MLTC, the MLTC plan must Continue Past Services for 90 or 120 Days. NOV. 8, 2021 - Changes in what happens after the Transition Period. See Separate article including
The Federal Medicaid statute requires that all managed care plans make services available to the same extent they are available to recipients of fee-for- service Medicaid. 42 U.S.C. § 1396b(m)(1)(A)(i); 42 C.F.R. §§ 438.210(a)(2) and (a) (5)(i). The NYS DOH Model Contract for MLTC Plans states: “Managed care organizations may not define covered services more restrictively than the Medicaid Program." This is language is required by 42 C.F.R. §§ 438.210 (a) (5)(i). Therefore all of the standards that apply for assessing personal care and CDPAP services through the local DSS/HRA also apply to the plans. Click on these links to see the applicable rules for
A.. Standards for 24-Hour Care - Definition of Live-in and Split Shift - MLTC Policy 15.09: Changes to the Regulations for Personal Care Services (PCS) and Consumer Directed Personal Assistance (CDPA)
B. Standards for Assessing Need and Determining Amount of Care - discusses MLTC Policy 16.07: Guidance on Task–based Assessment Tools for Personal Care Services and Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Services .
In April 2020, State law was amended changing both the eligibility criteria for personal care and CDPAP services and the assessment procedures to be used by MLTC plans, mainstream Medicaid managed care plans, and local districts (DSS/HRA). These changes were scheduled to be implemented Oct. 1, 2020, but have been postponed.
DOH has proposed to amend state regulations to implement these changes in the assesment process -- regulations are posted here.
The State issued guidelines for "mainstream" Medicaid managed care plans, for people who have Medicaid but not Medicare, which began covering personal care services in August 2011 -- Guidelines for the Provision of Personal Care Services in Medicaid Managed Care.
All decisions by the plan as to which services to authorize and how much can be appealed. See Appeals & Greivances in Managed Long Term Care.
If I need new services, or request an increase in services from the MLTC plan, when does the plan need to decide my request?
See this article (new article July 2022)
Lock-In Starts Dec. 1, 2020 - For the first time since MLTC became mandatory in 2012, members who enroll in a new plan after Dec. 1, 2020 will be allowed to change plans in the first 90 days, then will be locked in. This means they are barred from changing plans for the next 9 months except for good cause. This change was enacted in the NYS Budget April 2018. NY Public Health Law § 4403-f, subd. 7(b)(vii) but not approved by CMS until December 2019.
DOH GUIDANCE issued August 4, 2021: DOH MLTC Policy 21.04: Managed Long Term Care Partial Capitation Plan Enrollment Lock-In and
Beginning on Dec. 1, 2020, .people who enroll either by new enrollment or plan-to-plan transfer after that date will have a 90-day grace period to elect a plan transfer after enrollment. They then will be locked in to that plan for nine months after the end of their grace period. After the 9-month lock-in period ends, enrollees may transfer to another MLTCP at any time for any reason. However, the lock-in period applies 90-days after each new enrollment into an MLTCP plan. People who were enrolled in an MLTC plan before Dec. 1, 2020 may still change plans after that date when they choose, but then will be locked in to the new plan for 9 months after the 90th day after enrollment.
In October 2020, MLTC plans sent their members letters informing them of the new "lock-in" rules that begin December. 1st. Download a sample letter and the insert to the Member Handbook explaining the changes.
WHICH PLANS - This rule applies to transfers between MLTC plans. This change does not impact the integrated (fully capitated) plans: Fully Integrated Duals Advantage- Intellectually Developmentally Disabled (FIDA-IDD), Medicaid Advantage Plus (MAP) and the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). Enrollees will have the ability to enroll into an integrated plan at any time, and the integrated plans do not have a lock-in period. Mainstream plans for those without Medicare already had a lock-in restriction. Lock-in does not apply to dual eligible enrollees age 18 to 20, or non-dual eligible enrollees age 18 and older. See more about MAP in this article..
GOOD CAUSE - EXCEPTION TO LOCK-IN --After the initial 90-day grace period, enrollees will have the ability to disenroll or transfer if NY Medicaid Choice determines they have good cause. Good cause includes the following - see DOH MLTC Policy 21.04 for more detail.
Plans will retain the ability to involuntarily disenroll for the reasons specified in their contract, which includes:
After the completion of the lock-in period, an enrollee may transfer without cause, but is subject to a grace period and subsequent lock-in as of the first day of enrollment with the new MLTC partial capitation plan.
WARNING ABOUT CHANGING PLANS during 90-day "grace period" or for Good Cause - NO TRANSITION RIGHTS:
Don’t sign up for a new plan unless the new plan confirms that it will approve the services you want and the hours you need. You may call any plan and request that they send a nurse to assess you and tell you what services they would provide. You have the right to receive the result of the assessment in writing. When you change plans voluntarily, even if you have "good cause," you do not have the same right to "continuity of care," also known as "transition rights," that consumers have when they were REQUIRED to enroll in the MLTC plan. See more about transition rights here. This means the new plan may authorize fewer hours of care than you received from the previous plan. While you have the right to appeal this authorization, you do not have the important right of "aid continuing" and other rights under MLTC Policy 16.06 because the plan's action is not considered a "reduction" in services.
Use the Immediate Need procedure to request personal care or CDPAP services from the local DSS/HRA, which can be approved within 1-2 weeks. After 120 days of receiving these services, the individual will be required to enroll in an MLTC plan. She will have "transition rights," explained here.
MLTC's may Disenroll Member for Non-payment of Spend-down - The HRA home attendant vendors were prohibited by their contracts from stopping home care services for someone who did not pay their spend-down. Similarly, CHHA's are prohibited by state regulation from stopping services based on non-payment. FN 4. MLTC programs, however, are allowed to disenroll a member for non-payment of a spend-down. See model contract p. 15 Article V, Section D. 5(b). While the State's policy of permitting such disenrollment is questionable given that federal law requires only that medical expenses be incurred, and not paid, to meet the spend-down (42 CFR 435.831(d)), the State's policy and contracts now allow this disenrollment.
SPEND-DOWN TIP 1 --For this reason, enrollment in pooled or individual supplemental needs trusts is more important than ever to eliminate the spend-down and enable the enrollee to pay their living expenses with income deposited into the trust. For more information about pooled trusts see http://wnylc.com/health/entry/6/.
SPEND-DOWN TIP 2 - for new applicants who will have a Spend-Down - Request Provisional Medicaid Coverage -- When someone applies for Medicaid and is determined to have a spend-down or "excess income," Medicaid coverage does not become effective until they submit medical bills that meet the spend-down, according to complicated rules explained here and on the State's website. Many people applying for Medicaid to pay for long-term care services can't activate their Medicaid coverage until they actually begin receiving the services, because they don't have enough other medical bills that meet their spend-down. This creates a catch-22, because they cannot start receiving MLTC services until Medicaid is activated. If they apply and are determined eligible for Medicaid with a spend-down, but do not submit bills that meet their spend-down, the Medicaid computer is coded to show they are not eligible. As a result, an MLTC plan could refuse to enroll them -- because they do not have active Medicaid. To address this problem, HRA recently created a new eligibility code for "provisional" Medicaid coverage for people in this situation. This is explained in this Medicaid Alert dated July 12, 2012. Applicants who expect to have a spend-down should attach a copy of this Alert to their application and advocate to make sure that their case is properly coded.
The Housing Disregard - Higher Income Allowed for Nursing Home or Adult Home Residents to Leave the Nursing Home by Enrolling in MLTC
See this article
For the latest on implementation of MLTC in 2013 see these news articles:
PHASE 1 - Sept. 2012 in New York City adult dual eligibles receiving Medicaid personal care (home attendant and housekeeping) were "passively enrolled" into MLTC plans, if they did not select one on their own after receiving "60-day letters" from New York Medicaid Choice, giving them 60 days to select a plan. See enrollment information below. Over the end of 2012 and through mid-2013, NYC recipients of CDPAP, CHHA, adult day care, Lombardi, and private duty nursing services begin receiving 60-day enrollment letters to select an MLTC plan in 60 days. See enrollment information below.
August 2013 - THose individuals needing solely housekeeping services (Personal Care Level I), who were initially required to join MLTC plans, are no longer eligible for MLTC. New applicants may again apply at the local DSS and those already receiving MLTC are transitioned back to DSS. See MLTC Poliucy 13.21
Phase II WHERE: Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties
WHO: Dual eligibles age 21+ who need certain community-based long-term care services > 120 days newly applying for certain community-based Medicaid long-term care services.
WHICH SERVICES: Medicaid personal care, CDPAP, Medicaid adult day care, long-term certified home health agency (CHHA), or private duty nursing services, and starting in May 2013, Long Term Home Health Care Waiver Program (LTHHCP) or (“Lombardi”) participants, must enroll in these plans. Those already receiving these services begin receiving "Announcement" and then "60-day letters" from New York Medicaid Choice, giving them 60 days to select a plan. See enrollment information below.
Also in Jan. 2013, for New York City -- mandatory enrollment expands beyond personal care to adult dual eligibles receiving medical model adult day care, private duty nursing, or certified home health agency (CHHA) services for more than 120 days, and in May 2013, to Lombardi program.. These individuals begin receiving "announcement" and then 60-day enrollment notices.. described below.
Phase III (September 2013) (Postponed from June 2013): Rockland and Orange counties - "front door" closed at local DSS offices Sept. 23, 2013 - after that Medicaid recipients must enroll directly with MLTC plan to obtain home care.
Phase IV (December 2013): Albany, Erie, Onondaga and Monroe counties - See below explaining timeline for receiving letters and getting 60-days to enroll.
Phase V (2014) Roll-out schedule for mandatory MLTC enrollment in upstate counties during 2014, subject to approval by CMS. , Source: NYS DOH Updated 2014-2015 MLTC Transition Timeline (PDF, 88KB) (MRT e-mails) NYS DOH Policy & PLanning Updates January 2015 and February 2015
For more information please see:
Consumer Concerns on Mandatory Enrollment in Managed Long Term Care