A Compendium of Current Federal Initiatives in Response to the Olmstead Decision. WEBSITE FOR OBTAINING MEDICAID ASSISTANCE: MEDICAID DESK REFERENCE


Funding Organization:

  • Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD)

Implementing Organizations:

  • University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability
  • National Center for Self-Determination
  • Oregon Health Sciences University 21st Century Leadership
  • Oklahoma People First
  • Family Voices


The overall purpose of the project is to provide information to people with disabilities, families and staff with timely, accurate and useful information about Medicaid services nationally, and in their states.


This project will develop an interactive website with descriptions of Medicaid programs presented in a language that persons with disabilities can understand, including persons with cognitive disabilities. The website will be constructed primarily around ten individual state Medicaid programs, although national-level information about Medicaid and Medicaid-financed services will be provided. For each of the ten states, a team of experts specific to that state will be available to answer specific Medicaid-related questions. Initiation of the first "live" state website is planned for October 2001. Selected brochures will also be printed. The grant began in October 2000, and will run for three years.

An Advisory Board, having a majority membership of people with disabilities or people with disabled family members, has been recruited to provide advice and guidance. At present, the primary audience for this project is persons with developmental disabilities; the secondary audience is family members of persons with developmental disabilities. The target audience may also be broadened to persons with other types of disabilities. The project hopes to involve people with disabilities in substantive paid roles in its day-to-day operation.

The following modules are under development for each of the ten states:

  • Specific information about how to get help from the Medicaid program.

  • Experts on hand to answer questions.

  • Information on people and organizations in the state that users can turn to for assistance with Medicaid.

  • Frequently asked questions.

  • Facts and statistics on Medicaid-funded services in each state and nationally.

  • A user-friendly description of each state's Medicaid plan.

  • A description of the services and supports which are potentially available from Medicaid for people with disabilities, organized by zip code so that users have very specific information about where they might go to access services.

  • Specific reference information, including links to other websites.

  • What's New in Medicaid.

  • A "waiver wire" providing up-to-date information on the status of each state's HCBS waiver services programs.

  • How the Medicaid system works.

  • Self-determination: what it is and how each state Medicaid program supports self-directed services.

  • Evaluation and Review: designed to elicit feedback on the website from users.

  • Partners and Philosophy: designed to articulate guiding principles of the project, and on the information presented.

In addition to the website, the project will produce a series of briefs including:

  • A description and analysis of Medicaid issues from the perspective of people who receive services.

  • Identification of key aspects of frequently asked questions related to Medicaid waiver and state plan services.

  • Frequently asked and answered questions about Medicaid waivers.

  • Analysis of the impact of self-determination initiatives on the level of consumer satisfaction, involvement and understanding of the Medicaid programs in states.

Contact Information:

Charles Moseley, Ed.D., University of New Hampshire, Institute on Disability/UAP, 7 Leavitt Lane, Suite 101, Durham, NH 03824-3522, (603)862-4810

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