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|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 12, 2012
Melanie Mowry Etters
APD Announces Updated iBudget Schedule
Tallahassee -The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) today announced its revised statewide iBudget Florida implementation schedule. iBudget Florida is a new way to deliver Medicaid waiver services that has been approved by both the Florida Legislature and the federal government.
The agency’s Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid waivers support about 30,000 Floridians with developmental disabilities so they may live and participate in their local community. All of those 30,000 people will transition to the iBudget Florida system over the next year.
Customers in the northwest part of the state are now using iBudget to manage their services. The second transition phase of iBudget Florida will begin on July 1 with people living in Baker, Clay, Duval, St. Johns, Nassau, Flagler, Volusia, Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, and Sumter counties.
The third phase will start on October 1, when customers will start using iBudget Florida in Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Putnam, Suwannee, Union, Hardee, Highlands, Polk, Brevard, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie counties.
The fourth group of customers to begin using iBudget on January 1, 2013, will be in Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee, De Soto, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties.
The next group of customers will be in Palm Beach, Broward, Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie counties who will begin using the iBudget Florida system on April 1, 2013.
The final group of customers will be from Dade and Monroe counties who will begin using iBudget on July 1, 2013. In addition, all Consumer Directed Care Plus (CDC+) participants from around the state will enroll in iBudget and start using it on July 1, 2013.
iBudget Florida is designed to make the funding process fair and equitable for all Medicaid waiver customers. It will provide increased opportunities for customers to direct their own care. The new system will also allow the agency to have more financial predictability in the future.
Some of the customer benefits of iBudget Florida are:
- Greater ability to choose services that matter to them, given their unique situations
- Greater flexibility for customers to respond to changing needs
- Reduced bureaucracy and "red tape"
- Support coordinators freed from paperwork to focus on providing help that makes a real difference
- Confidence that funding is fair compared to other customers who are similarly situated
- Reduced likelihood of policy changes that cause significant disruption due to budget deficits
- Security of a financially stable system that will be there to serve customers down the road
- Greater control over their lives
- Ability to use accrued funds within the fiscal year for new or different services, and
- Greater opportunity for APD to use new funds to serve people on the Medicaid waiver waiting list rather than resolve past waiver deficits.
APD annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with the developmental disabilities of autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, spina bifida, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information on this program and the agency, visit iBudgetFlorida.org and APDcares.org or call toll-free 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273).