Date: December 14, 2022
To: Supportive Living Program (SLP) Providers
Re: Cessation of Supportive Living Program (SLP) Providers as Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) Retailers and Ending SNAP Benefits for SLP Participants
Pursuant to 89 Illinois Administrative Code 146.230 (e), Supportive Living Program (SLP) providers are required to provide three (3) meals per day or two (2) meals per day (noon and evening meal) and a breakfast bar to all SLP participants.
Since the inception of the SLP as a Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waiver in the mid-1990s, SLP providers have been eligible to serve as Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) retailers and participants have been eligible to apply for and receive SNAP benefits.
In 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) determined this long-standing arrangement to be invalid under their existing rules and regulations. As a result of this determination, Congress enacted legislation to grandfather-in existing SLP providers to continue as SNAP retailers and to allow SLP participants to apply for and receive SNAP benefits. However, this provision is set to expire December 31, 2022.
What does this mean for SLP providers?
Effective January 1, 2023, SLP providers will no longer be authorized SNAP retailers and will no longer be able to access the SNAP benefits of the SLP participants.
To ensure continued access to healthy meals, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) received approval through an Appendix K waiver amendment to temporarily increase payment rates to SLP providers to cover the costs of two (2) meals per day for all SLP participants receiving Medicaid assistance. This temporary increase of $6.15 per day will be effective January 1, 2023 and will expire six (6) months after the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) expires.
Recognizing that this is a temporary solution, HFS will submit an amendment to the HCBS Supportive Living Program waiver in the coming months to include this rate increase as a part of the provider reimbursement formula going forward as we continue to work with our Congressional delegation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Department of Human Services (DHS) to potentially reinstate SNAP benefits for this group of community-living low-income seniors in the future.
What does this mean for SLP participants?
Effective January 1, 2023, SLP participants will no longer be eligible to apply for and receive SNAP benefits and no additional SNAP benefits will be added.
HFS expects minimal, if any disruption in the provision of meals to residents and will be closely monitoring this issue.
DHS will soon be sending notification to SLP participants letting them know that their SNAP benefits will be ending.
LINK cards do not need to be returned.
If you have any questions, contact the Bureau of Long Term Care toll free at 844-528-8444.