Last week the Congressional Research Services released Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) Increase Available for Title IV-E Foster Care and Permanency Payments, a brief description of how the Coronavirus relief package #2 will impact on foster care and adoption assistance funding. The Medicaid matching rate was raised for all state Medicaid programs by 6.2 percent. The same percentage also enhances title IV-E programs, foster care, adoption assistance, and subsidized guardianships. Although the regular match ranges from 50% (one state dollar brings in one federal dollar) to as high as 80 or 83 percent (one state dollar brings in four federal dollars) in some years, this year’s match rates run from 50 percent for states like California and New York to 77 percent for the state of Mississippi. Under the new increase, those rates will run from 56.2 percent for 14 states to 83 percent for Mississippi.

According to the analysis, “During FY2020, on an average monthly basis, IV-E payments were expected to be made on behalf of an estimated 729,000 children, including 164,000 children in foster care and 565,000 children in adoptive or guardianship homes.”

The increase, as written now, is limited to costs starting on January 1, 2020, until the last day of the calendar year quarter in which the public health emergency period ends. That may not be long enough, depending on the final or ongoing result of the pandemic.

There is an effort to increase the match by more, to approximately 12 percent since some advocates and states believe a great deal more support will be needed. CWLA will be supporting any such increase for both Medicaid and Title IV-E. It will be needed.