Special Projects Fund

Project Title

Improving Health Plan Services for People with Disabilities

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

February 12, 2014








Approximately one-third of New York’s 700,000 dual eligibles—individuals who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid—are under the age of 65. Many of these individuals have physical and cognitive disabilities that create significant barriers to accessing health care.

As New York State moves to implement the Fully Integrated Duals Advantage program (FIDA), dual eligibles will receive a comprehensive package of physical health care, behavioral health care, and long-term services through both Medicare and Medicaid. Because FIDA plans will be created by managed long-term care plans that currently serve elderly and disabled Medicaid beneficiaries, these plans must increase their capacity to serve a wider disabled population. Furthermore, federal and State laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), require that affirmative steps be taken to ensure that people with disabilities are treated in a nondiscriminatory manner and have access to health plans with providers in their networks. NYHealth awarded the Center for Independence of the Disabled in New York (CIDNY) a grant to work with six plans and the New York State Department of Health to support the implementation of FIDA, improve ADA compliance, and enhance access and outcomes for people with disabilities.

Under this grant, CIDNY provided technical assistance to the participating plans to improve their approach to serving those with disabilities. CIDNY reviewed each plan’s policies and procedures and proposed amendments to improve ADA compliance. CIDNY modified plan materials to inform patients of their rights while accommodating those who have hearing, cognitive, and visual impairments; developed and conducted trainings for 35–500 plan personnel and providers on issues related to accessibility and reasonable accommodations for patients; and reviewed methods and identified best practices for compliance issues for the disabled population.