On Saturday, March 9, President Biden signed Congress’ first fiscal year 2024 spending package, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024 (CAA, 2024), into law.

This marks a critical success as the package included multiple key National Council for Mental Wellbeing advocacy priorities, including eliminating barriers to substance use disorder treatment access and establishing a definition of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) within Medicaid. In addition to our key highlights, you can access a full summary of the health care-related provisions and our public statement in the following.

As always, we thank you for your continued advocacy — your voices help make wins like this possible!

Full Summary of HHS Policy Provisions
National Council Statement
CAA, 2024 enacts several measures to expand access to care, including but not limited to:

  • Sec. 201. Requirement for State Medicaid Plans to Provide Coverage for Medication-assisted Treatment. This section makes permanent existing requirements that state Medicaid programs cover all forms of medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder, including methadone, and the provision of such medications, counseling services, and behavioral therapy.
  • Sec. 204. Extension of State Option to Provide Medical Assistance for Certain Individuals in Institutions for Mental Diseases. This section makes permanent the state option to provide Medicaid covered services to individuals who have a substance use disorder and reside in an Institution for Mental Diseases (IMD), regardless of the size of the facility, so long as such stays do not exceed 30 days per 12-month period and the facility and state meet certain federal standards.
  • Sec. 205. Prohibition on Termination of Enrollment Due to Incarceration. This section prohibits states from terminating Medicaid coverage for an individual while incarcerated but permits states to suspend coverage.
  • Sec. 206. Addressing Operational Barriers to Promote Continuity of Care for Medicaid and CHIP Beneficiaries Following Incarceration. This section would authorize grants to states for purposes of developing operational capabilities to promote continuity of care for incarcerated individuals who are eligible for Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This section also directs the Department of Health and Human Services to issue guidance that addresses common implementation and operational challenges states face in ensuring access to high-quality and timely care during and after incarceration for individuals who are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP.
  • Sec. 209. CCBHC Services Under Medicaid. This section establishes CCBHC services as an optional Medicaid benefit.
    • Note: This enables people living in a CCBHC demonstration state to continue accessing a CCBHC post-demonstration and allows states to more swiftly take action to establish and certify CCBHCs statewide.

Congress now turns toward a March 22 deadline to negotiate spending levels for the rest of their appropriations bills, including the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations bill.

If you have questions about the relevant provisions in the law, don’t hesitate to reach out.