People with disabilities experience health disparities in access to care and in their health outcomes. At AUCD, we believe in preserving, protecting and strengthening current health insurance programs. Any health care reforms must ensure comprehensive, affordable and accessible health insurance with protections against discrimination. Legislation that is important to use are: Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, ACA, and Long-Term Services and Supports.



Medicare was created in 1965 when people over 65 found it virtually impossible to get private health insurance coverage. Medicare has made access to health care a universal right for Americans once they reach age 65. This has helped improve the health and longevity of older Americans.



Medicaid is the nation's primary way of financing and delivering community-based health and long-term services to children and adults with disabilities. It is the nation's largest health care program, and serves nearly 60 million low-income Americans, including an estimated 9.9 million people with disabilities.


Children's Health Insurance Program

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was created in 1997 to give health insurance and preventive care to nearly 11 million, or 1 in 7, uninsured American children. Many of these children came from uninsured working families that earned too much to be eligible for Medicaid. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories have CHIP plans. CHIP is administered by states, according to federal requirements. The program is funded jointly by states and the federal government.


Affordable Care Act

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (better known as the Affordable Care Act or simply the ACA) has faced skepticism and criticism from many. This landmark health reform law contains many provisions that will help ensure accessible, comprehensive, affordable, non-discriminatory coverage for consumers, especially people with disabilities.


Long-Term Services and Support

People with disabilities often need community-based long term supports and services to support their needs and to live as independently as possible. These include assistance with activities of daily living, such as getting dressed, taking medication, preparing meals, job coaching, residential supports and managing money.



The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted the health and daily lives of individuals with disabilities. Many people with disabilities are at a higher risk of infection or severe illness because of underlying medical conditions, adequate access to healthcare, and/or ability to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through preventative measures such as social distancing. Allocation and distribution plans for potential COVID-19 vaccine(s) must consider the unique healthcare needs of individuals with disabilities, their families, and the professionals who support them.

Flu Vaccine

Getting a flu shot is the most important step individuals with disabiltiies can take to prevent the flu and its potentially serious health complications. It is important that any family members, caregivers, and direct support staff of people with disabilities also get the flu shot to protect themselves and those around them. Learn more about flu and people with disabilities from the CDC.



Healthcare Improvement Act

The Healthcare Improvement Act (S.352) would increase access to affordable health care coverage and reduce healthcare costs.

Spousal Impoverishment

H.R.1717 would permanently authorize spousal impoverishment protections for people eligible for Medicaid HCBS. The protections, which allow the spouse of the person receiving Medicaid to retain a modest amount of income and assets, are currently only temporarily authorized for HCBS recipients through 2023.

Money Follows the Person

H.R.1880 would permanently authorize Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Demonstration. The Money Follows the Person Program (MFP) helps people with disabilities and older adults move from institutions and nursing homes back to their homes and communities. Without action it will expire in three years.