Money Follows the Person Changes Lives

Money Follows the Person (MFP) is a state project that helps Medicaid-eligible North Carolinians who live in inpatient facilities (e.g., nursing homes, intermediate care facilities) move into their own homes and communities with supports.

Participants receive priority access to  Medicaid’s Community Alternatives Program (CAP) waiver program, Innovations or Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). They can also receive financial assistance to purchase items and services needed to make the move including security deposits, utility startup expenses, furniture, accessibility modifications and other one-time items and services that may be required to transition.

These two stories – one a Charlotte resident and from Lumberton – illustrate the program’s power to change lives.

Henry’s Story

Henry, 69, had lived in an institutional group home in Charlotte after his family had become unable to provide him with the care that was needed.

He was able to move to his own home with the help of MFP and the Innovations waiver program. He now lives with one of his favorite people, Anthony – his support provider.

Since he moved, the county social worker reports she has seen tremendous change; that his demeanor and attitude have become more free and relaxed.

Henry now attends classes and takes part in a day program.

Anthony reports that Henry is comfortable in the new setting and helps with laundry and other household tasks, but really enjoys going out to community events and “getting out” on long trips.”

The MFP Demonstration Project is founded on the principle of individuals

having the right to choose where they receive their long-term support services.

As the social worker notes, “people have a great desire to have control over their day-

to-day activities, to lead self-determined lives and to be included in their local communities.”

Etta’s Story

Money Follows the Person supports both participants and the family members (caregivers) who love them.

In 2012 almost 30% of the U.S. population provided unpaid caregiving services to a loved one who was ill, disabled or aged.* Unpaid caregiving services were valued at $450 billion per year in 2009 – up from $375 billion in 2007.**

Etta, 86 and her daughter, Lulu, 70, are an example of such a family. Etta was living with Lulu when she became sick and unable to walk. After two weeks in the hospital, Etta spent nine months in Woodhaven Nursing Center in Lumberton, N.C.

Etta’s illness took its toll on both the mother and daughter. Both wanted Etta to return home, but Lulu was concerned that she and her husband could not meet all of her mother’s needs. Lulu was getting mixed messages from both friends and professionals, ranging from “this will be very, very hard for you” to “it’s possible to do this.”.

Then a social worker told Lulu about the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program. After some prayerful thinking, Lulu decided it was time for her mother to come home. MFP and New Hanover CAP/DA Waiver Program made that decision a reality.

The program provides Etta with a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) to help with bathing and other activities of daily living and she uses a specialized van to get to medical appointments.

“She’s been no trouble, not sick, just fine,” Lulu said. “Without MFP, I’d probably be sick and she’d probably be sick. Now she’s happy and I’m happy.”

* “Caregiving in the U.S.,” The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP (2009) -Updated: November 2012

** “Valuing the Invaluable: 2011 Update, The Economic Value of Family Caregiving,” AARP Public Policy Institute. Updated: November 2012

MFP supports North Carolinians in having more choices about where they receive their long term supports.  Participation is voluntary.  To learn more about the program or to see if you or your family member may qualify, please visit or call 1-855-761-9030.