We pride ourselves in bringing awareness to disability-related issues. We engage the community, business leaders and parents in open and honest dialog to listen, learn and teach. That open dialog doesn’t end when we get asked tough questions. We want to give people all the information they need to make informed decisions. Below are some frequently asked questions about the upcoming Summit DD Levy this November.
Is Summit DD closing?
Absolutely not. Recent federal mandates require that we no longer provide direct services for adults because we coordinate and fund those disability services. However, rest assured that no one will lose their services due to this change. Summit DD will continue to connect, protect and monitor services so that people can live their lives to the fullest. (Read more about Our Journey Forward.)
Will people lose their services and programs?
No one will lose their services because of the new Federal rules for DD Boards. Individuals will select another provider and continue to have their services funded and coordinated by Summit DD. We will also continue to provide health and safety oversight.
What does the Summit DD levy (Issue 3) fund if you won’t be providing direct services for adults in the future?
Summit DD is the Agency that funds and connects more than 2,700 adults to disability services throughout Summit County. We monitor these services for safety and ensure that people are receiving the supports they rely on to live their lives to the fullest. Issue 3 also funds early intervention services for 1,000 kids and families, investigations of reports that impact health and safety, service coordination, Special Olympics and more.
Where are the savings going if you aren’t operating buildings and buses in the future?
Funding for services is linked to each individual and their needs, not the Agency. When an individual leaves Summit DD for another provider, that same funding follows them. There are operating savings associated with no longer being a service provider in terms of staff and building costs, totaling around $11.4 Million. However, those savings are offset by two factors:
- The federal Medicaid revenue that Summit DD received for providing services will now be paid to the private provider that the individual chooses. This also means that Summit DD will receive $5.4 million less revenue beginning in 2019.
- Secondly, federal Medicaid pays 60% of the Medicaid rates for eligible services. When Summit DD was the provider, the remaining 40% was absorbed into the operating costs, such as salaries, benefits and facility costs. However, when a private provider is an individual’s provider, Summit DD pays that remaining 40% of services costs as a Medicaid “match” cost to the actual provider. We project Medicaid costs to increase by $4.8 million in 2019.
The remaining $1.2 million in operating savings is reinvested into new programs to set children and teens up for success as adults. It also covers additional demand for services, as Summit DD has supported 1,600 more people since 2006 and will continue to grow by about 100 new people each year.
Why do you need a levy if there is Medicaid money?
Summit DD is able to tap into approximately $60 million in Medicaid funding for Summit County because of the levy dollars. The levy funding covers approximately 40% of services like transportation, day programs and job assistance services. If that 40% can be guaranteed by Summit DD, then Medicaid will agree to cover the remaining 60% of the cost.
Additionally, programs like early intervention, transition supports for teens and job training programs are funded 100% through local levy money.
What other sources of income does Summit DD receive?
While Summit DD does receive a mix of some federal and state dollars, about 80% of our operating income comes from the levy that takes place every six years. The Summit DD levy generates about $50 million in revenue. From that $50 million, $25 million is set aside to meet our Medicaid obligation. (That $25 million is what allows us to tap into the additional $60 million in federal Medicaid funds that can then be reinvested into the local economy.)
The other $25 million is needed to provide early intervention services. It funds the investigations of all allegations of abuse or neglect. It ensures the coordinate services for school-age kids, supports programs like Special Olympics and other support service needs for those not eligible for Medicaid.
Will this cost taxpayers more money?
Nope! The good news is that Issue 3 is a renewal and a 0% tax increase. That means for no new money the Summit DD levy will ensure that 4,700 adults and children with developmental disabilities will continue to receive the services and supports they rely on each day.
How much will Issue 3 cost taxpayers?
For just $11.50 a month (for a house valued at $100,000) Issue 3 will fund services for children and adults with developmental disabilities through 2024.
How do I know that my money is being used well?
Summit DD believes in transparency and being good stewards of taxpayer money. We have operated on the same level of funding since 2007. The Agency has seen an increased demand for services. We have served 1,600 more people in the last 10 years without a tax increase. We project this trend to continue and expect the need to grow by about 100 new people each year.
Is the levy campaign funded with tax dollars?
No. The Summit DD levy campaign is funded through a volunteer action committee called “Support Summit DD”. Through volunteer efforts, the committee raises funds and operates the campaign. This ensures the continued support for thousands of children and adults with developmental disabilities in Summit County.
What happens if the levy fails?
The Summit DD levy is crucial to ensure that the daily needs of nearly 5,000 children and adults with disabilities are met. Without levy funding:
- early intervention services would be discontinued for 1,000 families with kids under the age of six;
- 650 Special Olympic athletes would lose funding;
- school supports for teens transitioning to adulthood and the workforce would be discontinued; and
- access to current and future Medicaid funding for Summit County and its residents could be jeopardized
Still have Questions?
Contact us! We’re happy to answer any questions that you may have regarding the upcoming Summit DD Levy this November.