This snapshot of Ohioans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) is intended to inform policymakers on the utilization and role of Medicaid-funded services. Medicaid-funded services allow Ohioans with IDD to access medically necessary services to live in their community. In fact, one of the primary goals of Medicaid-funded services for people with IDD is for them to be fully integrated into society. Once this is accomplished, they blend into the rest of the population and are often forgotten in the context of federal Medicaid reform. Any reforms to Medicaid, in general, need to consider the impact on the lives of individuals with IDD.

Who is Included in this Population?

Medicaid-funded services play a significant role in the ability for Ohioans with IDD to live successful lives. 74,742 Ohioans with IDD relied on Medicaid-funded services to live.

  • Of these individuals, 30% were children, 64% were between 18 and 64 years of age, and 6% were 65 or older.
  • The majority of individuals were male (61% male vs. 39% female).
  • Most commonly reported diagnoses were autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy.

Ohioans with IDD live and receive Medicaid-funded services in various settings in every county in Ohio. Medicaid funding allows for individuals to live in settings that best meet their needs. For 86% of youth and 78% of adults, Medicaid-funded services allow individuals to live with their family or in the community of their choice.

Where Do Ohioans with IDD Live?

Healthcare Needs

Medicaid-funded services not only allow individuals with IDD to stay in the community, they also assist individuals to manage chronic conditions they might not otherwise have the necessary resources to manage.


97% of individuals with IDD have at least one chronic condition.

5% of individuals with IDD have ten or more chronic conditions they need help managing.

16,827 Ohioans with IDD had a Medicaid claim associated with a psychiatric illness.

One out of three Ohioans with IDD utilized the emergency room (ER) with an average of 2.8 visits per person per year.



Medicaid Program Costs

Medicaid funding for Ohioans with IDD primarily covers IDD-specific services. This spending includes funding for long-term care on an IDD waiver and care in an intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The remaining funding is spent on acute medical care and other Medicaid services.


Individuals with IDD represent a diverse group of people that live in every county in Ohio. They have significant personal care needs and co-existing chronic conditions that need managing. The majority of Medicaid funding is used to provide services specifically designed to support individuals with IDD. This population is often forgotten in discussions around Medicaid reform. They are members of all of our communities, and their needs deserve due consideration in conversations on federal Medicaid reform.

Information in this snapshot is based on 2016 data supplied by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.

Snapshot: Ohioans with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Impacted by Federal Medicaid Reform (.pdf)