Modern Healthcare: Patient advocates say Medicaid per capita caps would demolish long-term care for elderly (7/11/2017) Justice in Aging’s Jennifer Goldberg discusses the harmful consequences of the recent Senate bill aimed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. “Over two-thirds of Medicaid spending is considered optional under federal law. If the federal government starves Medicaid through per capita caps, optional services will be the first to be cut.” Optional services include home-based care and adult day care.
California Healthline: California Lawsuit Aims To Protect Spouses Of Disabled From Financial Ruin (7/10/2017) Justice in Aging, along with partner advocacy groups, filed a lawsuit against the State of California for failing to implement a Medicaid federal spousal impoverishment law meant to protect patients and their partners from becoming impoverished while paying for in-home care. Plaintiffs seek to compel the State of California to implement the law back to January 1, 2014, to notify individuals who potentially were eligible for the protections of their rights, and to reimburse them for any out-of-pocket expenses they paid that should have been free.
July 6, 2017 – The State of California has failed to implement a federal law that requires Medi-Cal to implement eligibility rules intended to prevent one spouse from going broke while paying for at-home care for a spouse with a disability, according to a class action lawsuit filed today, Kelley v. Kent (LA. Super. Ct.).
When one spouse has chronic conditions requiring home-based care, the other spouse must balance the cost of that care against the couple’s basic needs. The federal law allows a person to get needed home-based services in certain instances in which a couple has income or resources higher than the typical maximum limit to qualify for Medicaid. Though the federal rule has been in effect for three and a half years, California has failed to implement it, forcing many families to teeter on the brink of financial ruin in an effort to care for their loved ones at home. The case was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court today by Bet Tzedek, Justice in Aging, Disability Rights California, and Western Center on Law and Poverty with pro-bono partner McDermott Will & Emery.
Governing.com: As Demand for At-Home Care Grows, States Debate How to Pay for It (7/2017) Justice in Aging’s Kevin Prindiville discusses the increasing funding need for at home and in-community-based programs as older Americans opt to stay home. “The trend is shifting at every level to care at home and in community-based settings. People are increasingly asking for and expecting this.”
Money.com: What Would Happen to Seniors in Nursing Homes Under the Republican Health Care Bill? (6/29/2017) The Better Care Reconciliation Act, proposed by Senate Republicans to replace the Affordable Care Act, would result in an estimated $772 billion Medicaid cut. Medicaid provides a vital safety net to older adults, covering long-term care at home or in a facility. Justice in Aging’s Eric Carlson said, “It’s not like Medicaid systems have been rolling in cash under the current system, due to the need.” An estimated 2.2 million older Americans received Medicaid long-term care aid in 2011.
Below is a statement from Justice in Aging Executive Director, Kevin Prindiville
“This new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report shows that by 2026, 23 million Americans who previously had coverage will be uninsured. A disproportionately large number of the newly uninsured will be people between 50 and 64, whose premiums will skyrocket. For example, a single 64-year old with an income of $26,500 would have to pay a staggering $13,600 a year in premiums, more than half of what he has available to live on. That, compared to $1,700 a year under the Affordable Care Act, is an increase of more than 800%. Additionally, in states that waive consumer protections, older adults and others will see out-of-pockets costs rise sharply as plans provide skimpy coverage and can impose annual and lifetime limits.”
Below is a statement strongly opposing Trump’s 2018 budget from Kevin Prindiville, Executive Director of Justice in Aging:
“President Trump’s 2018 budget is an attack on the millions of older adults who already live on meager incomes and struggle to pay their rent, buy food, and meet their health needs. The budget imposes massive cuts to Medicaid, Social Security, and other critical programs that many older adults rely on for their health and economic security.”
1. The AHCA Guts Medicaid: The AHCA would drastically change Medicaid and harm older adults by cutting over $800 billion in federal funding, eliminating Medicaid expansion for adults ages 55 – 64, and weakening beneficiary protections. Under the AHCA, older adults and people with disabilities who rely on Medicaid would have fewer benefits and services, reduced access to home and community-based services, and receive less help paying for Medicare premiums or cost-sharing. States would be forced to make other cuts to Medicaid and other safety net programs as they will not have adequate funding to meet the needs of their aging populations. Read More
Because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more older adults get health insurance coverage and receive the supports they need to remain in their homes as they age. The American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican “repeal and replace” bill, would take away health insurance for 24 million Americans and cut Medicaid funding by 25 percent over the next ten years.
The bill poses many dangers for older adults today and in the future, as it would:
- Raise the costs of insurance and health care
- Put pressure on state budgets
- Lead to cuts in services
- Undermine the financial stability of Medicare