Recent proposed regulations released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provide a unique opportunity to address discrimination in health care settings, including new provisions to address language access, gender identity discrimination, and access for individuals with disabilities. The proposed regulations, which were issued to implement Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, represent a positive first step toward improving health equity. Advocates for older adults should seize the opportunity to significantly strengthen the regulations by participating in the comment process.
These anecdotes are not only true; they’re common experiences for LGBT older adults. And they’re all in our ground-breaking report, LGBT Older Adults in Long-Term Care Facilities: Stories from the Field. Published in 2010, the report is still making waves in policy circles. In honor of Pride 2015, we’re re-releasing a fresh version of the report for those who may have missed it, along with its accompanying video.
July 2014 — One-year after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in United States v. Windsor, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to release guidance on same-sex marriages and Medicare and Medicaid. CMS recently issued a letter to state Medicaid Directors with guidance on the implication of the decision for non-MAGI Medicaid populations. The guidance gives states the discretion to apply either the IRS’ marriage recognition policy, which recognizes any marriage that is valid in the jurisdiction of celebration, or the state’s own marriage recognition law when determining whether a couple is lawfully married for purposes of Medicaid eligibility.
The guidance is consistent with CMS policy that the agency had previously announced for MAGI Medicaid financial determinations. States will be revising their Medicaid policies in light of the CMS guidance. The guidance also assists same-sex couples and their advocates in understanding how marriage can either positively or negatively affect their ability to access Medicaid benefits. In a more detailed explanation and an upcoming webinar, Justice in Aging provides more detail on the guidance.