Senate Considers Making Changes To The Medicaid Waiver Program

The Senate Finance Committee is working on ideas to change the way people become eligible for and utilize the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services Waiver Program.The Medicaid Home and Community Based Services Waiver is a federal program administered by the states, which provides funding for people with disabilities to live in the community and obtain support services. There are currently long waiting lists for this waiver program in many states.

The Senate Finance Committee is creating policy options as part of President Barack Obama’s efforts to reform the American health care system.

The options pertaining to the waiver program include:

• Requiring states to lift their caps on the number of waiver recipients to include more people. Or, prohibiting states from using waiting lists to prevent eligible individuals from accessing services.

• Eliminating a current requirement that in order to obtain funding from the waiver individuals must need an institutional level of care.

• Giving states more latitude to determine income requirements for waiver eligibility.

• Allowing individuals to enroll in multiple Medicaid waivers at one time.

1 Comment on Senate Considers Making Changes To The Medicaid Waiver Program

  1. The thing to know about Medicare is that this program is inanusrce for acute illnesses. This means that if you are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and Part B bills pertaining to procedures that are deemed medically necessary will be paid for. Medically necessary is the most important term. Medicare will not pay for any procedure or care that does not fit in this definition. Yes, Medicare will pay for nursing home care that might be needed by someone who needs care after a hip replacement or after a hospitalization for some other health episode. But, if the doctor determines that there will be no further recovery for a person say someone who just has suffered a stroke Medicare benefits basically end. This is because Medicare does not pay for the costs of day-to-day care if the care will not improve the person’s health after the acute health episode. Although there are a few (very few!) exceptions, Medicare generally does not pay for in-home services for elders in their homes,Many and I do mean a whole lot of people I know get Medicare confused with Medicaid. Medicaid is a health inanusrce program for the poor or medically indigent. Medicaid is only available to folks who meet stringent financial guidelines. If one qualifies for Medicaid and folks at the state level determine this then costs of the nursing home stay will be paid. Many states have in-home care options that may be accessed by elders who are eligible for Medicaid. Medicare and about Medicaid coverage and policies including the one I just mentioned above can be confusing and complicated. Most people want real people to talk to about these sorts of situations. I would suggest that you call your local Area Agency on Aging. Not only can they help you walk through the peculiarities of Medicare and Medicaid, they will know of other resources that might help you in your care-giving situation. And these folks are not selling anything. If you live in the United States or one of the territories, there is one where you live. You can call toll-free 1-800-677-1116 to find out the one serving you. Each Area Agency on Aging has professionals available to answer questions and guide care givers of elders to the best solution for their situation. You will most likely find the people there friendly and very helpful.If you do contact your local Area Agency on Aging and like the help that they give you, let your local county officials and your folks in Congress know, too. Area Agencies on Aging are funded by the Older Americans Act and don’t have big budgets for advertising and certainly don’t have budgets that support campaign contributions!Thanks for caring! I hope this helps you and your loved one!

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