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Medicaid Extenders Act Signed into Law

Posted on Sunday, February 3, 2019 5:17 PM

President Trump has signed the Medicaid Extenders Act into law giving the home care community and NAHC advocacy a key win early in the new year. 

This legislation fully funds the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program through the end of March 2019.  This program helps transition patients from an institutional setting to home, where 90% of Americans say they want to age and address their medical concerns.  The funds are available to be used on home modifications, equipment, and services like home care to keep them in their home. 

The new legislation also provides a three-month extension to the existing language guarding against spousal impoverishment.  Spousal impoverishment protections were initially established to allow the spouse of a Medicaid recipient to maintain certain levels of assets and income when the patient was admitted to a Medicaid skilled nursing facility, but the Affordable Care Act extended protections to patients receiving home and community-based services (HCBS). Without these protections, spousal impoverishment is not uncommon, and some couples have even divorced not because they grew apart, but to avoid spousal impoverishment.

“Make no mistake, the quick and decisive success of the Medicaid Extenders Act of 2019 is a win for the millions of Americans who want to remain in their homes as they deal with chronic illnesses, protected against financial calamity. By keeping people out of institutional settings and in their homes and communities, where they belong and wish to be, this legislation saves money and serves the popular will.”

Source: NAHC Report


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