NAELA States GAO Report Is "Starting Point" for Long-Term Care Reform

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Report Accentuates Need to Develop Broad-Based Long-Term Care Public Policy

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Our hope is that this report will convince Congress and the Administration that there is a critical need for accessible and affordable long-term care...

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report examining the ways people become financially eligible for Medicaid long-term care coverage should be a starting point for an urgent review of the long-term care crises that millions of Americans and their families are facing, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) said today.

The GAO report highlights the impact of a public policy that requires persons needing long-term services and supports for chronic diseases such as dementia, ALS, and Parkinson’s to impoverish themselves to be eligible for treatment under Medicaid while those with heart disease and more acute maladies receive health care coverage through Medicare.

"NAELA members work with individuals and families who are overwhelmed by the hundreds of thousands of dollars required to pay for care at home or in a long-term care residential facility by negotiating the complicated terrain of the Medicaid system. Elder Law attorneys witness the financial and personal devastation of seriously ill individuals, their spouses, and families on a daily basis," said NAELA President Bradley J. Frigon, CELA, CAP.

The GAO affirmed that to the extent that Medicaid planning occurs, it is modest in scope, consistent with Medicaid rules, and has a minimal impact on Medicaid outlays.

Today’s report accentuates the need to develop a broad-based long-term care public policy. NAELA is eager to work with Congress and the Administration to design and build a reform package which addresses the concerns NAELA member attorneys confront every day on behalf of everyday Americans.

NAELA will undertake a thorough examination of this report and some of the underlying data, such as the Department of Health and Human Services technical comments.

“Our hope is that this report will convince Congress and the Administration that there is a critical need for accessible and affordable long-term care based on a policy which balances public and private responsibility and includes an insurance model that covers all Americans,” said Frigon.

Learn more about NAELA’s position on long-term care:

About NAELA
Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations and others. The mission of NAELA is to establish NAELA members as the premier providers of legal advocacy, guidance and services to enhance the lives of people with special needs and people as they age. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit NAELA.org.

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Abby Matienzo, Communications Associate
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