NAELA Applauds Sen. Casey for Bill to Protect Spouses of Individuals in Need of Home Care

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Last week, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced S. 2000, The Protecting Married Seniors from Impoverishment Act, to permanently extend the guarantee that Medicaid’s spousal impoverishment protections applies to home and community-based services (HCBS).

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Last week, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced S. 2000, The Protecting Married Seniors from Impoverishment Act, to permanently extend the guarantee that Medicaid’s spousal impoverishment protections applies to home and community-based services (HCBS).

Sens. Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) joined Sen. Casey as original co-sponsors.

S.2000 is a companion bill to H.R. 1343 introduced earlier this year by Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Fred Upton (R-MI).

HCBS enables Medicaid beneficiaries in need of long-term services and supports (LTSS) to improve and maintain their health and quality of life while remaining in their homes, where most people prefer to be, rather than in institutions or other isolated settings.

Unfortunately, Medicaid’s spousal impoverishment protections were originally mandated only to institutional settings until the Affordable Care Act, which temporarily mandated that the protections apply to HCBS for a five-year period - 2014 through 2018. Since January 2019, Congress extended the protections several times, but they expire again on September 30, 2019.

“No one should be forced to choose between leaving their spouse impoverished or going into a nursing home against their wishes. That’s why we are extremely grateful to Sen. Casey for his leadership on this issue,” said NAELA President Jennifer VanderVeen, CELA, CAP, NAELA Fellow.

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. Upon joining, NAELA member attorneys agree to adhere to the NAELA Aspirational Standards. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations, and others. The mission of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys is to educate, inspire, serve, and provide community to attorneys with practices in elder and special needs law. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit NAELA.org, or to locate a NAELA member in your area, please visit NAELA.org/findlawyer.

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Abby M. Reitz
NAELA
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