For Immediate Release
February 26, 2019   
Contact: Abby M. Reitz, Communications Manager
       703-942-5711 #230

NAELA Praises Reps. Dingell, Upton and Guthrie For Introducing Bills to Keep Individuals with Disabilities at Home


Washington, DC — The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) praises Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Fred Upton (R-MI) for introducing yesterday two bills that help ensure that individuals with disabilities and frail seniors can receive care at home:

The EMPOWER Care Act (Dingell/Guthrie) would extend the Medicaid Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration program for five years. The program allows individuals with disabilities of all ages to voluntarily transition from a nursing home back into the community. Since the program’s creation, more than 88,000 individuals have been able to move out of a nursing home to a less restrictive setting.
The Protecting Married Seniors from Impoverishment Act (Dingell/Upton) would make the guarantee that Medicaid’s spousal impoverishment protections applies to home and community-based services (HCBS) permanent. The guarantee was temporarily extended to March 31, 2019, earlier this Congress. The initial guarantee first became law under the Affordable Care Act, but expired at the end of 2018.
   
“We often take for granted the ability to wake up each morning in our own home. Sadly, too many individuals who require assistance with daily activities risk unnecessary placement in an institution despite their wishes to stay at home with their families. That’s why we are extremely thankful for the paired introduction of legislation to extend Money Follows the Person and to guarantee that Medicaid’s spousal impoverishment protections applies to home and community-based services,” said NAELA President Michael J. Amoruso, Esq., CAP, 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 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 attorney in your area, visit NAELA.org/findlawyer.

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