January 2018

Last year brought a range of threats from a proposed $1 trillion cut to Medicaid to elimination of the Medical Expense Deduction.

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NAELA Advocacy Update
January 26, 2018

2017: What Happened?

Last year brought a range of threats from a proposed $1 trillion cut to Medicaid to elimination of the Medical Expense Deduction. Want to review NAELA public policy for 2017? Check out these videos:

NHeLP Sues CMS for Approving KY Medicaid Waiver

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its guidance on work requirements for Medicaid on January 11. Shortly after, CMS approved Kentucky’s 1115 waiver imposing work requirements and other limits to eligibility. On January 24, the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) together with the Kentucky Equal Justice Center and the Southern Poverty Law Center brought suit against CMS regarding its 1115 waiver. Watch NAELA’s webinar with NHeLP’s Legal Director, Jane Perkins, on harmful waivers to limit Medicaid eligibility.

Arizona Seeks to End Retroactive Coverage By Waiver

Arizona has sought a separate amendment to its long-standing 1115 waiver to repeal prior quarter coverage for all beneficiaries. NAELA plans to comment. Previously, NAELA has fought back against these proposals in Congress and in Maine and Iowa.

Lobbying Continues on Money Follows the Person

NAELA joined a chorus of advocates in support of a bipartisan bill to renew and expand Money Follows the Person (MFP). MFP provides grants to states to pay for transition services from an institutional setting back to the community that Medicaid cannot normally cover by law. The bill also expands access to the program by reducing the length-of-stay requirement in an institution from 90 to 60 days.

Congress Passes Family Caregiver Strategy Legislation

The Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (S. 1028/H.R. 3759) requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop a Federal strategy in support of family caregivers. It will also create an advisory council with opportunities for public input. NAELA supported the legislation, led by AARP, as part of its larger campaign to support family caregivers.

MassNAELA Fights to Maintain Senior’s Access to Pooled Trusts

Massachusetts plans to move forward with its regulations to impose a penalty on transfers to a pooled trust for those 65 and over despite opposition. MassNAELA continues to fight these proposals, most recently by working to get a sign-on letter in opposition to the move from 98 out of 160 of the Massachusetts House Representatives, many in leadership positions from both parties. MassNAELA has also worked with their legislature to introduce legislation counteracting the regulation. So far, the legislation successfully passed one chamber as an amendment to a larger package.

Disability Advocates Raise Alarm Over Withdrawal of Olmstead Guidance

In late December, the Department of Justice rescinded its guidance to states on their obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Olmstead decision to administer employment services for people with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate. Members of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), including NAELA, expressed concern that its withdrawal implies states may not need to worry about federal enforcement to ensure they provide employment services in the most integrated setting.

NAELA Joins Call to Pass Health Extenders

The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO) called on Congress to renew the Medicare Part B therapy caps exceptions process and a number of other health measures that have expired. Separately, NAELA has supported preventing the ability of states to recover Medicaid costs from a beneficiary's full personal injury settlement.

Protections for Residents in Nursing Homes During Emergencies Bill Introduced

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI) introduced a bill that would better protect nursing home residents during and after emergencies. The bill’s requirements include mandating nursing homes to have alternative sources of energy capable of heating, cooling and ventilation for at least four days and authorizing civil monetary penalties up to $100,000 for non-compliance resulting in a resident’s death.

Aging Groups Endorse Bipartisan Advance Planning Bill

The Patient Choice and Quality Care Act of 2017 would provide eligible Medicare beneficiaries access to an interdisciplinary team to plan care interventions directly aligned with the individual’s goals of care, values, and preferences. Read the letter of support.

2018 Tax Law Update

With the most sweeping changes to tax law implemented in 30 years, NAELA and members of the Tax Section have put together a series of videos covering the most pertinent changes for NAELA members. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) affects your practice and your clients. NAELA members can access these exclusive materials here. (You must be logged in with your NAELA username and password to access the tax materials.)

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NAELA Foundation

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

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