A new bill introduced in Congress would prove to be a godsend to the high percentage of people who need in-home healthcare services. The HCBS Access Act, introduced by Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, seeks to increase Medicaid and state funding for home and community-based services (HCBS) and provide resources for states for caregivers. Proponents of the bill say that it would reduce wait times for home care services and provide better outcomes.
“The caregiving crisis in this country leaves millions of seniors and people with disabilities without a meaningful choice of where they can receive essential, life-sustaining care,” said Casey, Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging.
HCBS Access Act
Those who need assistance with the activities of daily living like showering and eating are often lacking in choices when it comes to receiving care. In many cases, they will have an easier time receiving care at a nursing facility than they will at home. Of course, not every senior is eligible to live in a nursing home. Often they prefer to receive care in their own homes. Unfortunately for these seniors, home-based care can be difficult to obtain due to limitations in the Medicaid Waiver program.
Seniors on Medicaid can currently receive covered care in long-term nursing facilities, but in-home care is not covered unless they qualify for Waiver services. The HCBS Access Act intends to solve these issues, giving both seniors and disabled Americans access to care on their own terms by:
- Increasing Medicaid funding for home and community-based healthcare services.
- Providing grants at the state level to help them improve their ability to meet the needs of people who prefer home care to nursing facilities.
- Taking steps to improve the availability of home care providers by reducing workforce shortages.
- Providing state resources that will allow caregivers to have stable, quality jobs, and that pay a living wage.
- Providing training and support for family caregivers.
- Creating better ways to evaluate the quality of home care services being provided.
Pennsylvania Elder Care Attorneys
At Slutsky Elder Law, we believe our senior population should have a choice of whether they receive care at home or at a skilled nursing facility. The provisions of the HCBS Access Act would go a long way toward relieving staffing shortages in the home care industry and providing additional resources for caregivers. Many seniors also depend on Medicaid to cover their skilled care expenses, so expanding access to include home care without a waiver will be highly beneficial to Medicaid recipients who would prefer to continue living at home. It is our sincere hope that Congress will carefully consider this bill and pass it in the near future.
If you need a Medicaid lawyer in Chester County, PA or in surrounding counties, Attorney Robert Slutsky will be happy to assist you with preserving your assets and the arduous process of applying for Medicaid. As one of the most experienced elder law attorneys in Pennsylvania, he is highly qualified to advise you about qualifying for Medicaid and a range of other legal matters like estate planning, probate, and more. Call (610) 940-0650 or fill out the online form on our contact page to request a consultation with one of Pennsylvania’s most trusted elder law attorneys.