House Medicaid Extension Package Includes Medicaid MFP Provisions

Legislation | June 19, 2019 | by Andrea Price-Carter

LeadingAge supports House-passed bill that extends MFP for an additional 4.5 years, protects Medicaid recipients of HCBS against spousal impoverishment.

The House of Representatives has reached a deal for a “Medicaid Extension Package” that includes 4.5 years of funding for the Money Follows the Person (MFP) Rebalancing Demonstration Program and a 4.5-year extension of protections for Medicaid recipients of HCBS services against spousal impoverishment.

 

The bill, the Empowering Beneficiaries, Ensuring Access, and Strengthening Accountability Act of 2019 (H.R. 3253), was agreed to by a recorded vote on Tuesday, June 18. Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and several other members of Congress sponsored the Medicaid Extension Package.

 

The MFP Rebalancing Program is critical to supporting the ability of older persons and persons with disabilities to live in care settings of their choice. It is a sensible way to help states use federal monies to pay for the providers identified as best-suited to care for an individual, based on need. Over 75,151 people with chronic conditions and disabilities have transitioned from institutions back into the community through MFP programs as of December 2016.
 

The Spousal Impoverishment Protection law provides spouses of Medicaid nursing home residents or spouses of individuals on a Medicaid Aged & Disability Waiver financial relief from losing all income and assets to pay for their spouse’s care in their home.
 

As stated in Rep. Dingell’s Press Release that was issued shortly after the House passed the bill, “LeadingAge has consistently supported federal laws establishing and continuing protections against impoverishment for all spouses of people who need Medicaid long term services and supports (LTSS). We continue to do so, because we believe that spouses, providers and the Medicaid program will benefit from the certainty that this legislation will provide. Ensuring permanent protections for Medicaid recipients of HCBS against spousal impoverishment is crucial to the well-being of older adult recipients of HCBS and those who care for them,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge.