Many older people and disabled people rely on Connecticut nursing home care if they cannot live independently. Unfortunately, this care can be very costly to provide. Medicaid is a leading payor of nursing home care services, but the New Haven Register recently published an article indicating that health reform bills that are being considered could present challenges for nursing homes throughout the state of Connecticut.
Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates can provide help to seniors, disabled individuals, and their loved ones in understanding options for nursing home care and in taking steps to get nursing home care paid for.
We can help you to work within the current regulatory system to find and pay for a nursing home that will provide high-quality care. We can also assist you with taking proactive steps to understand and respond to changes in the law that could affect the care that you or a loved one receives. To find out more about the ways in which our legal team can assist you, give us a call today.
Why the Health Care Bill Could Affect Connecticut Nursing Home Care
According to the New Haven Register, proposed health care reform bills could impact nursing homes in Connecticut because the reform bills contain “deep cuts to Medicaid.” Both the version of the healthcare reform bill that was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and the version of the bill that the U.S. Senate is considering could “sharply reduce critical payments to nursing homes,” the Register reports.
The reason that nursing homes could be affected by healthcare reform is that Medicaid is the only source of nursing home care payments for many residents. Outside of privately paying for nursing home care or getting care costs covered by a long-term care insurer (which many seniors don’t do because insurance is often unaffordable or not comprehensive enough), Medicaid may be the only option for getting care paid for. Medicare doesn’t typically cover routine nursing home care like most people need, but instead it pays only for skilled services and only for a duration of time.
Since Medicaid is often the only outside source of payments for nursing home care, any changes to the Medicaid program could dramatically impact how much money is available for nursing homes to operate. The problem is, both the House and Senate versions of healthcare reform would cut federal funding and shift more costs to the states. Medicaid, as it is currently operated, is an “open-ended” entitlement. The amount of money the federal government contributes to the states is based on the actual costs to the states of providing care. If health care reform bills go into effect, Medicaid spending could be capped, with the federal contributions now calculated based on a growth rate formula that determines how much the federal government pays for each Medicaid participant.
According to the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the proposed changes, this could reduce federal funding for Medicaid nationwide by more than $800 billion. Obviously, this is a significant amount of costs that would be shifted to the states. This could lead to cuts in benefits and funding for nursing home care. The CEO of the Middletown-based Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities indicated to the New Haven Register that the chances could be a “catastrophe” both for nursing homes and for the residents of these homes in the state of Connecticut who rely on Medicaid to pay for care.
“Medicaid for nursing homes is very much a middle-class benefit,’’ the CEO told The New Haven Register. “The common perception is that Medicaid is for somebody else, but it’s actually a program for all Americans.’’”
Getting Help from A Connecticut Nursing Home Care Attorney
If you are concerned about how you will pay for nursing home care, either under the current rules and regulations or under any new rules and regulations that could go into effect if healthcare reform passes, it is important to talk with a Connecticut nursing home care attorney.
Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates has a long track record of helping people of all ages in Connecticut to be proactive in taking steps to ensure that nursing home care and other long term care costs can be covered when needed. To find out about the ways in which we can help you to pay for care under the current regulatory system or after any changes take place, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 860-548-1000 or contact us online to get personalized help and advice today.