House act extends long-term care provisions


By Kay Kaylor

Special to The SUN

As the part-time long-term care ombudsman for Archuleta County, I advocate for residents at Pine Ridge, a 24-hour extended care home, and BeeHive, an assisted living residence. Federal and state laws protect residents to promote quality of care and quality of life.

On June 19, the U.S. Senate received the Empowering Beneficiaries, Ensuring Access and Strengthening Accountability Act (HR 3253) passed by the House. This act alters programs and extends funds until 2024 for several Medicaid provisions that expire in September 2019. As reported earlier, of note in the earlier extension and currently are the long-term care spousal impoverishment protections and the Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Demonstration Program (MFP).

According to Medicaid, “Under the Medicaid spousal impoverishment provisions, a certain amount of the couple’s combined resources is protected for the spouse living in the community. Depending on how much of his or her own income the community spouse actually has, a certain amount of income belonging to the spouse in the institution can also be set aside for the community spouse’s use.”

The amount of income is set each year based on the federal poverty level.

The MFP program allows people who qualify for nursing home care to live in the community with help from various home and community-based services waivers. These also can be used for people wanting to transition out of nursing and other long-term care homes.

For further information, please call me at 403-2164 or send an email to