If it seems as though the laws associated with Medicaid in New Hampshire are confusing, you’re right. There are several confusing aspects to providing long term care either in home or in a hospital or similar facility. Now, though, it could be shifting if New Hampshire lawmakers are able to incorporate the Balancing Incentive Payments Program.
Balancing Incentive Payments Program
BIPP is being incorporated not only in New Hampshire, but other states as well; it’s a $3 billion program.
But what exactly will a successful effort look like? Consider this:
In New Hampshire, all developmentally disabled residents have in-home care covered by Medicaid; however, for the elderly who are frail, it is not an option and in fact, most often, they end up in nursing homes. As we know, seniors and the elderly do better at home when it’s possible for them to remain in their familiar surroundings. The fact that they’re frail shouldn’t be a prerequisite for nursing home enrollment. There is an aspect of the Affordable Care Act that provides funding for a new program aimed at removing barriers to providing long-term care in people’s homes and communities.
New ACA Provisions
The Balancing Incentive Payments Program is just one of a few ACA provisions that were created to keep people at home versus costly facilities. This program has the potential of alleviating many of the expensive processes that shouldn’t be in place at all. According to a 2010 AARP survey, nine out of 10 older Americans said they would rather be cared for in their homes than in a nursing home. For those with physical and mental have pushed for community-based long-term care options and the ability to live independently in their homes.
For New Hampshire, and the rest of the states participating in this program, they will receive a higher match on the federal level for the money spent on home and community care through 2015. They must keep the process simple and “reduce the red tape and confusion that caretakers, elders and those with disabilities typically encounter when they attempt to find alternatives to nursing homes”, according to a presser released last week.
For those in nursing homes in New Hampshire, two-thirds have their bills covered by Medicaid. As we know, for low income people, they often qualify for Medicaid before they’ve entered a nursing home; however, for those whose income is higher, they must “spend down” before they can take advantage of Medicaid. One look at the $6,000 per month nursing home bill reveals just how quickly their resources are spent down. Even more concerning is the realization that with Medicaid waivers, people can opt to remain in their homes and hold on to many of their assets without being penalized.
It looks as though those dynamics are finally leveling out. More elderly New Hampshire residents are now remaining in their homes, even as the elderly population continues to grow. Since 2005, nursing homes have seen a 4 percent decrease in admissions. It’s a start. Once theses Medicaid regulations are put into a better perspective so that they’re actually serving the people they were designed to protect, real change can finally happen. These incentives hope to do that.
To do that, a “no-wrong-door” approach for people looking for resources to help them keep their loved ones at home must be developed, since many people have no idea where to turn when the need for long-term care arises. And this is where your elder law attorney can play a significant role in getting these new policies into place. We encourage you to contact our office for a complimentary consultation to ensure you can take advantage of these new incentives. There are plenty of details to work out, but our experience and commitment sets us apart. To learn more, give us a call today.
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