CMS Issues Guidance on Nursing Home Care for Same-Sex Couples
On Friday, CMS issued a new directive that grants states flexibility to provide the same financial protections -- regardless of sexual orientation -- to Medicaid beneficiaries for nursing home care covered under the program, Modern Healthcare reports.
Cindy Mann -- director of the Center for Medicaid, CHIP and Survey & Certification -- outlined the new directive in a letter a three-page letter to state Medicaid directors (Zigmond, Modern Healthcare, 6/10).
Under current Medicaid rules, beneficiaries are required to liquidate most of their personal assets before they can qualify for nursing home care through the program. States are allowed to place liens on homes occupied by people who enter nursing homes. A partner in an opposite-sex relationship is protected from those liens, but the same protection is not always granted in a same-sex relationship, CQ HealthBeat reports (Norman, CQ HealthBeat, 6/10).
Mann noted, "A state can have a policy or rule not to pursue liens when the same-sex spouse or domestic partner of the Medicaid beneficiary continues to lawfully reside in the home" (Modern Healthcare, 6/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.