Grassley Introduces Bill To Increase Accessibility, Reduce Cost of Long-Term Care
Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has introduced a bill (S 1602) that is intended to help reduce the cost and increase the accessibility of long-term care for elderly U.S. residents and individuals with disabilities, CQ HealthBeat reports.
The legislation, which is co-sponsored by Sens. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), would:
- Prohibit states from considering benefits paid under a long-term care insurance policy when determining eligibility for Medicaid;
- Expand a long-term care partnership that currently operates as a demonstration program in four states;
- Allow states to offer home- and community-based services as part of their state Medicaid plan; and
- Add a set of consumer protections recommended by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to the definition of qualified long-term care services.
The tax credit would be implemented over four years, starting with $1,000 this year and increasing to $3,000 in 2009. The tax credit would decrease by $100 for each $1,000 -- or fraction of $1,000 -- that the taxpayer's modified adjusted growth income exceeds $150,000 for a joint return or $75,000 for an individual return.
According to Grassley, long-term care can cost $50,000 annually per person, and Medicaid spent $93 billion on long-term care services in 2002 (CQ HealthBeat, 8/3). 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.