Rep. Kelly Co-Sponsors Bill to Improve Care for Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries

Aug 8, 2018 Issues: Health Care

Bipartisan bill helps seniors in need stay in their preferred care setting while reducing costs

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and co-chairman of the bipartisan Health Care Innovation Caucus – issued the following statement today in regard to becoming the main Republican sponsor of H.R. 4006, the Community-Based Independence for Seniors Act. The legislation creates a new Community-Based Institutional Special Needs Plan in Medicare Advantage to target home and community-based services for low-income Medicare beneficiaries who require help with activities of daily living.

“In order to strengthen Medicare for all who rely on it, we must find more innovative ways to improve care and reduce costs. Studies show that enhanced coordinated care for low-income Medicare beneficiaries results in fewer hospital stays and readmissions. Keeping low-income seniors healthy and out of the hospital, which also saves taxpayer money, is a win for everyone. I am happy and proud to support this smart, bipartisan bill as its prime Republican sponsor.”

H.R. 4006 is supported by numerous organizations: 

John Lovelace, President, UPMC For You:

“With his prime sponsorship of the ‘Help Seniors Remain Independent Act,’ Congressman Kelly continues to be a leader in providing options and support for seniors in need.  Pennsylvania has the fifth-highest Medicare Advantage enrollment levels in the country, so Congressman Kelly’s bill will be especially valuable to Pennsylvania’s chronically ill Medicare Advantage enrollees who are not eligible for home- and community-based waivers but who want to stay at home or in another setting of their choice.”

Katie Smith Sloan, President and CEO, LeadingAge:

“Assistance with daily activities, from aid with medications to transportation help, is crucial to improving older adults’ health and quality of life while also increasing their ability to age in place. LeadingAge urges Congress to enact the Community-Based Institutional Special Needs Plan (CBI-SNP) demonstration program as outlined in H.R. 4006. The need for supports focused on activities of daily living is significant; addressing the need has potential of a significant positive impact on older adults at a relatively small cost.”

Plus: The Healthcare Leadership Council, the National Coalition on Health Care, SCAN Health Plan, and others.

BACKGROUND

The Community Based Independence for Seniors Act establishes a pilot that targets home and community-based care to eligible seniors who need help with two or more activities of daily living. Seniors would receive services specific to their needs, such as home delivered meals, transportation services, adult day care services, and homemaker services. By targeting services to at-risk seniors, the Community Based Independence for Seniors Act helps seniors stay in their homes and communities, rather than moving to a nursing home, which can be very expensive and is often not the older adult’s preferred care setting. This bill also helps keep federal and state governments’ costs down as seniors under this program would not need to deplete their resources to be eligible for Medicaid in order to receive home and community-based services.

NOTE: H.R. 4006 was introduced on October 12, 2017, by U.S. Reps. Linda Sánchez (D-CA) and Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA). Its Senate companion (S. 309) was introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) on February 6, 2017. Rep. Kelly has since replaced Rep. Meehan as the lead GOP sponsor.

 

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