CHA Supports AB 1042 ~ Helping People in a Nursing Home Return Home

CHA Supports AB 1042 ~ Helping People in a Nursing Home Return Home

California Health Advocates submitted the following letter in support of AB 1042, which will help low-income persons living in a nursing home or other medical facility return home. Many seniors and people with disabilities live in facilities when they would rather live in their community. Medi-Cal pays for institutional living but does not make it easy to return home.

AB 1042 would increase the “Home Upkeep Allowance (HUA),” intended to help maintain the home until return, to an amount based on the actual minimum cost of maintaining the resident’s home, including, but not limited to, mortgage or rent, property taxes, and insurance with a cap at 100% of the federal poverty level. These funds would not be counted against a person’s assets or income for purposes of Medi-Cal eligibility. For people who do not already have a home, the bill would establish a transitional needs fund to assist in the costs of securing a home. See our letter below…


 

March 28, 2019
 

Honorable Jim Wood
Chair, Health Committee
California State Assembly
Capitol Building, Room 6005
Sacramento, CA 95814
 

RE: AB 1042 (WOOD) – SUPPORT
 

Dear Assembly Member Wood:
 

California Health Advocates supports AB 1042, which will help low-income persons living in a nursing home or other medical facility return home. Many seniors and people with disabilities live in facilities when they would rather live in their community. Medi-Cal pays for institutional living but does not make it easy to return home.
 

California Health Advocates (CHA), a non-profit organization founded in 1997, is the leading Medicare advocacy and educational voice for more than 5.6 million Medicare beneficiaries in California. And we support the work of California’s Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP).
 

For people living in a facility, there is a “Home Upkeep Allowance (HUA),” intended to help maintain the home until return. This benefit is not well known or used, possibly because at $209 per month it will not really help save a home in today’s market.
 

AB 1042 proposes to increase the HUA to an amount based on the actual minimum cost of maintaining the resident’s home, including, but not limited to, mortgage or rent, property taxes, and insurance with a cap at 100% of the federal poverty level. These funds would not be counted against a person’s assets or income for purposes of Medi-Cal eligibility. For people who do not already have a home, the bill would establish a transitional needs fund to assist in the costs of securing a home.
 

Leaving a nursing home is difficult even though it is the choice most people want. For people who still need care, many services can be provided at home for far less money than the state pays to a nursing home. At the same time, AB 1042 helps enforce a person’s civil right to live in their community.
 

For these reasons, California Health Advocates supports AB 1042.

 

Sincerely,

 

Tatiana Fassieux
Consultant & Training Specialist
California Health Advocates
 

cc: Honorable Chair and Members, Assembly Health Committee Scott Bain, Assembly Health Committee

Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.