Senior Groups Send Letter Opposing President’s Home Health Copay Proposal

In response to the President’s proposed FY 2014 budget, the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations recently sent a letter to the President and Congressional leadership that included strong opposition to the President’s proposal to impose a home health copayment.

The LCAO is a 68-member coalition of national organizations, including the National Association for Home Care & Hospice that is concerned with the wellbeing of America’s older populations and is committed to representing their interests in the policy-making arena. The President’ proposed budget submitted to Congress included a provision that would impose a $100 copay on home health episodes not preceded by a hospital or nursing home stay, beginning in 2017 for new Medicare beneficiaries.

“We oppose proposals to cut benefits or shift additional costs onto beneficiaries,” the letter states, “which ignore the widespread economic insecurity experienced by older adults and people with disabilities. Half of the Medicare population live on annual incomes of $22,500 or less and already face significant out-of-pocket health costs.”

The letter specifically references the home health copay proposal as cost shifting that would “pose significant financial barriers, particularly for vulnerable, older women with long-term and chronic conditions, and could force many out of the community and into more expensive institutional care.”

The letter applauded President Obama for not including significant cuts in Medicaid in his budget blueprint. “We are glad,” the letter says, “your budget does not include proposals that would impose block grants or per capital caps, restrict beneficiary eligibility, or make it more difficult for states to fund their Medicaid programs.”

To read the full letter, please click here.

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