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American Rescue Plan Expands Medicaid Home And Community-Based Waivers For Seniors


Many Americans know that the recently passed American Rescue Plan extended unemployment benefits due to the Covid -19 pandemic and provided fourteen hundred dollar stimulus payments to Americans and their dependents who make less than $75,000 AGI per year if single or $150,000 if filing jointly. In addition to stimulus payments, the American Rescue Plan also provides tax credits to more households to pay for health insurance premiums and allocates funds to Covid-19 relief efforts. For seniors, the Plan also increases Medicaid Home and Community-Based Waivers. If you aren’t familiar with Medicaid waivers, the assistance provides much needed relief to seniors at risk of eviction from nursing homes who require assisted living or round-the-clock care.

Medicaid Waiver Process

The American Rescue Plan expanded eligibility for stimulus payments to include seniors cared for by loved ones in the same household. Seniors qualify as dependents if a child provided more than half of their financial support in the previous calendar. Year. Seniors living in assisted living facilities or nursing homes often underwent strategic long-term care planning or devised a trust to protect assets while affording home health assistance. Under the new expanded Medicaid waivers, states can receive matching funds for increasing access and resources to Medicaid Home and Community Based Services.

Increased Funding to OAA and Elder Justice Act 

The new Act expands Medicaid eligibility for seniors over 65 and reduces health premiums to limit out-of pocket payments to no less than 8.5% of discretionary income. A family of 4 with an elderly dependent could qualify for federal assistance if combined income is less than 400% above the poverty level. The Act also matches funds contributed by states who expand Medicaid enrollment to seniors. The Home and Community Based Services are targeted to provide seniors and dependents with physical and cognitive disabilities assistance with self-care and assisted living needs. The American Rescue Plan also increased funding to the OAA, Older Americans Act. Funding will directly funnel to senior programming and activities, support for senior community centers, programs like Meals on Wheels, access to nutrition, in-home care services, transportation for medical services, support for elder abuse, and healthy aging and geriatric programming. The Act also increases funding to the Elder Justice Act. Under the Elder Justice, additional resources will be routed to the improvement of assisted living facilities and access to assistance for seniors in need. The Act also expands protections for elderly populations in abusive relationships and provides funding for research in the field of elder justice.

Let Us Help You Today

If you are just beginning the long-term planning process for yourself, a spouse, or parent, you might have questions about what programs you qualify for or what strategies are most helpful. Our estate planning attorneys at the Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group have experience in long-term planning, Medicaid waivers and Medicaid planning. The earlier you begin planning for future care, the more options are available to you. If you have questions about how the American Rescue Plan affects you and your loved ones, call us today to schedule a free consultation.



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