Congressman Kurt Scharder (D-OR), along with Reps. Linda Sánchez (D-CA), Patrick Meehan (R-PA), and Leonard Lance (R-NJ), today introduced the Community Based Independence for Seniors Act to create a new Community-Based Institutional Special Needs Plan (CBI-SNP) demonstration program. This program would target home and community-based services to low-income Medicare beneficiaries who need help with activities of daily living.
“Seniors shouldn’t be forced to spend down their assets to access the care they need,” said Rep. Schrader. “Too often, we rely on nursing home care as a one-size-fits-all solution for at-risk seniors. It’s often ineffective and inefficient. By broadening services available to seniors to include vital day-to-day services like home-delivered meals and transportation assistance, we can bring down the costs of care and help seniors in Oregon and across the country stay in their own homes.”
“I know firsthand the difficult decisions seniors and their families across our country have to make when it comes to staying their homes or moving to a nursing home,” said Rep. Linda Sánchez. “The Community Based Independence for Seniors Act enables seniors to maintain their independence by providing them the home and community-based services they need to thrive. We know that without community-based long-term services and supports, which are not typically covered by Medicare, seniors frequently experience negative health outcomes, lose their ability to live independently, and often turn to Medicaid for coverage of long-term care expenses. This is a common sense bipartisan bill which will help seniors stay in their homes and I am proud to lead this important effort.”
“Many seniors prefer to remain in their homes to receive the care they need,” Rep. Patrick Meehan said. “Home- and community-based care hold the promise of keeping seniors healthy and avoiding costly care. However, Medicare does not typically provide coverage for these services. The Community Based Independence for Seniors Act of 2017 is one step toward reforming long-term services while allowing seniors to remain at home.”
“This bipartisan bill will assist the many senior citizens who want to stay in their residences but may still need some Medicare services,” Rep. Leonard Lance said. We need to improve community-based plans so beneficiaries can continue to count on the high quality care they have earned. And the taxpayers win when senior citizens are not forced to seek expensive care that does not fit their needs. This demonstration program will give us data to make lasting improvements.”
The Community Based Independence for Seniors Act establishes a demonstration program 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.