Why Medicaid Cuts Would Be Bad for Older Adults and Their Families

Joe BakerIn the Know, Medicare Watch0 Comments

designer491/Thinkstockphotos.com
designer491/Thinkstockphotos.com

A recent article on Next Avenue, a PBS website, highlights an often-overlooked aspect of the American Health Care Act’s proposed cuts to the Medicaid program—how these cuts would affect the millions of people with Medicare and their families who depend on Medicaid covered services.

The three main takeaways from the article are:

  • Medicaid is a safety net for 11 million people who have both Medicare and Medicaid—many of whom rely on Medicaid for coverage of long-term services and supports that people need to stay in their homes and communities.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses for caregivers would skyrocket with diminished support from Medicaid, putting people receiving home and community-based services at risk for nursing home placement.
  • Maintaining Medicaid coverage is already a struggle for many—with stricter needs assessments that determine the number of covered care hours.

Medicaid covers essential services not paid for by Medicare, including long-term services and supports that people need to stay in their homes and communities. When “dual eligibles,” people with low incomes who have both Medicare and Medicaid, cannot get needed home and community-based services, they may be forced into more expensive care settings such as nursing facilities. These settings are extremely expensive and usually are the last choice for care.

In the article, you will hear the story of Ann Burgunder, a member of Medicare Rights’ Workgroup for People with Medicare and Medicaid, and her 93-year-old partner Ti Randall. Ti relies on support from the Medicaid program so that he can continue to live at home with Ann. Their story is one of many that spotlight the overwhelming effect of potential cuts to the Medicaid program.

Read the article at Next Avenue.

About the Author

Joe Baker

President, Medicare Rights Center

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