The Better Care Better Jobs Act would have an enormous impact on long-term care and Medicaid home and community-based services. Introduced early in summer 2021, the bill would expand access to these services as well as raise wages for direct support professionals – with the goal of leading to expanded and better long-term care for patients.
According to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), Medicare and traditional health insurance do not cover long-term care. Medicaid does pay for long-term care services, but home-based care and community-based care have often been denied, as Medicaid “mandates nursing home coverage” (NAELA). With aging in place a growing trend, and frequently a more cost-effective option than moving to a nursing home, the expanded coverage would allow more patients to remain in their homes for a longer period, particularly if daily medical care is not required or the patient doesn’t have memory loss that impacts their safety or ability to remain in their home.
“Long-term care” is a broad term covering a variety of services, but all of those services are aimed at caring for an aging adult. The National Institute on Aging describes long-term care as “a variety of services designed to meet a person’s health or personal care needs during a short or long period of time. These services help people live as independently and safely as possible when they can no longer perform everyday activities on their own.” Many older adults begin to need long-term care assistance after a serious illness or injury that affects their ability to care for themselves consistently.
The Better Care Better Jobs Act (S.2110) was introduced in the Senate and is currently in committee. Read the full text and updates here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/2210