Courtesy of Justice in Aging This week, the Department of Treasury announced that SSI recipients will automatically receive economic impact payments without being required to file additional forms. Initially, Treasury planned automatic payments only for those who had filed tax returns for 2018 or 2019. These automatic payments were later expanded to include all Social Security recipients, including low-income beneficiaries who did not file tax returns but received SSA-1099 forms from the Social Security Administration.
Updated June 15, 2020 The Department of Health Care Service (DHCS) has instituted extensive changes to the Medi-Cal program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For a complete list of these changes, please visit the DHCS website: https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/Pages/DHCS-COVID%E2%80%9119-Response.aspx Below are some highlights for older adults and persons with disabilities on Medi-Cal: Discontinuances: Your Medi-Cal benefits cannot be discontinued during the COVID-19 emergency.
April 13, 2020 Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released additional guidance to states on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Public Law No. 116-127, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Public Law No. 116-136. This guidance is in the form of a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that addresses enhanced federal Medicaid funding and other topics during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) national emergency. All Medicaid programs are jointly funded between the state and the federal governments where the federal government pays states for a specified percentage of program expenditures, commonly referred to as the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP).
Courtesy of Justice in Aging On March 6th, the Social Security Administration posted a Q&A on enrolling in Medicare. SSA notes that it is working with CMS to provide relief from certain requirements, and is already waiving the requirement to have an employer complete a section of form CMS-L564 as part of the Part B application.
Courtesy of Justice in Aging Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published an interim final rule (IFR) entitled Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. The IFR reinterprets and clarifies several Medicare rules and policies for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency period, including further expanding telehealth services to fulfill requirements for visits that usually must be in person (e.g., nursing home admission and discharge visits, inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, home health and hospice); expanding the destinations to which ambulance services can be covered by Medicare; allowing coverage for home testing for COVID-19; stating that someone can be “homebound” in order to qualify for home health coverage if a physician determines that it is contraindicated for the Medicare beneficiary to leave home because they have a condition that may make them more susceptible to contracting COVID-19, or due to suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Published April 10th, Introduction updated May 21st, Recommendations Updated June 24th, 2020, The last few months have been an unimaginable tragedy for many long-term care facility residents and their loved ones throughout California. Thousands of residents have died, suffered severe illnesses, or been hospitalized as COVID-19 outbreaks sweep through their facilities. Locked away from their loved ones, residents are suffering and dying alone in facilities that are not prepared or staffed to keep them safe during this pandemic.
There is hardly an element of life that has not gone untouched or completely upended by COVID-19. With ubiquitous “shelter in place” orders and worldwide “social distancing,” finding notaries public and other witnesses for the signing of legal documents in California has become challenging for many folks and nearly impossible for long term care facility residents.
Judicial Council of California adopts emergency rule for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis While state, county, and municipal authorities in California have sensibly acted to limit evictions during the current shelter-in-place order, these measures have provided little protection for residents of skilled nursing facilities (“SNFs”) and residential care facilities for the elderly (“RCFEs”)—until now. In a meeting on April 6, 2020, the Judicial Council of California adopted an emergency rule effectively stopping all evictions, other than those necessary to protect public health and safety, for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6826551/20-141-Emergency-Rules-Complete-Rule-Set-as.pdf The emergency rule prohibits a California court from issuing a summons in an eviction case— also called an “unlawful detainer” proceeding— unless the eviction is necessary to protect public health and safety.
Courtesy of The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care Senators Casey and Wyden sent a letter dated April 2 to CMS and CDC requesting release of a list of nursing homes that have had a resident or staff member with a positive COVID-19 test. The request was made after the Senators learned that the agencies are maintaining a list of facilities with documented cases of COVID-19, but are refusing to release the information. The Senators also requested information on how CMS intends to spend $100 million provided to the agency to limit the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes as part of the recently passed CARES Act.
Courtesy of Justice in Aging This week HHS stated that it will not reopen HealthCare.gov for a special enrollment period (SEP) during the health emergency. This means uninsured or underinsured people in the 38 states that use the federal HealthCare.gov platform will not have access to ACA marketplace coverage unless they qualify for an existing SEP.