OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 142

AN ACT INCREASING ELIGIBILITY FOR THE CONNECTICUT HOME-CARE PROGRAM FOR THE ELDERLY.

SUMMARY:

This bill increases the amount of assets an individual in the state-funded portion of the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE) can retain. CHCPE provides Medicaid and state-funded home and community-based services to individuals age 65 and older as an alternative to nursing home care.

Currently, assets are limited to 150% and 200% of the federal Medicaid program's minimum community spouse protected amount (CSPA, currently $ 22,728) for single and married applicants, respectively. The bill increases these limits from (1) $ 34,092 to $ 40,000 for a single person and (2) $ 45,456 to $ 65,000 for a married couple.

The bill also decreases, from 7% to 6%, the amount people enrolled in the state-funded portion of the CHCPE must pay toward their service costs. For people with incomes over 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL), this charge is in addition to any income the Department of Social Services applies toward the cost of their care. By law, these cost sharing requirements do not apply to participants with incomes at or below 200% of the FPL who live in affordable housing.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2012

BACKGROUND

CSPA

The CSPA is the amount of assets the spouse of someone who applies for Medicaid in a nursing home can keep in order not to impoverish him or herself and end up also requiring institutional care. The maximum and minimum amounts are set by federal law and the state must update them yearly.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Aging Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute Change of Reference

Yea

11

Nay

0

(03/08/2012)

Appropriations Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

54

Nay

1

(04/03/2012)