Senate Bill No. 989
Public Act No. 09-75
AN ACT CONCERNING THE ALZHEIMER'S RESPITE CARE PROGRAM.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:
Section 1. Section 17b-349e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2009):
(a) As used in this section:
(1) "Respite care services" means support services which provide short-term relief from the demands of ongoing care for an individual with Alzheimer's disease.
(2) "Caretaker" means a person who has the responsibility for the care of an individual with Alzheimer's disease or has assumed the responsibility for such individual voluntarily, by contract or by order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(3) "Copayment" means a payment made by or on behalf of an individual with Alzheimer's disease for respite care services.
(4) "Individual with Alzheimer's disease" means an individual with Alzheimer's disease or related disorders.
(b) The Commissioner of Social Services shall [establish] operate a [demonstration] program, within available appropriations, to provide respite care services for caretakers of individuals with Alzheimer's disease, provided such individuals with Alzheimer's disease meet the requirements set forth in subsection (c) of this section. Such respite care services may include, but need not be limited to (1) homemaker services; (2) adult day care; (3) temporary care in a licensed medical facility; (4) home-health care; [or] (5) companion services; or (6) personal care assistant services. Such respite care services may be administered directly by the department, or through contracts for services with providers of such services, or by means of direct subsidy to caretakers of individuals with Alzheimer's disease to purchase such services.
(c) (1) No individual with Alzheimer's disease may participate in the program if such individual (A) has an annual income of more than [thirty] forty-one thousand dollars or liquid assets of more than [eighty] one hundred nine thousand dollars, or (B) is receiving services under the Connecticut home-care program for the elderly. On July 1, 2009, and annually thereafter, the commissioner shall increase such income and asset eligibility criteria over that of the previous fiscal year to reflect the annual cost of living adjustment in Social Security income, if any.
(2) No individual with Alzheimer's disease who participates in the program may receive more than three thousand five hundred dollars for services under the program in any fiscal year or receive more than thirty days of out-of-home respite care services other than adult day care services under the program in any fiscal year, except that the commissioner shall adopt regulations pursuant to subsection (d) of this section to provide up to seven thousand five hundred dollars for services to a participant in the program who demonstrates a need for additional services.
(3) The commissioner may require an individual with Alzheimer's disease who participates in the program to pay a copayment for respite care services under the program, except the commissioner may waive such copayment upon demonstration of financial hardship by such individual.
(d) The commissioner shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 to implement the provisions of this section. Such regulations shall include, but need not be limited to (1) standards for eligibility for respite care services; (2) the basis for priority in receiving services; (3) qualifications and requirements of providers, which shall include specialized training in Alzheimer's disease, dementia and related disorders; (4) a requirement that providers accredited by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, when available, receive preference in contracting for services; (5) provider reimbursement levels; (6) limits on services and cost of services; and (7) a fee schedule for copayments.
(e) The Commissioner of Social Services may allocate any funds appropriated in excess of five hundred thousand dollars for the [demonstration] program among the five area agencies on aging according to need, as determined by said commissioner.
Approved May 27, 2009