Hook Law Center Elder Law Attorney Discusses Prospects of Virginia Medicaid Expansion
Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) January 23, 2014 – Prospects for Medicaid expansion in Virginia got a boost in the recent gubernatorial election, but they are still far from definite.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe won the November 2013 election after campaigning on a promise to support the expansion of Medicaid spelled out in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare.” But his role will, for the most part, be limited to the bully pulpit, urging state legislators to adopt the optional low-income health care expansion.
“Expanding Medicaid would greatly help many elderly and low-income individuals and families in Virginia,” said Virginia Beach elder law attorney Andrew Hook. “My sincere hope is that lawmakers forge an agreement to implement the expansion, even if it comes with reforms.”
Republicans control the state House of Delegates as well as the 10-member legislative commission tasked with negotiating the expansion. The commission is receptive to expanding Medicaid mainly in the context of significant cost-cutting reforms.
McAuliffe was elected over Republican Ken Cuccinelli, a vocal opponent of Obamacare. Cuccinelli’s election might have emboldened the commission to set higher barriers to expansion than they will under McAuliffe’s leadership.
Under the ACA, the standards for Medicaid eligibility are loosened to include individuals and families with income up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Adults without dependent children and without disabilities are also eligible.
In June 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not be forced to adopt the expansion, and many states have opted out.
While campaigning, McAuliffe indicated that he might pursue Medicaid expansion through a budgetary (as opposed to legislative) process. But that would likely anger Republicans and might constitute a violation of the law that created the commission. Instead, the governor-elect’s transition team has told reporters that McAuliffe plans to work with both parties to build support for the expansion and reforms.
“Regardless of whether the expansion is adopted, understanding exactly what qualifies or disqualifies one for Medicaid eligibility is tricky,” Hook added. “The counsel of an experienced elder law and estate planning attorney is indispensable.”
Hook Law Center
295 Bendix Road, Suite 170
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452-1294
5806 Harbour View Blvd.
Suffolk VA 23435
- Study supports doctor-led approach to end-of-life care planning
The end of a person’s life is a time of intense transition and difficult choices. Although nothing can fully prepare an individual or a family for the gravity of the decisions that need to be made, end-of-life care planning can help ensure that a dying individual’s wishes about his or her care are followed. Traditionally, […]
- The effect of procrastination and debt on retirement planning
The desire to create a comfortable, secure retirement is almost universal. Unfortunately, procrastination and debt can have a devastating, though not irreversible, effect on these efforts. While Americans can now anticipate longer-than-ever retirements with ever-higher costs of care, they tend to be less prepared for retirement than in decades past. Procrastination can affect one’s retirement […]
- Reducing caregiver stress helps prevent elder abuse
Elder abuse has long been associated with the stress caregivers experience when providing care for older loved ones. Reducing caregiver stress is a key factor in preventing the abuse and neglect of elders. As much of health care moves out of hospitals and into homes, caregivers are charged with providing care to increasingly ill loved […]
- What is covered by Medicare in a skilled nursing facility?
Many people on Medicare assume that the program will cover any medical costs they encounter, including the cost of care in a skilled nursing facility. However, coverage for care in a nursing home is actually quite limited, and it is only provided under certain circumstances. Medicare only pays for care in a nursing facility if […]
- Avoiding retirement planning pitfalls
Although most people are aware of how important it is to plan for retirement, it is easy to fall into retirement planning pitfalls that have significant consequences down the line. One of the most common pitfalls is money itself. Many people simply do not save enough early enough. It is recommended that people save enough […]