Will Illinois Save Long Term Care’s Silver Lining?
Everyone knows that Illinois is a bankrupt state. But everyone doesn’t know that Illinois’ current shortfalls are bankrupting Illinois healthcare providers. Unfortunately, additional healthcare cuts have been proposed that will affect both hospitals and long term care providers. Is there a silver lining?
One current bright spot is a program designed to de-institutionalize people—out of nursing homes and into less expensive apartments or back home. Interestingly, this Illinois Department of Aging program is entitled “Money Follows the Person.” To qualify for this statewide multi-department demonstration program, a person must meet these criteria:
- Resided in a qualified long term care institution for a minimum of 90 days excluding any days paid for by Medicare rehabilitation; and
- Received Medicaid benefits for a minimum of one day; and
- Be 60 years of age or older.
The goals of “Money Follows the Program” are to:
- Increase the use of home- and community-based long term care services
- Eliminate barriers that prevent or restrict the flexible use of Medicaid long term care funds in settings more reflective of individual choice
- Help ensure the quality of community-based long term care services after transition out of long term care facilities
A good thing about this program is that the Illinois Department of Aging has developed a professional staff to help individuals to move out of nursing homes and back into their communities. The process starts with a visit by Department of Aging personnel at the nursing home. Then a transition coordinator or care coordinator will ask questions and verify eligibility. They will work with the individual to develop a plan and choose the services that best meet the needs. The care coordinators will assist in searching for a place to live or develop a plan for living in and/or remodeling a current residence. The goal is to keep it all within the income of the individual.
Law Elder Law encourages the State of Illinois to support this program, because it’s good for individuals to be able to live at home—and it’s good for the State of Illinois to provide quality care for individuals in a less expensive setting than a nursing home.
For more information about this program or other opportunities to help individuals live at home for as long as possible, contact us at Law Elder Law at (630) 585-5200. Or email Bonnie Schradel at firstname.lastname@example.org or me at email@example.com.