WISH Act Would Provide Long-Term Care Insurance

Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY-3) has introduced the Well-Being Insurance for Seniors to be at Home (WISHActH.R. 4289, in the House of Representatives to create a catastrophic long-term care insurance program.

The WISH Act calls for the creation of a public-private relationship to provide long-term care coverage for older adults. On the public side, the federal government would collect a new payroll tax of 0.3 percent of wages from both employer and employee, or a combined 0.6 percent from the self-employed. On the private side, it is expected that private insurance companies would be unburdened of providing catastrophic levels of coverage and would create more affordable long-term care coverage options.

Eligible beneficiaries would need to either suffer from dementia or require assistance with at least two activities of daily living. Beneficiaries would also be required to have worked and contributed for 40 quarters to a new Long-Term Care Insurance Trust Fund. Upon meeting these requirements, and subject to the applicable waiting period, beneficiaries would be eligible to receive up to approximately $3,600 per month, enough to cover approximately six hours of daily care. The waiting period ranges between one and five years; those with a lower income qualify after one year. The waiting period increases at higher income levels.

Upon announcing introduction of the WISH Act, Congressman Suozzi cited several reasons his legislation is needed,  including:

  • a projected near-doubling of retirees that will be seriously disabled over the next 15 years,
  • most retirees without the means to pay for long-term care, and
  • expensive institutional care as the likely result for those without the means to cover long-term care expenses.

“We have a storm coming, with the number of disabled elders expected to double in the coming years,” said Rep. Suozzi. “Fewer family caregivers are available for these aging Americans and the market for long-term care insurance is not currently sufficient to address these demographic challenges. The WISH Act would save the Medicaid program and millions of Americans from financial ruin, would allow people to age at home with dignity, and would create millions of good-paying, middle class jobs in the home health care industry.”

NAHC has not yet taken a position on this legislation, but we do support the establishment of a long-term care program that expands access to services without requiring beneficiaries to be poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. NAHC look forward to working with Congressman Suozzi as his proposal develops.

Stay tuned to Private Duty Source for updates on this legislation.

WISH Act Would Provide Long-Term Care Insurance

Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY-3) has introduced the Well-Being Insurance for Seniors to be at Home (WISH) Act, H.R. 4289, in the House of Representatives to create a catastrophic long-term care insurance program. The WISH Act calls for the creation of a public-private relationship to provide long-term care coverage for older adults. On the public side, the…

“Advocacy in Action”

It is busy time in Washington D.C. with a flurry of activity occurring over the last few weeks. Below, please find a brief “round-up” and update for a few key issues/topics we are actively following.

Choose Home Initiative

The Choose Home legislation continues its course towards introduction in the Senate. This legislation has been created in partnership with several key stakeholders to create a home-based skilled nursing facility benefit available through the Medicare program. All signs indicate an introduction occurring sometime on or around July 21st. We continue to communicate with our lead sponsors on the bill and will trigger grassroots advocacy efforts around the legislation as soon as we have word that it has been successfully introduced.

Draft Legislative Text

Notice of Upcoming Joint Hearing

We received notice this week of an upcoming joint hearing between the House Education and Labor HELP and Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittees on Investing in the Direct Care Workforce. The NAHC Advocacy team is currently working on gathering more information on the hearing at this time. LINK

Better Care Better Jobs Act

The Better Care Better Jobs Act (S.2210) led by Chairman Casey, Chairman Wyden, and Leader Schumer with Chair Murray, and Senators Duckworth, Hassan, and Brown aims to carry forth President Biden’s vision for investment into Medicaid home and community-based services. We are encouraged by this legislation but plan to send comments to Casey’s office about a few key concerns we have including the absence of private duty nursing being included in the provisions for the FMAP increase, and advocating for the inclusion of a direct mention of the agency model of care being included alongside the consumer-driven model, etc. Comments will be reviewed by the Advocacy Council, and we encourage those who have comments or concerns with the legislation to send them (address to erb@nahc.org)  as soon as you are able for review and inclusion in the larger set.

Summary

Legislative Language

WISH Act

The Well-Being Insurance for Seniors to be at Home Act (WISH Act) is being led by Congressman Thomas R. Suozzi (NY-03). This Act is being proposed to create a catastrophic long-term care insurance program for seniors that would be self-sustaining and funded through a .3 percent increase in payroll taxes for both employees as well as employers resulting in the ability for individuals to access the fund after a specified waiting period allotting approximately $3600/month for up to 6 hours per day of paid personal care assistance. Assuming the creating of this program, there would be a 10-year period of contribution before any funds would be paid out. NAHC continues open communication with Souzzi’s office on this proposed program and we look forward to our member’s feedback on it. More information can be found through the links below.

Summary

Legislative Text

Essential Caregiver Act

NAHC is actively following the recently introduced Essential Caregiver Act H.R. 3733. This legislation led by U.S. Representatives Claudia Tenney and John B. Larson, allows essential caregivers access to facilities and other congregate living settings to provide care and support to a resident during any public health emergency. Designated essential caregivers would be assured access to their loved ones in a manner that would be consistent with all applicable health and safety protocols. We continue to review this legislation as it applies to the ability to also designated caregivers who are working with individuals to ensure their continued access during a public health emergency, recognizing of course that access for professional caregivers should always continue to be granted but this Bill may help to reinforce the access given that over the course of the pandemic various accounts have indicated there may have been challenges for some caregivers to access their clients.

Summary

Legislative Language

Become a Private Duty Home Care Advocate

The nation’s private duty home care and nursing community fulfills a unique and essential purpose in modern life. Private duty home care provides critical, quality, home-based care, and living support services for individuals young and old, helping them live full, independent, and connected lives in the comfort of wherever they call home.

NAHC is proud to be the leading and unifying voice for the home care and hospice industries helping to ensure access to the highest quality health care and services at home for all Americans. Advocacy, on behalf of the private duty home care community, is an important part of our commitment to you as our members, but also something you can play an active an integral role in by simply signing up!

Why Become a NAHC Private Duty Home Care Advocate?

By signing up to be a NAHC Private Duty Home Care Advocate, you are helping to amplify our voice, strengthen and unify our efforts to help bring access to quality home care and services to center stage and get the support and attention they need to meet the exponentially growing demand.

We encourage you to sign up as an advocate today by visiting the

NAHC Advocacy Center

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