National and Iowa Assisted Living Organizations Praise Iowa Rep. Latham for Supporting House Bill that Seeks to Eliminate Part D Co-Pays for Dual Eligibles in Assisted Living Residences
The Medicare Part D Home and Community Services Copayment Equity Act of 2008 will provide parity for the poor and elderly in all care settings
Washington, D.C. – The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) and the Iowa Center for Assisted Living today praised Iowa Congressman Tom Latham (R) for becoming a cosponsor of the Medicare Part D Home and Community Services Copayment Equity Act of 2008 (HR 5604). This legislation would provide dual eligibles—those covered by both Medicare and Medicaid—living in our nation’s assisted living residences and other home- and community-based settings (HCBS) the same co-pay coverage under Medicare Part D as those residing in nursing facilities.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and a bipartisan group of cosponsors introduced HR 5604 in March 2008. To date, the bill has attracted 25 cosponsors.
“NCAL thanks Rep. Latham for giving his support to an issue that is critically important to assisted living’s low-income, elderly, and frail beneficiaries in our nation and Iowa,” said David Kyllo, executive director of NCAL and a native Iowan. “Our residents require the same number of medications as nursing facility residents. Yet this group of low-income assisted living residents is often unable to afford their copayments and therefore may be denied access to these crucial medicines.”
Dual eligible assisted living residents on average take eight to ten medications. With Part D drug copayments ranging from one to more than five dollars, their expenditures can quickly add up and exceed an Iowa resident’s monthly personal allowance.
“Assisted living providers, as elder advocates, are concerned about the quality of life of their dual eligible residents,” stated Cindy Baddeloo of the Iowa Center for Assisted Living. “The passage of the Medicare Part D Home and Community Services Copayment Equity Act of 2008 (HR 5604) would ensure that all residents receive their needed medications.”
NCAL organized a coalition of more than 35 national organizations representing consumers, geriatric care professionals, health care and long term care providers, pharmacists, and state officials to work together to remedy this gap in prescription coverage for low-income seniors.
The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) represents more than 2,700 not-for-profit and proprietary assisted living and residential care communities dedicated to continuous improvement in the delivery of professional compassionate care and services for the elderly and disabled. NCAL is the assisted living voice of the American Health Care Association.