National and Iowa Assisted Living Organizations Praise Iowa Rep. Boswell for Supporting House Bill that Seeks to Eliminate Part D Co-Pays for Dual Eligibles in Assisted Living Residences
Washington, D.C. – The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) and the Iowa Center for Assisted Living today praised Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell (D) 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 26 cosponsors.
“NCAL thanks Rep. Boswell 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. “NCAL is actively pursuing policy solutions because we believe it is important for those assisted living residents that enroll in Medicare Part D to have access to necessary medications that maintain their quality of life.”
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 a resident’s monthly personal allowance.
“Assisted living providers, as elder advocates, are concerned about the quality of life of their dual eligible residents. These residents often require the same number of medications as nursing facility residents. Yet medications may be out of reach for dual eligible residents in assisted living residences because of the expense,” said Kathy Beal, a Tracy, IA resident who is director of a southern Iowa assisted living program.
“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,” stated Cindy Baddeloo of the Iowa Center for Assisted Living. “Rep. Boswell’s support will help ensure Iowa’s have affordable access to the medications they need.”
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.