The Pennsylvania Association of Elder Law Attorneys' mission is to strengthen, train, assist, and support qualified members in order to ensure the development, advancement and promotion of quality legal service for older Americans and to ensure that its members are the premier providers of legal advocacy, guidance, and services to enhance the lives of people as they age and those with special needs. In furtherance of this mission, PAELA frequently comments on matters of public policy effecting its members and the clients we serve. The following are comments by PAELA on important current issues in Pennsylvania:
Medicare and Medicaid Reform. There has been considerable focus on proposed federal budget cuts over the last few months. Many of the proposals involve cuts in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Understanding these proposals and their impact can be difficult. In July of 2011, PAELA gathered the following national experts to analyze the various proposals and the impact they would have on seniors.
Ellen Nissenbaum, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Deficit Reduction Proposals: What’s At Stake.
PAELA has taken a position on Reducing State Expenditures on Nursing Home Care and share their public policy position with the Governor recently. Please see the attachment below for a copy of the letter.
In a misguided effort to attempt to collect additional revenues, last spring the Governor proposed expanding estate recovery to reach property held as joint tenants or tenants by the entireties, life insurance, life estates, trusts, annuities and any “other assets in which the deceased individual had any legal title or interest at the time of death.” If passed, this proposal would have resulted in significant financial harm for the surviving spouses of nursing home residents.
The Joint State Government Commission issued a report on Powers of Attorney. The report can be found at this link: http://jsg.legis.state.pa.us/resources/documents/ftp/publications/2010-14-POWERS%20OF%20ATTORNEY%20March%2023%202010.pdf
PAELA joined with NAELA and the New Jersey chapter of NAELA to prepare and submit a brief to the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the plaintiff in a case involving the treatment of spousal annuities for purposes of Medicaid eligibility. A copy of the brief is available below.
This proposed legislation would amend Section 3101(b) of Title 20 to direct the disposition of small bank accounts upon the death of the depositor. PAELA members are concerned about the significant detrimental effects of this proposal. A copy of the letter that was sent by PAELA to all members of the Senate leadership can be found in the attachment below.
In July of 2009, PAELA submitted to the Office of Long Term Living additional comments on the interim draft 2800 Regulations for Assisted Living Facilities. A copy of the comments can be found in the attached PDF (below).
Section 1412 of HB 1351 vastly expands the ability of the state to seek recovery from an estate to repay the Medicaid program. In no other public benefit or public welfare program must persons forfeit equity in their home to repay the Commonwealth or the Federal government for funds expended on their behalf. An analysis of the detrimental effects of this proposal can be found in the attachment below.
NAELA has taken policy positions on the following issues at the federal level.
Explore the policies (below, PDF format):
|Amendments to the Deficit Reduction Act||77.48 KB|
|Elder Justice Act||80.55 KB|
|Inclusion of Long-Term Services and Supports in Health Care Reform||71.06 KB|
|Nursing Homes||81.17 KB|
|Application of Transfer of Assets Penalty for Pooled Trusts||153.04 KB|
Members of PAELA have been concerned about the abusive sale of annuities to seniors in Pennsylvania. Senate Bill 237 and House bill 1119 are important first steps in establishing suitability standards in the sale of annuities. PAELA supports these bills. Our letter of support is below.