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News From

State Senator

Anthony Musto

Assistant Majority Leader

Representing Bridgeport, Monroe & Trumbull

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Contact: Dan Doyle

March 22, 2012

Musto: Bills to Expand Home Care Options for Veterans & Medicare Recipients

Senator Anthony Musto (D-Trumbull) said today that two bills which passed the Human Services Committee this afternoon would broaden choice in home nursing care for Medicare recipients and prevent veterans from being disqualified for a number of state programs who also receive federally supported medical and other assistance at home.

“Most patients who require daily medical care would rather stay in their own home than move into a hospital or nursing home. This bill would empower capable patients to hire nurses of their own choosing for at home treatment, and to otherwise manage the care they receive. This approach would actually save money for both patients and the state, while providing patients with a higher quality of life,” said Senator Musto.

House Bill 5476 would establish a five-year pilot program to expand Medicare recipient’s options for continuous, skilled nursing care at home. It would allow all capable patients receiving at least four hours of care per day to manage their own care, with the option of directly hiring private duty nurses.

Nurses wishing to participate in the pilot program must first be certified by the state Department of Social Services. Requirements for certification include affiliation with a hospital or other nursing facility and at least one year’s nursing experience, amongst other qualifications.

Senate Bill 391 would expand access to state aid programs for U.S. military veterans and their surviving spouses who require regular assistance eating, bathing, dressing or taking medication. The federal Aid and Attendance pension benefit currently assists such veterans with their needs, but the income it provides sometimes places the veteran’s household income above the qualifying threshold for other government aid programs.

The bill would exempt federal Aid and Attendance pension benefits from qualifying income calculations for a number of state programs, including Medicare savings, medical assistance and energy assistance.

“Due to injury or age, some veterans require assistance at home in their day to day lives. Receiving this necessary aid should not disqualify these veterans from obtaining other government benefits, such as help with medical bills or keeping the heat on in wintertime,” said Senator Musto.

State Senator Anthony Musto represents the 22nd District towns of Trumbull, Bridgeport and Monroe. He is Senate Chair of the Human Services Committee.


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