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Elder Law Association Head Urges Action on Proposed Medicaid Transfer Changes

  • October 21st, 2005

The President of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Lawrence E. Davidow, is calling on elder law attorneys and their clients to urge Congress not to change nursing home transfer-of-asset rules.

Congress is currently considering two proposals that would make it more difficult for the elderly to qualify for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care: 1) changing the start date of the Medicaid "penalty period" from the date an asset is transferred to the date of application; and 2) increasing the "lookback" period from three to five years for all asset transfers.

"These changes would severely hurt our clients - the elderly and individuals with disabilities across the nation," said Davidow.

The proposals follow the recommendations of the Medicaid Commission, which was established to advise Congress on how to cut $10 billion from Medicaid, as called for in the 2006 budget reconciliation bill approved earlier this year. The commission issued its recommendations in September. Now, Congress is under pressure to offset the costs of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Davidow, an ElderLawAnswers member attorney , is telling elder law attorneys and their clients that urgent action is needed. Although the Republican majority in the Senate Finance Committee has agreed on a compromise proposal that does not include the Commission's recommended changes to Medicaid transfer rules, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will meet later in the month and may adopt the transfer restrictions. Davidow said that the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (

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Last Modified: 10/21/2005

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