AARP lobbies against House proposal on asset transfers

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Another major seniors group has criticized the House proposal on asset transfers.

AARP, a consumers group representing some 35 million seniors, said House provisions regarding asset transfers would punish many middle and lower class seniors that are not trying to game the system.

Last week the American Health Care Association also attacked the House position on asset transfers, arguing it would increase the burden of uncompensated care on nursing homes.

The House budget bill seeks to extend the look-back period for those who transfer assets to five years from three years. It also would begin the look-back penalty period when an individual applies for Medicaid assistance. Changing the start date would have the effect of denying Medicaid coverage to someone who needs it but can't pay for it, according to AARP.

Like AHCA, AARP supports the Senate bill over the House bill, believing it to be less punitive towards seniors. Under the House bill, nursing home residents on Medicaid could be denied program eligibility during their stay, forcing facilities to decide whether to discharge them, AARP said.