House committee could change asset transfer eligibility for residents

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Nursing homes and residents are a major topic of fiscal year 2006 budget reconciliation packages that are under the microscope of key Congressional committees this week.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee could cut as much as $12 billion from Medicaid over five years in its package. While still being revised, the package would increase to five years from three the "look-back" period for beneficiaries who transfer assets to gain eligibility for Medicaid in facilities.

It would also change the starting point of the disqualification from the date of the transfer to the Medicaid application date. Seniors who have equity in their homes of $50,000 or more would not be eligible for Medicaid.

The Senate Finance Committee Tuesday passed its bill calling for $10 billion in savings from Medicare and Medicaid. The package included items that affected facilities.
(Published 10-26-05)