Each legislative session which lasts two calendar years, MassNAELA advocates for legislation that will help our elderly clients, clients with special needs, and their families here in Massachusetts. Below are the nine legislative bills that MassNAELA filed this legislative session along with a brief summary. To view the actual text of the bill please click directly on the bill number and to view a fact sheet about each bill click on the fact sheet link below the bill. To view a PDF of all the bills Click Here.

How to find your legislator:  http://www.sec.state.ma.us/wheredoivotema/  type in your address and it will tell you who your state Rep and Senator are.  Click the name and it will take you to their contact information.

For more information, please contact Nomita Ganguly – nganguly@verizon.net; 781.354.2444.

Community Care Bill – An Act to Support Equal Access to Community Care for Elders and the Disabled
Representative Higgins, Senator Comerford
H227 (Committee: Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities); S748 (Committee: Health Care Finance)

This bill would ease the financial barriers to community based MassHealth services through PACE (Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) and HCBS (Home and Community Based Services Waiver) for seniors and people with disabilities, by providing that applicants and enrollees in both programs with income over program limits be charged a premium equal to income above program income limits rather than a financially prohibitive deductible.

Fact Sheet

Consumer Protections for Assisted Living Residents – An Act Protecting The Rights Of Assisted Living Residents
Representative Barber/ Senator Montigny
H728 (Committee: Elder Affairs)/S420 (Committee: Elder Affairs)

This bill requires the Attorney General to promulgate regulations to protect the consumer rights of assisted living residents and grant those residents at least the same tenant rights as individuals living in a rented apartment.

Fact Sheet

CCRC Fee Disclosure Agreements – An Act Relative To Disclosing Continuing Care Retirement Community Entrance Fees
Representative Khan/Senator Lovely
H746 (Committee: Elder Affairs)/S417 (Committee: Elder Affairs)

This bill requires Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) to clearly disclose policies regarding the payment and return of entrance fees for enrollees.  CCRC’s provide housing, meals and personal care services in a variety of settings including independent living facilities, assisted living residences and nursing home care.

Fact Sheet

CCRC Commission – Resolve Relative To A Special Continuing Care Retirement Communities Commission
Senator Rush
S428 (Committee: Elder Affairs)

This Resolve establishes a Commission to study Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC). 

Estate Recovery Reform – An Act Protecting the Homes of Seniors and Disabled People on MassHealth
Representative Barber/Senator Comerford
H1246 (Committee: Health Care Finance); S749 (Committee: Health Care Finance)

Medicaid is the only public benefit program that requires the cost of the benefits to be repaid from a deceased MassHealth enrollee’s family member, called estate recovery.  This bill makes changes to the parts of the statute that establish estate recovery rules for MassHealth, to make the statute less burdensome and more equitable for low-income enrollees and families. 

Fact Sheet

Life Estate Valuations – An Act Relative to Consistent Treatment of Life Estates
Representatives Higgins and Murray/Senator Rauch
H1301 (Committee: Health Care Finance); S811 (Committee: Health Care Finance)

This legislation will ensure that MassHealth calculates the value of life estates for eligibility purposes in the same way as the IRS does for tax purposes in order to avoid undue harm to elders selling their homes.

Fact Sheet

Pooled Trust – An Act to Preserve Special Needs Trusts for Disabled Seniors
Representative Hogan/Senator Jehlen
H1274 (Committee: Health Care Finance); S773 (Committee: Health Care Finance)

This legislation will allow disabled individuals over 65 to continue to use pooled trusts for the purposes of MassHealth eligibility rather than being penalized for using these trusts. 

Fact Sheet

Transfer of Assets Bill – An Act Relative to Transfers of Assets by MassHealth Members
Representative Barber, Senator Montigny
H1242 (Committee: Health Care Finance); S801 (Committee: Health Care Finance)

This legislation would protect innocent elders from ineligibility for MassHealth nursing home care. The bill clarifies that a period of ineligibility for nursing home care does not apply to an applicant who transferred assets for a purpose other than to qualify for MassHealth.

Fact Sheet

Undue Hardship Waiver Bill – An Act To Protect Masshealth Applicants Facing Undue Hardship
Representative Hogan, Senator Chandler
H1273 (Committee: Health Care Finance); S741 (Committee: Health Care Finance)

This bill would establish criteria to be used by MassHealth to determine whether a penalty for a transfer of assets would constitute an undue hardship to an applicant. 

Fact Sheet