Blackburn, Sinema Introduce Bipartisan Bill Improving Affordability of Veterans’ Long-Term Care Options
September 29, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – United States Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) along with Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) introduced the bipartisan Long-Term Care Veterans Choice Act — legislation requiring the VA to expand veterans’ access to the Medical Foster Home (MFH) program.
This VA program allows veterans in need of long-term care to choose to live in the home of a VA-approved caregiver, rather than enter into institutional care. The Senators’ bipartisan bill will save veterans thousands of dollars on critical long-term care, while providing veterans with the option to stay in their communities in a home-like setting where they can receive personalized care.
“Ensuring the best care for our veteran community is the least we can do to honor their sacrifice. Veterans with service-connected disabilities who cannot live independently may not be best suited for a traditional nursing home. The bipartisan Long Term Care Veterans Choice Act requires the VA to ramp up the Medical Foster Home (MFH) program to provide more veterans with personalized care in a home-like community setting,” said Senator Blackburn.
“Arizona veterans who sacrificed for our freedoms deserve affordable, quality health care as they age. Increasing options for veterans who prefer to remain in their communities rather than nursing homes will improve quality of life and save money for veterans and taxpayers,” said Sinema.
Currently, the VA has an approved Medical Foster Home program, allowing veterans with serious conditions who need a nursing home level of care but prefer a non-institutional setting to live in private homes of VA-approved caregivers. The VA program allows no more than three veterans to reside in the same home to ensure a high level of personalized care and promote a family-like setting. Unfortunately, the VA does not cover the care of this program and veterans must pay out-of-pocket for this option. The typical rate in a traditional nursing home is $7,000 a month, while the cost of a medical foster home is $1,500-$3,000 a month. The Long-Term Care Veterans Choice Act requires the VA to cover the cost of care of the medical foster home program, potentially saving veterans thousands of dollars a month.