Senate Committee Clears Sinema’s Bipartisan Bill Improving Arizona Veterans’ Long-Term Care Options

Dec 15, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee passed Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s bipartisan Long-Term Care Veterans Choice Act—legislation introduced with Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) 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. Sinema’s bipartisan bill will save Arizona 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.
“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 veterans’ quality of life and save money for veterans and taxpayers,” said Sinema.
“The Long-Term Care Veterans Choice Act is a very responsible way to provide what our veterans want and need while reducing the costs incurred by traditional nursing home care without reducing the quality of our veteran’s long-term care,” said Gary P. Melton, Ed.D., member of Sinema’s Veterans Advisory Council.

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 cost of care for 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. Sinema’s Long-Term Care Veterans Choice Act requires the VA to cover the cost of care of the medical foster home program, potentially saving Arizona veterans thousands of dollars a month.