Senator’s bill, backed by Arizona veterans, requires the VA to expand access to long-term care options for veterans
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) reintroduced 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. 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 quality of life and save money for veterans and taxpayers,” said Sinema.
“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.
“I am completely in favor of this piece of legislation. Two-fold, it would an outstanding cost saver, but more importantly, it would improve personalized care for the veteran. This would be more one on one care than in a traditional nursing home. I would hope this legislation can move forward,” said MSgt. Vic Peterson, USAF, (Ret.), member of Sinema’s Veterans Advisory Council.
“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 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. 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.