Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Married couple in Hawaii had not been able to live together in same nursing home until new law passed

A (heterosexual) couple married for 60 years will finally be allowed to receive care in the same Hawaii nursing home. Amazingly, they had been kept apart by a rule that allows only one private-pay or privately insured (for long term care) person to be in a home that has Medicaid patients. Rules were recently changed to married couples, reciprocal beneficiaries, siblings, and apparently domestic partners to live in the same home. It is not necessary to be legally “married” (relative to the same-sex marriage debate).

The AP story by Mark Niesse is here.

The new measure was signed into Hawaii law by governor Laura Lingle.

I had never heard of this restriction in any state before, even when I worked on a Medicaid MMIS system with nursing home reporting. The old rules had been constructed to save more beds for low income patients.

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