Elderly Americans are facing overly strict standards when they apply for skilled nursing home care and home health care through Medicare, two federal courts recently decided.
The two courts, one in Pennsylvania and one in Vermont, ruled that the Obama administration’s standards were too strict and that some seniors have been unfairly denied home care.
The courts ruled against the government position that seniors are only entitled to home care if they can verify that their condition will improve because of it. They said that these rulings were a “failure to apply the correct legal standard”, and determined that seniors are entitled to Medicare coverage of home care if it will keep their condition from deteriorating or allow them to live life as they had been.
Before this ruling, elderly Americans with deteriorating conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s may have had trouble receiving Medicare for home care, as their conditions often do not allow them to improve.
The court cited past rulings that decided Medicare law should be interpreted to best favor beneficiaries. In response, 17 Democrats from the House of Representatives sent the Obama administration a letter arguing against its Medicare policies.
The government has not yet responded to the case.
If you or a loved one has been denied Medicare coverage of home care, contact an experienced elder law attorney for assistance.