SeniorJournal.com - Daily News & Information for Senior Citizens and Baby Boomers

Front Page        Search         Contact Us         Advertise in Senior Journal



Senior Journal: Today's News and Information for Senior Citizens & Baby Boomers

More Senior Citizen News and Information Than Any Other Source - SeniorJournal.com

SeniorJournal.com Paid Advertising   

AndroGel Testosterone Linked to Heart Attack & Stroke - Free Lawsuit Consultation - AndroGel Testosterone Lawsuit Center

Ovarian Cancer Linked to Talcum Powder - Free Lawsuit Consultation - Talcum Powder Lawsuit Center

• Go to more on Medicare or Medicare Drug Program More Senior News at SeniorJournal.com on the Front Page

 
 

E-mail this page to a friend!

Medicare & Medicaid News

Married Medicare beneficiaries get equal access to nursing homes regardless of sexual orientation

HHS change applies to Medicare Advantage plans; first guidance resulting from Supreme Court’s rejection of Defense of Marriage Act; Social Security also makes changes

Sept. 3, 2013 - All Medicare beneficiaries in private Medicare plans will have equal access to coverage in a nursing home where their spouse lives, regardless of their sexual orientation, says a news release issued by Health and Human Services last week. This is the first guidance issued by HHS in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling, which held section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

“HHS is working swiftly to implement the Supreme Court’s decision and maximize federal recognition of same-sex spouses in HHS programs,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last Thursday. 

“Today’s announcement is the first of many steps that we will be taking over the coming months to clarify the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision and to ensure that gay and lesbian married couples are treated equally under the law.”

 

Related Archive Stories

 
 

Decrease in antipsychotic drugs for dementia patients in nursing homes hailed by CMS

Nursing homes moving toward more patient-center treatment as urged by CMS initiative

Aug. 28, 2013


 
 

Read the latest news
> Medicare
> Senior Politics
>
Today's Headlines

> Medicare Drug Program prior to 2009

 

“Medicare is ensuring that all beneficiaries will have equal access to coverage in a nursing home where their spouse lives, regardless of their sexual orientation,” said Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. 

“Prior to this, a beneficiary in a same-sex marriage enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan did not have equal access to such coverage and, as a result, could have faced time away from his or her spouse or higher costs because of the way that marriage was defined for this purpose.”

Social Security Also Making Changes After Supreme Court Decision

“I am pleased to announce that Social Security is now processing some retirement spouse claims for same-sex couples and paying benefits where they are due, said Carolyn W. Colvin, acting commissioner on August 9. 

"The recent Supreme Court decision on Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, made just over a month ago, helps to ensure that all Americans are treated fairly and equally, with the dignity and respect they deserve.  

She noted that the agency is working closely with the Department of Justice. 

She added, "In the coming weeks and months, we will develop and implement additional policy and processing instructions.  We appreciate the public’s patience as we work through the legal issues to ensure that our policy is legally sound and clear. 

"I encourage individuals who believe they may be eligible for Social Security benefits to apply now, to protect against the loss of any potential benefits. We will process claims as soon as additional instructions become finalized.”

Under current law, Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan are entitled to care in, among certain other skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), the SNF where their spouse resides (assuming that they have met the conditions for SNF coverage in the first place, and the SNF has agreed to the payment amounts and other terms that apply to a plan network SNF). 

Seniors with Medicare Advantage previously may have faced the choice of receiving coverage in a nursing home away from their same-sex spouse, or dis-enrolling from the Medicare Advantage plan which would have meant paying more out-of-pocket for care in the same nursing home as their same-sex spouse.

This guidance clarifies that this guarantee of coverage applies equally to all married couples.  The guidance specifically clarifies that this guarantee of coverage applies equally to couples who are in a legally recognized same-sex marriage, regardless of where they live, according to the HHS news release.

 

 

 

 

 

Search for more about this topic on SeniorJournal.com

Google Web SeniorJournal.com

Keep up with the latest news for senior citizens, baby boomers

Click to More Senior News on the Front Page

Copyright: SeniorJournal.com

    

 

Published by New Tech Media - www.NewTechMedia.com

Other New Tech Media sites include CaroleSutherland.com, BethJanicek.com, SASeniors.com, DrugDanger.com, etc.