AARP West Virginia
State Legislative Update
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Helping West Virginians
Stay In Their
Homes & Communities
Research shows that the vast majority of individuals want to stay in their homes for as long as possible. That's why AARP believes that no one should be forced out of their home in order to receive long-term services and supports.
In the Mountain State, there are many examples of Home and Community Based Services. These resources are available within communities to help individuals and their families transition as they age. Here are a few examples of programs that help thousands of West Virginians to remain in their homes as long as possible:
Medicaid Aged & Disabled Waiver (ADW) Program
The West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services conducts the day-to-day operational administration and monitoring of the Medicaid ADW Program, which is available in all 55 counties and provides in-home health care for eligible members. To be eligible for the ADW, individuals must be 18 years of age or older and residents of West Virginia; they must require the same level of care provided in a nursing facility as determined by a comprehensive medical assessment; and, their services cannot exceed the average cost of nursing home care.
Family Alzheimer’s In-Home Respite (FAIR)
The dictionary defines respite as a "brief interval of rest, a break or breathing space." That is what the Family Alzheimer’s In-Home Respite (FAIR) Program is for family caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. FAIR is a State-funded program available in all 55 counties, which was created by the West Virginia Legislature in 2006 and is funded through the West Virginia Lottery.
The Lighthouse Program is a personal care service designed to assist seniors who have functional needs in their homes and do not qualify for any Medicaid in-home care programs. Services are provided by a trained caregiver who is employed by the county aging provider. This unique program is funded by the state of West Virginia, and clients pay for services based upon their monthly income.
Fiscal Year 2013 State Budget legislation as proposed and presented by the Governor during his State of the State Address – House Bill 2014 and Senate Bill 143 – has been introduced in the West Virginia Legislature; the bills are currently under consideration by the House and Senate Finance Committees.
The Governor's proposed 2013 budget maintains current funding levels for important in-home services including, the Aged & Disabled Waiver, as well as both the FAIR and Lighthouse programs. This is good news for West Virginians and their families: AARP West Virginia is working with the Governor’s Office and the West Virginia Legislature to assure that Medicaid funding for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) are protected.
Improving Workforce Standards for Long Term Care Services
In 2012, AARP worked with the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services and the West Virginia Legislature to establish an In-home Care Registry. The purpose of the registry is to provide the public an on-line list of in-home care workers, along with their qualifications, who voluntarily agree to be included and who have passed a criminal background check.
This year, the West Virginia Legislature must authorize the Bureau of Senior Services to promulgate legislative rule relating to in-home care worker registry. The legislation is working its way through the process: Senate Bill 312 cleared the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee last week, and is pending in the Senate Finance Committee; while House Bill 2705 cleared the House Senior Issues Committee, and is pending in the House Judiciary Committee.
For the latest developments on AARP West Virginia's advocacy work at the West Virginia State Capitol, connect with us online: