AB 50 - Expanding CA's MediCal Assisted Living Waiver Program

This legislative session Assembly Member Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) has reintroduced a bill proposing an expansion of California's MediCal Assisted Living Waiver Program.  AB 50, if enacted, would require California's Department of Health Care Services to submit to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services a request for renewal of the Waiver Program with specific amendments.  These amendments include:

  • Increasing the number of available waiver slots from the current 5,500 to 18,500 (with up to 60% of the expanded slots reserved for persons transitioning from an institutional setting);
  • Outlining a process for expanding the program beyond the 15 counties currently participating to include California's remaining 43 counties over time; 
  •  Exploring expansion of financial eligibility requirements;
  • Reassessing provider reimbursement rates and the requirements to provide private or semi-private bathrooms, refrigerators, and microwaves;
  • Providing more transparency for those on the Waiver Program's waitlist.

Last year, 35% of the calls CARR received were from consumers with a monthly income of $1,000 or less who needed assisted living care.  With the median price of this private pay option hovering at $4,500 per month and increases in the prevalence of chronic conditions and Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias, California needs to get serious about making this care option more accessible.   

CARR supports AB 50.  We encourage consumers to show your support too.  You can find your representative by clicking here.  Write or call with the simple request to support AB 50 on your behalf.

Update: You can check the progress of AB 50 using this link.  As of 7/8/19, AB 50 was placed on the suspense file.

 

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