Monday, March 31, 2008

March 24 Meeting: Will Medicaid Pay for My Long-Term Care?


Click here to listen.

Paul Higa, Acting Medical Assistance Program Officer for the Med-QUEST Division of the Department of Human Services gave some straight answers to complicated questions.

You may want to download a copy of his notes before listening.

Notes on the program: Because of the high costs for institutional care for long-term care, chances are if you need it, you will end up spending most of your assets and end up on Medicaid. To be eligible for Medicaid your countable assets cannot exceed $2,000 a month. Exempt from assets are a home below $750,000 as long as a family member is in residence, 1 wedding ring and engagement ring, household furnishings and clothing, a burial space per family member, 1 funeral plan, motor vehicles used for transportation. There is a look-back of 5 years for transfer of property and other assets with penalties. Effective November 1, all aged, blind and disabled people on Medicaid will be transferred to a managed care plan, either AlohaCare or Ohana Care. These plans must provide all current Medicaid services. For further information call 587-3521, Med-Quest.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

March 24 Program: Will Medicaid Pay for My Long-Term Care?

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Miyama Main Hall, Harris United Methodist Church
Nuuanu Ave. and South Vineyard Blvd.
Ample parking - driveway off Nuuanu Ave.

11:30    Luncheon:  Various Subway Sandwiches, Salad, Dessert by Eloise $5.00 Donation

11:45    Welcome, Introductions and remarks, Larry Geller, President

12:00    Program: Will Medicaid Pay for My Long-Term Care?

Paul Higa is the acting Medical Assistance Program Officer for the Med-QUEST Division of the Department of Human Services since 1982. Mr. Higa's staff is responsible for amending the Medicaid and SCHIP State Plans, the Hawaii Administrative Rules, and providing technical support, policy clarifications and information related to medical assistance issues.  Mr. Higa has been a consultant with the Sage Plus Program of the Executive Office on Aging since 1994.

1: 00      Adjourn

February 25 Meeting: Using the Leahi hospital campus to develop a long-term care master plan

(With apologies, there is no audio available for this meeting. Please tune in next month.)

Notes from the March Kokua Council Newsletter:

Marilyn Seely; The Leahi master plan envisions a long-term care system that would allow Leahi to expand into the community and become a center of excellence for long-term care (LTC).  Leahi hospital on 6.7 acres and adjacent to 10 acres of state property, is ideally situated next to Kapiolani community college with its family caregiving training program and to mental health facilities. The last structure at Leahi was built in 1950.  The governor has just released funds for the repair of Leahi’s physical plant.

There are 9 beds at Leahi still set aside for acute tuberculosis cases.  Only 2 of those beds are currently occupied.  Creative possibilities include the Eden Alternative, The Greenhouse Project and a think tank to meet the needs of the elderly.

 SB 3237 is considered a creative holistic approach and could be a prototype for LTC services in Hawaii.  If passed, an interim report would be due December 2009 and the master plan would be due December 2010. 

LeighWai Doo then reported that this might be “the most important project that Kokua Council might ever do.”  He said it could be a catalyst that will affect the next three generations of seniors.  It is imperative that it be implemented as soon as possible. 

However, the Leahi bill died for this session. We hope the Leahi group will pursue private foundation funding to pursue this worthwhile project .Ed.