CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, March 2, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 294, the Long-Term Care Veteran Choice Act, as amended, under a suspension of the rules. H.R. 294 was introduced on January 13, 2015 by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), Chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, by voice vote.
H.R. 294 authorizes the Veterans Administration (VA), for three years beginning on October 1, 2015, to enter into a contract or agreement with a certified medical foster home to pay for long-term care for not more than 900 eligible veterans. This legislation also limits the amount of awards and bonuses paid to employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs at $300 million over FY 2015-2018, and $360 million over FY 2019-2024.
 A “medical foster home” is defined as a home designed to provide non-institutional, long-term, supportive care for veterans who are unable to live independently and prefer a family setting.”
 “Eligible veterans” are defined as those already eligible for VA-paid nursing home care and agree to receive VA home health services.
“Medical foster homes provide a non-institutional long-term care alternative to veterans who prefer a smaller, more home-like and family-style setting than most traditional nursing homes are able to provide.” Under current law, the VA does not have the authority to pay for a veteran to receive care in a medical foster home, even if the veteran is eligible for VA-paid nursing home care. As a result, many service-connected veterans must pay out of pocket for care in a foster home, and many are unable to afford to do so. This legislation allows veterans to decide for themselves where and how to receive care they need, and provides a cost effective long-term care option for the VA (the cost of a medical foster home is approximately half the monthly cost of a nursing home).
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A preliminary CBO estimate found that H.R. 294, as amended, will result in cost savings of $248 million over the FY 2015-2020 period.
For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.