On March 18, 2022, Rep. Clay Higgins introduced H.R. 7158, the Long-Term Care Veterans Choice Act. This legislation would give VA the authority to place and pay for veterans who want to reside in a medical foster home. Veterans who have a service-connected disability rated at 70% or greater, or who need nursing home care due to a service-connected disability, would be able to request placement in a medical foster home certified and inspected by the VA.
Medical foster homes offer veterans long-term care in a more family- and community-oriented setting. These homes provide a long-term care alternative for veterans who want to have greater independence and remain closer to their families and communities than institutional care might provide. It also allows VA to meet the veterans’ needs for assistance with daily living when these needs are no longer able to be met safely at home.
Currently, while veterans eligible for nursing home care may elect to receive their care at medical foster homes VA does not cover the cost for such placement. Instead, these veterans must pay for this service out of pocket or through private insurance. H.R. 7158—the Long-Term care Veterans Choice Act would authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to cover the cost of medical foster homes for veterans otherwise eligible for nursing home care through the VA.
As the number of veterans needing long-term care is expected to significantly increase over the next decade, it is important that VA implement policies that honor veterans’ preference to age at home or in their communities. DAV strongly supports this legislation, in accordance with DAV Resolution No. 022, which notes that VA lacks sufficient non-institutional long-term care alternatives, such as medical foster homes, and calls for VA to provide veterans access to a wider range of options for this unique type of care support.
We are calling on all DAV members and supporters to contact their Representatives and urge them to co-sponsor and support H.R. 7158. Thank you for all you do for America’s veterans and their families. Take Action!