Mar 24, 2022 | Press Releases, Veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) recently reintroduced H.R. 7158, the Long-Term Care Veterans Choice Act, which allows Veterans to apply their health benefits toward care at Medical Foster Homes (MFH). Congressman Higgins passed the bipartisan bill through the U.S. House of Representatives during the 115th Congress, but the legislation stalled in the U.S. Senate.

“I will always stand with my Veteran Brothers and Sisters,”said Congressman Higgins.“This legislation helps Veterans who have suffered the most debilitating service-related injuries and illnesses. My intent is to push the federal government, forcing the bureaucracy to actually care for our Veterans.”

Congressman Higgins testified on the bill during a recent legislative hearing in the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health.

Medical Foster Homes (MFH) are private homes where a caregiver provides services to a small group of individuals unable to live without day-to-day assistance. They serve as an alternative to nursing homes for Veterans who require nursing home care but prefer a non-institutional setting. Currently, Veterans enrolled in Home Based Primary Care through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may elect to receive their care at MFHs. However, the VA does not cover the cost of MFHs for Veterans otherwise eligible for nursing home care. Instead, these Veterans must pay for MFH services out of pocket or through private insurance. Costs associated with MFH services range between $1,500 – $3,000 a month, which is significantly lower than the more than $7,000 a month that the VA would otherwise pay at a traditional nursing home.

Congressman Higgins’ bill would:

  • Authorize the VA to cover the cost of Medical Foster Home care for up to 900 Veterans for a five-year period.
  • Direct the VA to provide eligible Veterans with full interdisciplinary home care.
  • Require MFH caregivers to pass a federal background check, undergo a VA screening, and participate in annual training.

Reps. Julia Brownley (D-CA), Tracey Mann (R-KS), Mark Green (R-TN), Brian Mast (R-FL), Thomas Massie (R-KY), James Baird (R-IN), Matt Rosendale (R-MT), Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), Barry Moore (R-AL), Lou Correa (D-CA), and Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR) are cosponsors of the legislation. The bill also has support from the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), the Wounded Warrior Project, and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

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