Deana-Copeland-Andrea-HoodDeana Copeland (right) fears that a new provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would eliminate her as the caregiver of her 22 year old daughter, Andrea Hood, who has cerebral palsy, spina bifida and autonomic dysreflexia.

 As a mother and legal guardian, Copeland has provided her daughter full time, round the clock care since her birth. Copeland recieves a monthly allowance of $1,400 as the care service provider. To recieve state medical aid, the ACA provision would force her to place her daughter in foster care.

BUT WHY?

The ACA provision will “...prohibit guardians from serving as the paid caregiver of an adult child with developmental disabilities” which would severly impact families providing stay at home care. This is especially true for single parents who are guardians and use the caregiving allowance to be a stay home caregiver. That provision is set to go into effect Jan. 1, 2014 with a goal to protect against the possibility of financial fraud, since the guardian has the ability to hire himself or herself as the paid caregiver.

The provision is part of the K Plan, a Medicaid state plan option under the Affordable Care Act. Oregon is the first state in the nation to implement the plan, which emphasizes home and community-based services. An Oregon state official says she can't recall a case where that arrangement was a problem.

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