Medicaid to comp Meals on Wheels for Vt. seniors

Members of Vermont's congressional human services committee approved a bill Friday that would expand Medicaid reimbursement to Meals on Wheels programs around the state, a move that could help the program to reach an additional 1,500 seniors, reports the Rutland Herald.

The bill would allow Medicaid to reimburse meal costs for those enrolled in Medicaid's Choices for Care program, an initiative aimed at helping seniors remain in their homes.

"My thinking is that, by making this upfront investment, we're making a powerful prevention policy that is part of a practice that will keep people out of the hospital and out of the nursing home," Executive Director of the Vermont Association Area Agencies on Aging Angela Smith-Dieng told Rutland Herald. "This policy will lead to savings."

Legislators are still figuring out how to pay for the extra expenses, however. If every senior who is eligible enrolls, the program will cost an estimated $863,000.

"It sounds like a good program, but we don't have a way to pay for it yet and we haven't taken the time to look," Rep. Paul Dame (R-Essex Junction) told Rutland Herald.

More articles on finance issues: 

Vermont sees surge in Medicaid hospital visits and payments: 7 findings
Nearly 29% of cancer survivors face financial burden: 7 findings
Medical billing makes Missouri AG's top 10 list of consumer complaints     

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