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FY05 Conference Committee Budget Results

Date: 
06/16/2004
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The FY05 Conference Committee Budget was released yesterday, and it contains excellent results for elders. Following are some of the highlights of the Budget:

FY05 Conference Committee Budget Results
June 16, 2004
The FY05 Conference Committee Budget was released yesterday, and it contains excellent results for elders. Following are some of the highlights of the Budget:
1. Prescription Advantage Program (9110-1455, 9110-1460)
Prescription drug insurance is funded at $110 million, which will allow the enrollment of 18,000 additional elderly individuals or poor disabled individuals. An additional $5 million is appropriated to fund a copayment reduction plan for elders with incomes at or below 188% of FPL. Cost sharing increases are prohibited in FY 05, benefits must be the same as in FY 04, and there must be an open enrollment period of from 1 to 2 months beginning no later than October 1st. Individuals turning 65 may enroll at any time within one year of their birthday
2. MassHealth estate recovery (sections 167, 168)
Adopting languge in both House and Senate Budgets, the Conference Committee Budget repeals expanded estate recovery, leaving the prior system of probate estate recovery in effect. This will protect a range of assets from estate recovery, including homes held in joint names with a spouse or child, and will avoid real estate title issues created by the expanded estate recovery scheme.
3. MassHealth transfer of assets waiver (section 160)
The authorizing legislation that allows application for a waiver of federal limits on transfer of asset penalties is repealed. The waiver if approved would extend

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