Wednesday, January 03, 2007

DRA to be Effective in PA on Feb 1st ... no ... Mar 1st, 2007

The PA Department of Public Welfare (DPW) has delayed until February 1, 2007, its implementation of the Medicaid and long-term care provisions of the federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), Public Law No. 109-171, § 10001, 120 Stat. 4, § 183, according to a DPW Memorandum to its staff, dated December 28, 2006.

We interrupt this past posting for an important news update!

FLASH!!! (Dateline: January 12, 2007) The DRA effective date in PA has been extended another month, according to reports by knowledgeable elder law attorneys posted on the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Elder Law Listserv on Friday, January 12, 2007. The new effective date will be March 1, 2007.

We now return you to the previous posting already in progress.

The viability of the DRA was discussed in my prior posting,
US Dist Ct Dismisses DRA Challenge (11/15/06), and its effect on pre-DRA annuities was discussed in Pre-DRA Annuities in PA (11/27/06).

The question remained: When would the new DRA provisions be implemented in Pennsylvania?

Originally, DPW had anticipated an effective date of January 1, 2007, for application of all DRA provisions regarding Medicaid and long-term care funding. DPW's recent Memorandum announces, instead, that the effective date will be February 1, 2007.

The full text of the Memorandum is set forth below:

Department of Public Welfare
December 28, 2006


SUBJECT: Effective Date of the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) Changes to Medicaid/Long-Term Care Eligibility
TO: Executive Directors
FROM: Joanne Glover, Director, Bureau of Operations


The purpose of this Information Memorandum is to notify staff of a change in the implementation date for the policy and procedures effecting eligibility for Medicaid/Long Term Care (LTC) that must be used for applicants, recipients and spouses of applicants and recipients applying for or receiving Medicaid/LTC services.


The changes to the eligibility requirements for Medicaid/LTC services resulting from the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005 (Public Law 109 - 171) were initially to be effective with applications made on or after January 1, 2007. Informational sessions were conducted for County Assistance Office (CAO) staff throughout the state. CAO staff had been provided with instructions and drafts of Operations Memoranda indicating that the implementation date of these changes was to be January 1, 2007.


The DRA mandated significant changes to the eligibility requirements for applicants and recipients of Medicaid/LTC. These changes will impact not only the citizens of Pennsylvania in need of LTC services, but also the CAO staff responsible for these cases. Because of the volume and complexity of the changes to Medicaid/LTC as a result of the DRA, it has been decided to change the effective date of implementation to February 1, 2007.


1. Review this Information Memorandum with appropriate staff.

2. Contact your Area Manager if you have questions.
3. To ensure all CAOs receive and are aware of the changes to the implementation of the new Medicaid/LTC eligibility requirements, this information is issued by an Information Memorandum versus a Policy Clarification.
4. Operations Memoranda for all DRA changes to Medicaid/LTC will be forthcoming.
I thank Eric M. Mika, Esq., of Toole, Mika & Jones (a division of Williamson, Friedberg & Jones, LLC), in Shenandoah, PA, for posting the Memorandum on the listserv of the Elder Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.