On May 10 at it scheduled monthly meeting, JCAR (Joint Committee on Administrative Rules) which is a bipartisan commission of Illinois legislators whose job it is to oversee administrative rulemaking in the State of Illinois, voted unanimously to prohibit the filing of amendments by the state rulemaking agency to the Medical Assistance Programs (Medicaid rules dealing with long-term care).
JCAR said, the rule that was put forth by the state agency contained provisions that were not necessary to implement the federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA).
The provisions that JCAR said were objectionable were the: application of asset transfer restriction rules to transfers that were made prior to the new rule coming into effect, the new rules left unclear standards for Medicaid caseworkers to use in determining whether certain transfers are allowable or will be penalized, and the rules contained a definition of undue hardship that is more restrictive than what the DRA requires.
JCAR said that these provisions will have an adverse economic affect of the public and will cause residents of nursing homes ( both aged and disabled) to be penalized with loss of eligibility for Medicaid for long-term care assistance. JCAR also said that these penalties would be based on actions taken by Illinois residents that, when taken, did not violate the rules at the time the actions were taken.
JCAR found that these provisions constituted a threat to the public interest and welfare.
As I understand it, the ball is now back in the court of the state agency to provide revised rules to JCAR. These rules must be submitted within 180 days of the Prohibition.
As always we will strive to keep our readers apprised of the status of this rulemaking process. Thank you for your readership.
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