End of Session Report (Pt. 1 of 2)

Friday, July 15, 2022 12:01 PM | Hannah Pfeiffer (Administrator)

Due to the lasting effects of the pandemic and this year being an election year, the session was shortened, beginning on January 4, 2022, and ending on the morning of April 9, 2022. In this short session, the legislature passed a balanced budget which was signed by the governor on April, 19,2020, increased the state’s fiscal stability, expanded healthcare access and affordability, invested in significant increases in equity, violence prevention, education, and public safety.

NAELA and the Lobbyist team followed over 70 bills which had the potential of affecting elder law practice, helping seniors, or affecting them. Of those 70 bills, NAELA board members and lobbyists helped draft, offered elder attorney expert analysis, expressed support, and monitored the following 14 pieces of legislation. These 14 bills have passed both the house and the senate and are pending to be signed by the governor.

LEGISLATION

HB 4343 -DHFS-ESTATE RECOVERY WAIVERS – NAELA SUPPORTED

Legislative Champion: Rep. Greg Harris (D) / Sen. Ann Gillespie (D)

Status: Passed Both Houses, pending governor’s signature

This bill was amended during session to be the Medicaid Omnibus bill which the Medicaid working group puts together every year. This bill included the Community Spouse language that NAELA board members and the lobbying team helped draft and introduce.

Community Spouse Legislation Synopsis: Subject to federal approval, beginning January 1, 2023, the community spouse resource allowance shall be established and maintained as follows: a base amount of $109,560 plus an additional amount of $2,784 added to the base amount each year for a period of 10 years commencing with calendar year 2024 through calendar year 2034. In addition to the base amount and the additional amount shall be any increase each year from the prior year to the maximum resource allowance permitted under Section 1924(f)(2)(A)(ii)(II) of the Social Security Act. Subject to federal approval, beginning January 1, 2023 the community spouse resource allowance shall be established and maintained at the maximum amount permitted under Section 1924(f)(2)(A)(ii)(II) of the Social Security Act, as now or hereafter amended, or an amount set after a fair hearing. Subject to federal approval, beginning January 1, 2023 the community spouse resource allowance shall be established and maintained at the higher of $109,560 or the minimum level permitted pursuant to Section 1924(f)(2) of the Social Security Act, as now or hereafter amended, or an amount set after a fair hearing, whichever is greater The monthly maintenance allowance for the community spouse shall be established and maintained at the maximum amount higher of 2,739 per month or the minimum level permitted pursuant to Section 1924(d)(3)(C) of the Social Security Act, as now or hereafter amended, or an amount set after a fair hearing, whichever is greater. Subject to the approval of the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the provisions of this Section shall be extended to persons who but for the provision of home or community-based services under Section 4.02 of the Illinois Act on the Aging, would require the level of care provided in an institution, as is provided for in federal law. 

Effective Date: January 1, 2023

Public Act 102-1037

HB 4979 - PREPAID FUNERAL/BURIAL – NAELA SUPPORTED

Legislative Champion: Rep. Natalie Manley (D) / Sen. John Connor (D)

Status: Passed Both Houses, pending Governor’s Signature

NAELA members and lobbyist worked with various stakeholders. They provided analysis and worked on drafting the legislation which allows the owner of a whole life insurance policy, when obtaining favorable consideration for Medicaid to make an irrevocable assignment of all or a part of his or her rights under the policy to a funeral home in accordance with a specified provision of the Illinois Funeral or Burial Funds Act.

Legislation Synopsis: Amends the Illinois Insurance Code. Provides that an insured or any other person who may be the owner of rights under a policy of life insurance may make an irrevocable assignment of all or a part of his or her rights under the policy to a funeral home in accordance with a specified provision of the Illinois Funeral or Burial Funds Act. Provides that a policy owner who executes a designation beneficiary form irrevocably waives and cannot exercise certain rights. Amends the Illinois Funeral or Burial Funds Act. In a provision concerning pre-need contracts funded through the purchase of a life insurance policy or tax-deferred annuity contract, provides that nothing shall prohibit the purchaser from irrevocably assigning ownership of the policy or annuity to a person or trust or from irrevocably assigning the benefits of the policy or annuity to a funeral home for the purpose of obtaining favorable consideration for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, or another public assistance program. Requires the insured or any other person who may be the owner of rights under the policy of whole life insurance to sign a guaranteed pre-need contract with the provider that describes the cost of the goods and services to be provided upon the person's death, up to $6,774, except that any portion of a contract that clearly represents the purchase of burial space is exempt regardless of value. Amends the Aid to the Aged, Blind or Disabled Article of the Illinois Public Aid Code. In a provision requiring the Department of Human Services to exempt certain prepaid funeral or burial contracts from consideration when making an eligibility determination for medical assistance, provides that at any time after submitting an application for medical assistance and before the Department makes a final determination of eligibility, an applicant may use available resources to purchase one of the exempted prepaid funeral or burial contracts. Exempts up to $6,774 (rather than $5,874) in funds under an irrevocable prepaid funeral or burial contract when determining an individual's resources and eligibility for medical assistance. Contains provisions concerning exemptions; irrevocable designation of beneficiary forms; and other matters.

Effective Date: Immediately

Public Act 102-0959

HB 5047 - POWER OF ATTORNEY-SHORT FORM – NAELA SUPPORTED

Legislative Champion: Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (D) / Sen. Laura Fine (D)

Status: Passed Both Houses, pending Governor’s signature

NAELA board members and lobbyist provided the sponsor of the bill insightful analysis as to the possible effects of the legislation and expressed support.

Legislation Synopsis: Amends the Department of Public Health Powers and Duties Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois. Requires the Department of Public Health to post on its website information regarding the physical or electronic possession of a statutory short form power of attorney for health care. Requires the Department to create an information campaign regarding the changes made by the amendatory Act. Amends the Powers Of Attorney For Health Care Article of the Illinois Power of Attorney Act. Changes the statutory short form power of attorney for health care to include the option to present the form electronically as proof of agency. Provides that, if the principal has authorized the agent to present the statutory short form electronically, an attending physician, emergency medical services personnel, or health care provider shall not refuse to give effect to a health care agency if the agent presents an electronic device displaying an electronic copy of an executed form as proof of the health care agency. Requires any person or entity that provides a statutory short form to the public to post information on its website regarding the changes made by the amendatory Act for a period of 2 years. Makes conforming changes.Statutes affected:
Introduced: 20 ILCS 2310/2310, 755 ILCS 45/4Engrossed: 20 ILCS 2310/2310, 755 ILCS 45/4
Enrolled: 755 ILCS 45/4

Effective: January 1, 2023

Public Act 102-0794

HJR 23 - IL ABLE PROGRAM-SUPPORT – NAELA SUPPORTED

Legislative Champion: Francis Ann Hurley (D) / Sen. Laura Fine (D)

Status: Passed Both Houses, pending Governor’s signature

NAELA board members and Lobbyist expressed support.

Legislation Synopsis:Encourages State agencies and departments to continue their efforts to train staff and share information about Illinois ABLE to the beneficiaries they serve.

Effective: Immediately

SB 1633 - NURSING HOMES-RESIDENT RIGHTS – NAELA SUPPORTED

Legislative Champion: Sen. Karina Villa (D) / Rep. Joyce Mason (D)

Status: Passed Both Houses, pending Governor’s signature

NAELA board members and Lobbyist expressed Support.

Legislation Synopsis: Amends the Nursing Home Care Act. Provides that residents shall have the right to be treated with courtesy and respect for their individuality by employees or persons providing medical services or care, and shall have their human and civil rights maintained in all aspects of medical care. Provides that all applicable rights under the Medical Patient Rights Act apply to residents under the Act. Provides that residents shall not perform labor or services for a facility unless those activities are included for therapeutic purposes and appropriately goal-related in the resident's individual medical record. Provides that every acute care inpatient facility, community-based residential program, and facility employing more than 2 people that provide outpatient mental health services shall have a written internal grievance procedure that, at a minimum: (1) sets forth the process to be followed; (2) specifies time limits, including time limits for facility response; (3) provides for the patient to have the assistance of an advocate; (4) requires a written response to written grievances; and (5) provides for a timely decision by an impartial decision maker if the grievance is not otherwise resolved. Makes other changes.Statutes affected:  Introduced: 210 ILCS 45/2Engrossed: 210 ILCS 45/2, 210 ILCS 45/3 Enrolled: 210 ILCS 45/2, 210 ILCS 45/3

Effective: January 1, 2023

Public Act 102-1080

SB 3786 - STATE TREASURER-ABLE ACCOUNTS – NAELA SUPPORTED

Legislative Champion: Sen. Laura Ellman (D) / Rep. Dagmara Avelar (D)

Status: Passed Both Houses, pending Governor’s signature

NAELA board members and Lobbyist expressed Support.

Legislation Synopsis: Amends the State Treasurer Act. In provisions concerning the ABLE account program, provides that a "designated representative" means a person or entity (currently, person only) who is authorized to act on behalf of a "designated beneficiary". Provides that a designated representative must provide certification, subject to penalties of perjury, of the basis for the person's authority to act as a designated representative and that there is no other person or entity with higher priority to establish the ABLE account. Removes provisions allowing the State Treasurer to recognize specified persons or entities as a designated representative without appointment by a court. Defines "Internal Revenue Code". Effective immediately. Statutes affected:
Introduced: 15 ILCS 505/16Engrossed: 15 ILCS 505/16, Enrolled: 15 ILCS 505/16

Effective: Immediately

Public Act 102-1024


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The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. (NAELA) was founded in 1987 as a professional association of attorneys who are dedicated to improving the quality of legal services provided to people as they age and people with special needs.
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