Legislation to close a loophole in state law that a company has used to scam residents out of their life savings today cleared the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.
The measure (S-2284) was prompted by a matter involving Assisted Living Concepts Inc., which promised prospective residents that once they had spent down their private resources on facility living expenses, they would be permitted to convert to Medicaid. An investigation launched by the Public Advocate’s Office in 2007 found that when the time came for residents to switch to Medicaid, the company – then operating eight assisted living facilities in southern New Jersey – moved to involuntarily discharge them..
The legislation would address this issue directly, by requiring an assisted living residence that opts to surrender its license after having promised not to discharge residents who become Medicaid-eligible to escrow sufficient funds to pay for the care of the residents in an alternate assisted living facility for as long as needed. This legislation is intended to ensure that Medicaid-eligible residents can reside in another State-licensed assisted living residence.