Koering introduces legislation to lower financial burden on persons with disabilities

Senator Paul Koering introduced a proposal this week to modify the monthly premium costs parents of children with severe disabilities pay to access needed medical services. Specifically the bill would allow individuals to become eligible for the Medical Assistance program and retain income that equals 100 percent of the federal poverty guideline—or $775 per month. Current law allows for a maximum monthly income of $582, or 75 percent of the federal poverty guideline.

In addition the bill will assist individuals with disabilities in moving from an institutional to a more independent, community-based setting, with a one-time $2,500 grant to pay for lease or rent deposits, essential furnishings, or other transition expenses. The bill would also increase the asset limits for individuals eligible to enroll in the Medical Assistance program, which has not been increased since 1983, to $10,000 per individual—up from $3,000 or $18,000 per couple—up from $10,000.

Lastly the legislation would also increase the wages of direct care workers providing assistance and support to Minnesotans with disabilities, home and community based service providers and ICFs/MR would receive a rate increase.

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