$2 Trillion Economic Stimulus Package Supports Aging Services Providers
On April 1, 2020 by Jodi Boyne
final package includes many of the priorities we have been advocating for, including an emergency fund to support health care providers that include aging services and temporarily suspending sequestration reductions to all free-for-service Medicare claims.
SENIOR CARE OPPORTUNITIES
- $100 billion in grants for eligible health care providers, including aging services providers, to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19, and to reimburse lost revenues and increased expenses directly attributed to coronavirus;
- Temporarily suspends sequestration reductions to all fee-for-service Medicare claims from May 1, 2020 – Dec. 31, 2020, which will have the effect of increasing Medicare payments to all providers including skilled nursing facilities. The sequester reduced most Medicare payments by two percent starting in 2013.
- $500 billion in liquidity through liquidity through forgivable loans, loan guarantees adn investments.
- Employers will be able to defer payroll taxes over the next two years, with half due by December 2021 and the other half by December 2022;
- Employers will be able to carry net operating losses from 2018, 2019, or 2020 back five years, with the taxable income limitation temporarily removed to improve cash flow and liquidity;
- $260 billion to expand unemployment benefits, with most of the provisions running through the end of 2020. This includes employees (including essential workers) who are caring for a child or other person in the household who is unable to attend school or another facility that is closed due to COVID-19.
Other elements that could impact aging services providers include:
- $16 billion to replenish the Strategic National Stockpile of PPE, pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies;
- Expanded telehealth to allow patients to see doctors with whom they don’t already have a relationship, for home health and hospice patients, and connecting home dialysis patients with providers;
- Mandatory no cost-sharing for patient treatment, with insurers reimbursed for these costs;
- Mandatory minimum distribution for retirement accounts would be suspended for 2020, and early distributions would not be subject to the 10% penalty;
- Individual stimulus rebate checks of up to $1,200 per individual and $500 per child, with reduced amounts for those earning $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 for head of household, and $150,000 for married couples.