In this round up:
- Notable Consolidated Appropriations Act provisions
- Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility Final Rule goes into effect
- Public Input Opportunity: Proposed Adult Portable Bed Rails Rule
- HUD Requests for Information
Notable Consolidated Appropriations Act Provisions
On December 23, the Consolidated Appropriations Act was signed into law. ACL will provide further information about Medicaid unwinding and other elements of the budget bill as we learn more details.
Notable Items in the Omnibus Spending Bill include:
- An increase of $220 million in ACL funding over FY2022 enacted level;
- The extension of the Money Follows the Person Rebalancing demonstration and protections against spousal impoverishment for recipients of home and community-based services through September 30, 2027.
- The phasing out beginning April 1, 2023 of Medicaid continuous coverage requirements that have been in place during the COVID-19 public health emergency. In addition, the enhanced federal matching rate to states will be gradually phased out between April 1st and the end of 2023. To receive this enhanced funding, states must enact certain procedural protections for beneficiaries during redetermination. States must also report monthly on renewals and terminations related to the unwinding of continuous coverage. (For more, see ACL’s April 2022 fact sheet, Preparing for Medicaid Changes When the Public Health Emergency Expires)
- An increase in the Medicaid funding and match rate for Puerto Rico as well as an increase in the federal Medicaid match rate for Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa.
- An increase in funding from $15 million to $30 million for HUD’s Older Adults Home Modification Program.
- An expansion of the onset of the disability eligibility age for Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts from age 26 to age 46.
On December 23, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility Final Rule Went into Effect
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final “public charge” immigration rule in September, which became effective on December 23, 2022. ACL published this blog explaining the new public charge rule and its impacts on older adults and people with disabilities. USCIS has now published an update to its Policy Manual to provide guidance to USCIS officers on how to implement the new public charge rule fairly and consistently and to better inform the public about how the rule will be implemented. The new rule and updated policy manual went into effect on Dec. 23, 2022, and applies prospectively to adjustment of status applications filed (or electronically submitted, if applicable) on or after that date. The policy update will supersede the public charge inadmissibility guidance found in the 1999 Interim Field Guidance, and any related guidance addressing public charge inadmissibility.
To learn more about how USCIS is applying the public charge ground of inadmissibility, visit the USCIS Public Charge Resources page.
Public Input Opportunity: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Has Proposed Rulemaking for Adult Portable Bed Rails
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has proposed a rule to require that adult portable bed rails (APBRs) meet existing voluntary standards, with modifications. The proposed rule seeks to address the risk of injury and death associated with entrapment hazards from APBRs.
Older adults frequently use portable bed rails to prevent falling out of bed or as adaptive equipment to help move about in bed. The proposed regulations will not ban APBRs, but it will set standards to reduce entrapment and address other safety features including consistent warning statements and instructions.
To learn more and provide comment go to Regulations.gov Safety Standard: Adult Portable Bed Rails. Written comments are due by January 9, 2023.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Has Released Two New Requests for Information
HUD is seeking feedback on how to simplify, modernize, and more equitably distribute critical disaster recovery funds. The feedback is needed by February 21 for two HUD funds:
- Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR)
- Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT)
CDBG-DR and CDBG-MIT funds focus on long-term recovery and resilience efforts, targeted to families with low and moderate incomes in the most impacted and distressed areas. This call is a part of HUD’s newly published Climate Action Plan, which emphasizes equity and resilience in disaster recovery. Input received by February 21, 2023, will inform policies that remove barriers and eliminate unnecessary administrative burden to provide better and quicker assistance to those affected.