Louisiana Facing Nursing Home Eviction Problem

According to the National Council on Aging, 1 in 7 low-income seniors rely on Medicaid and Medicare for their long-term care. Medicaid may pay for long-term care and support in the home, in the community, and in nursing homes. Medicaid also covers services that Medicare does not cover, such as vision screenings, dental care, and hearing screenings. Both Medicare and Medicaid are programs that many thousands of elder Americans are coming to rely on as our population ages. CBS News reports that thousands of elderly relying on Medicaid may receive eviction notices from their nursing homes in Louisiana.

The state of Louisiana is facing a budget shortfall of more than $500 million. If this is not corrected, tens of thousands of the state’s senior population may be evicted from their nursing homes.

Eviction notices were scheduled to be sent out to thousands living in group and in nursing homes. These thousands rely, at least somewhat, on Medicaid, to pay for the services that they receive.

If the state doesn’t balance its budget by July 1st, some 37,000 people in the state will lose their Medicaid eligibility.

Jim Tucker, who runs 12 nursing homes statewide, said that 800 of his patients could be facing eviction.

“It has the potential to kill people,” Tucker said.

89-year-old Betty Waller survived polio and lives in a Baton Rouge nursing home. She uses her life savings to pay for part of her care, but Medicaid covers the rest. If the budget isn’t balanced, she could be one of those 37,000 people who might lose their coverage.

“I won’t be living under a bridge somewhere, but still it’s a really scary thing,” she said.