Increase in Personal Allowance for Medicaid


Due to the increase cost of living, State Senator Joe Griffo is asking for an increase in allowance for those in nursing homes from $50 to $75.  Eyewitness News reporter Nicole Todd has more on this story.

Nursing home residents who only receive Medicaid are speaking out to have an increase on their personal needs allowance for their out of pocket expenses.

Nursing home residents who receive Medicaid have been collecting a monthly personal allowance of fifty dollars.  Since the 80’s though, the cost of living has severely increased, leaving elders with little spending money of their own.

“Cost of living has gone up over 270% and these individuals are still living on an allowance that they worked on in 1981 so it’s outrageous.  They need to feel like a human being and they need to be able to have access to the discretionary items for quality of life at their ages, they’ve given so much throughout their life in the community and I’m hopeful we will see an acknowledgment in that in the Senate and the Assembly and support of the Governor,” said Senator Joe Griffo.

Herman Friske, a resident at Lutheran Care and avid painter is hoping for the increase so he and other residents can keep up with their hobbies, be able to buy gifts for family members on holidays and birthdays and maintain their quality of life. 

“It’s very important especially to the woman, because the women would like to present themselves a lot better than they are able to now.  The guys don’t care as much, but myself, I like doing number paintings.  So it costs me for frames because my sister sends me the paintings. Finally she wrote me a letter, you’re painting too fast, so I’m not paying for the frames anymore. So now I have to pay for the frames now, yeah naturally, and other things, I like a candy bar every once in a while,” said Friske.

This bill, if approved will also provide a $75 allowance for individuals in residential programs for victims of domestic violence who receive Medicaid as well.

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