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New Laws Effective January 1, 2017

Hundreds of new California laws will become effective January 1, 2017, including many that will impact various long-term care and elder abuse issues. CANHR sponsored, supported or opposed a number of pieces of legislation this session, and highlights of some of the successful bills follow. Please check for updated details on legislation, and for information of specific bills.

SB 833 - Medi-Cal Recovery Reform: Perhaps the most important bill of 2016 to Medi-Cal recipients who are age 55 years or older, SB 833 incorporated the Medi-Cal recovery reforms of SB 33 (Hernandez) which was co-sponsored by CANHR and Western Center on Law and Poverty. Effective January 1, 2017, - among other provisions - the state can no longer recover from the estates of surviving spouses or registered domestic partners; limits Medi-Cal recovery for those who are 55+ years of age to only what is required by federal law; allows a hardship exemption for homesteads of modest value; and most importantly, limits recovery to those estates that are subject to probate administration. In other words, if the estate is held in a living trust, joint tenancy, or in any other way that avoids probate – there is no recovery. If the estate is held in a will that will be subject to probate, then recovery is likely.

Take a look at CANHR’s Medi-Cal Recovery page to download information on this new law and how to avoid recovery:

Insurance: Annuity Transactions - SB 924 (Roth): Sponsored by CANHR, this new law seeks to deter those financial abuse predators who convince seniors to invest in risky annuities and other financial transactions under the guise of “helping them get benefits” such as VA Aid and Attendance or Medi-Cal. SB 924 provides that an insurance company must ascertain whether the purchase of an annuity by a senior consumer is suitable if it is connected to an attempt to qualify for a government benefit.

Dismissal/Denial of Petitions to Compel Arbitration: Appeals - SB 1065 (Monning):
Co-sponsored with the Consumer Attorneys of California, this bill shortens the appeal process for those who are aged or disabled and have received a trial preference in an elder abuse case, rather than being delayed by an appellate process that can take three years or more.
Other bills that CANHR supported that were signed into law:

Medi-Cal: Nonmedical transportation - AB 2394 (Garcia):
Clarifies that nonmedical transportation is a benefit for all beneficiaries under the Medi-Cal program. Currently, the benefit is only offered to children on Medi-Cal and to Cal MediConnect beneficiaries.

CCRC Refunds - SB 939 (Monning):
Provides incentives for timely repayment of Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) entrance fees, for CCRC contracts that condition repayment on the resale of the unit.

In-Home Supportive Services: Application - AB 1797 (Lackey):
Improves the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) application process by requiring that individuals applying electronically receive a confirmation number.

Care facilities: civil penalties - AB 2231 (Calderon):
Improves the penalty system in Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs); increases the amount of civil penalties imposed for a licensing violation under those provisions; and imposes civil penalties for repeat violations.

Page Last Modified: December 20, 2016