Trenton – Today the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee advanced two bills that would provide aid to individuals providing and receiving home health care.
The first bill, S-2150, sponsored by Senator Richard Codey, would provide a $3,000 gross income tax deduction for New Jersey taxpayers who provide more than one half of the home care support for an elderly relative who is at least 70 years old and lives in the taxpayer home for at least six months of the year. Additionally, if the taxpayer’s is filing an individual return, their income may not exceed $35,000 and if they are filing jointly, the combined income may not exceed $50,000.
“There are currently 48 million unpaid family caregivers in the United States who dedicate their time and energy towards caring for a loved one, which creates a great out-of-pocket expense,” said Senator Codey (D-Essex/Morris). “It is critical that we provide support to these home health-givers as this financial strain can burden families, especially low-income households. Not everyone can take on the responsibility of being a family caregiver, and those that do deserve compensation for their efforts and sacrifices they make to take on this role. Let’s show our home health care workers that we care.”
The second bill, S-2705, sponsored by Senator Andrew Zwicker, would authorize home care for individuals who are disabled or elderly and require health insurance coverage for the home care. Under the bill, a health care professional would be permitted to provide care to disabled or elderly individuals in their home if they are unable to present themselves for an in-person visit. Health insurance carriers would be required to administer health benefits to cover the home care.
“Currently, most forms of private insurance do not pay for personal home care services and original Medicare does not provide home health care if it is not on a part-time or intermittent basis,” said Senator Zwicker (D-Middlesex/Mercer/Somerset/Hunterdon). “Individuals in need of full-time care should not be denied services simply on the basis that their insurance does not cover it and they cannot otherwise afford it. This bill would provide essential services to thousands of disabled and elderly residents, ensuring that they are receiving the care and aid necessary for them to live out their lives.”
The bills were both released from committee by a vote of 6-0.