At the time of this writing, COVID-19 is just taking off in the United States. Of particular concern to all of us is the safety of our elders and people with disabilities, who are likely more susceptible to developing more serious symptoms from the new virus.
Responsibility for care
Many of our clients have loved ones with disabilities or who are elderly. These clients partner with us to put in place legal structures within which to provide care and support such as guardianships, conservatorships, trusts, powers of attorney, medical directives and others. We also advise professionals in fiduciary relationships with vulnerable individuals such as professional guardians, conservators and trustees.
These clients and others in similar positions will have questions related to COVID-19 and their vulnerable loved ones or protected persons. Many of these people are on Medicaid – called Health First Colorado in our state – a joint federal-state government health care program that often covers both health care and residential services for eligible individuals.
Health First Colorado services and supports
According to Disability Scoop, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued guidance (link provided within article) to state Medicaid agencies about potential steps available during the outbreak to better serve recipients. For example, there may be options for expanded supports during a quarantine for an individual who lives with family or in a group residential setting.
Health First Colorado has created a COVID-19 information page.
Coloradans seeking assistance for a loved one during this uncertain time should speak with their loved one’s social worker or case manager about service delivery. An attorney can also provide advocacy and information.