For Immediate Release: March 6th, 2014
Wielechowski Calls on Governor to Support Pro-Military Amendment
JUNEAU – Today Senator Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage) called on Governor Sean Parnell to reconsider his Administration’s opposition to a bill amendment that would help Alaskan military families.
The amendment to SB 145 would ensure that military families with special needs children who qualify for Home and Community Based Services under Medicaid can continue to receive those services when they return from a deployment without having to go through a lengthy re-application process.
“Our current system essentially punishes military families for serving their country,” said Sen. Wielechowski. “It potentially denies them assistance upon their return that they were receiving before they left. There’s no reason for this since there’s no additional cost to the state.”
The application process for Medicaid Home and Community Based Services is extensive, and the average time to determine eligibility is 45 months. The proposed amendment would let military families who have already gone through the eligibility process maintain that status when they return to Alaska.
“Requiring military families to go through the process repeatedly makes them feel like they continually have to ‘prove’ themselves,” Wielechowski added.
This policy change is a top priority of the Department of Defense. Sen. Wielechowski has been working with Mark San Souci, their legislative liaison for the Department of Defense USA4Families program, to implement the change and improve the lives of military families.
For information about the amendment, read the sponsor statement.
The amendment will be offered on Senate bill 145 Monday, March 10th on the Senate floor.
For more information, please contact Senator Wielechowski at (907) 465-2435.