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Supportive Living Program Legislation

Evergreen Senior Living Communities in Illinois are celebrating Supportive Living Week from April 22-26. The theme for 2019 is "Never Stop Dancing". Music and movement pair effortlessly. The language of music is universal and for seniors, songs can evoke memories to various pivotal times in their lives. Just the sound of a familiar tune can help uncover lost memories and feelings. Together, music and dancing keep people moving and happy, as they continue to live their lives to the very fullest!

The Supportive Living Program (Medicaid-supportived assisted living) is Illinois' model of affordable assisted living where qualified elders and persons with disabilities, with almost any income, can live and receive and services. Throughout the state, the Supportive Living Program (SLP) consists of 12,800 apartments in 73 counties. The Evergreen Senior Living Community has seven supportive living communities, located in Normal, Streator, Litchfield, Alton, Decatur, Beardstown and Lincoln.

In a supportive living community, seniors have access to the same amenities and services, receiving the same compassionate care as seniors in assisted living communities. The difference between the two senior lifestyles is supportive living communities allow one to take advantage of Medicaid, Veteran's Benefits or other financial assistance programs. Evergreen provides a healthy community where seniors can enjoy a quality lifestyle at an affordable price.

There is currently legislation specifically related to the SLP that has been introduced: SB 1785 and HB 2637. The long-term sustainability of the SLP is at risk due to the current low rates of Medicaid reimbursement. This legislation increases funding for the SLP and could save the state of Illinois millions of dollars every year.

These two bills will effectively re-link Supportive Living  Medicaid rates to 60% of the nursing home rates on July 1, 2019. The cost of re-linking rates is estimated at $24 million state dollars. Each year, the SLP saves the state of Illinois $220 million compared to what it would cost if SL residents were residing in an institutional setting. 

Supportive Living communities face increasing cost pressures associated with providing high-quality services and the recently enacted minimum wage hike has exacerbated the situation. Adequate funding will allow Supportive Living communities, such as Evergreen Place Alton, to keep seniors and people with disabilities in the lowest-acuity settings while also saving the State money every year.

In addition, supportive living communities face increasing cost pressures associated with providing high-quality services to vulnerable residents. The current reimbursement rates simply do not support the services that are provided. The Illinois' SLP is a nationally acclaimed model that other states strive for, but the lack of investment by the state of Illinois threatens the entire program. The re-linking of rates will allow supportive living facilities to keep seniors and people with disabilities in lowest-acuity settings while also saving the state money every year.

If you would like to learn more about SB 1785 and HB 2637, and what you can do to help this legislation become law, please visit or call the Evergreen supportive living community nearest you. You can see a list of our supportive living homes by visiting here.

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Tuesday, 26 May 2020

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