Today, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy signed Senate Bill (SB) 57, which allows individuals to be licensed to operate an adult care home and receive payment under Medicaid for providing assisted living services for elderly adults and adult foster children in a home-like environment.
“I am honored to sign this important piece of legislation today because stability is one of the most important things people need,” said Governor Dunleavy. “This bill will benefit not only foster children but all adults with disabilities who would prefer to receive services in a smaller, family-type setting. Despite Alaska being the biggest state in the United States, it also has the fewest options for assisted living. Meeting the needs of older Alaskans in their community is critical to supporting healthy aging and community sustainability.”
“Seniors and Alaskans of all ages with disabilities, who need extra care, will now be able to get help at home under SB 57,” said Senator Cathy Giessel, Majority Leader. “Alaskans struggling with dementia and other complex medical needs will be able to remain in their familiar home surroundings cared for by family members, who are trained and paid to provide that loving care. This is particularly beneficial for rural Alaskans in locations where home care agencies are not available.
SB 57 will also encourage foster families to remain together when special needs recipients age out of foster care and desire to remain with their foster family. The bill authorizes the Alaska Department of Health (DOH) to pay for services under the state’s Medicaid program associated with a licensed adult care home. DOH would also be authorized to license and develop rules for operating an adult care home.