Legislative committees in Connecticut have approved two bills that would provide tax relief for expenses related to home care. Both bills are supported by the HCAOA Connecticut Chapter.
House Bill 6926, An Act Establishing a Personal Income Tax Deduction for Certain Home Health Care Expenses, would provide financial relief for certain caregiver-taxpayers through a personal income tax deduction of up to $60,000 for expenses paid to care for any relative 70 years of age or older to offset the cost of full-time home health care. Deductible costs would include the cost of medical supplies and in-home services provided by a homemaker-companion agency.
HCAOA Connecticut provided testimony for the public hearing on the bill before the Finance Committee, saying the tax deduction would, “…help make home care more affordable for seniors and their families and provide much-needed financial relief to taxpayers.”
The Finance Committee approved the bill unanimously and it will be placed on the House calendar shortly.
House Bill 5511, An Act Establishing a Personal Income Tax Deduction for Home Care Costs for Veterans, establishes a similar state income tax deduction for expenses paid to care for a veteran. The Connecticut Chapter asserted in its testimony, that home care agencies providing non-medical home care services to veterans also should qualify for an income tax deduction. The Veterans’ and Military Affairs Committee approved the bill unanimously. Last week, the House referred the bill to the Finance Committee.
While both bills have a long way to go and will be subject to budget negotiations and final approval, this is a significant step in the process and the furthest the policy has moved in recent years.
Progress is also being made against the Department of Consumer Protection’s guidance prohibiting use of the word “care” by home care agencies. Late last week, an amendment that implements the home care task force recommendations was filed to Senate Bill 1025, sponsored by bipartisan Aging Committee leadership. The amendment, which is opposed by the Department of Consumer Protection, addresses many of the concerns HCAOA Connecticut has expressed with the Department’s guidance prohibiting use of the word ‘care’ by home care agencies.
HCAOA Connecticut encourages members to reach out to their legislators asking them to support SB 1025 and the amendment, which would withdraw the ban of the word “care.”