CHAPTER 367

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 31, DELAWARE CODE, ENTITLED "WELFARE", TO PROVIDE FOR THE FURNISHING OF MEDICAL CARE TO THE INDIGENT AND MEDICALLY INDIGENT.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. § 502, title 31, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the definition of "Medical Care" and inserting in lieu thereof a new definition of "Medical Care" to read :

"Medical Care" means payment of part or all of the cost of (1) inpatient hospital services; (2) outpatient hospital services; (3) other laboratory and X-ray services; (4) skilled nursing home services for individuals 21 years of age or older; (5) physician's services, whether furnished in the office, the patient's home, a hospital, or a skilled nursing home, or elsewhere and (6) drugs and medicine as specified by the Department within the limitations of the funds appropriated by the State of Delaware and the United States Congress for this purpose for individuals who are needy or who are found eligible for Medical Assistance for the Medically Indigent. The Department of Public Welfare may initiate services and include categories for coverage on a progressive basis provided that the services enumerated above are available to all covered groups by July 1, 1967 and that at least all recipients of federally aided assistance programs be covered by December 31, 1969. Any such payments shall be made only to persons and institutions which meet standards, established by the State Board of Health, that promote safe and adequate treatment of individuals in the interest of public health and safety.

Section 2. §502, title 31, Delaware Code, is amended by adding thereto a new definition to follow the definition of "Medical Care" to read:

"Medical Assistance for the Medically Indigent" means medical care furnished on behalf of individuals who would, if

needy, be eligible for assistance in any of the categories listed in subsections (1), (2), and (3) of section 504 of this chapter or for assistance to the needy blind, and on behalf of individuals who are under the age of 21 years, provided such individuals have insufficient income and resources to meet the costs of necessary medical or remedial care and services.

Section 3. §503 (b), title 31, Delaware Code, is amended to read:

(b) Assistance may be granted to eligible persons who are 65 years of age or over and patients in an institution for tuberculosis or mental disease.

Section 4. §503 (d), title 31, Delaware Code, is amended by adding to the last paragraph thereof a new sentence to read:

The limitations on the amount paid for aid and services to needy families with children may be exceeded, however, by the amount of any payments for Medical Care as defined in section 502 of this chapter.

Section 5. §503 (e), title 31, Delaware Code, is amended by striking out the words "medical assistance for the aged" wherever they appear therein and substituting in lieu thereof in each instance the words "Medical Care".

Section 6. §503 (e) is amended by striking out the last sentence thereof and adding the following in lieu thereof:

The policies and regulations determined by the Department for eligibility standards and level of payments shall be within the limitations of the funds appropriated therefor. No lien shall be imposed on the property of a recipient of Medical Care on account of such care correctly paid during his lifetime; nor shall any adjustment or recovery be made on account of Medical Care correctly paid except after his death and that of his surviving spouse and then only in the absence of any surviving child under 21 years or any surviving child over the age of 21 years who is blind or permanently or totally disabled.

Any adjustment or recovery with respect to such Medical Care correctly paid shall be made only from the estate of a recipient who was 65 years of age or over when he received Medical Care.

Section 7. § 504 (5), title 31, Delaware Code, is amended to read:

(5) Medical Care; assistance granted in the form of Medical Care to persons residing in this State including residents absent therefrom who—

(a) are recipients of assistance in any of the categories listed in subsections (1), (2) and (3) of this section or as aid to the needy blind or who would be eligible for any such assistance in one of such categories except that they do not meet the durational residence requirement prescribed therefor, or

(b) are eligible for Medical Assistance for the Medically Indigent.

Section 8. § 510, title 31, Delaware Code, is amended by adding thereto a new paragraph to read:

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section or any other provision of law, the financial responsibility of an individual for any applicant or recipient of Medical Care shall be disregarded unless such applicant is such individual's spouse or child who is under the age of 21 years or is blind or permanently and totally disabled.

Section 9. § 513 (b), title 31, Delaware Code, is amended by inserting the words: ", excluding payments made for Medical Care," between the words "grants" and "paid" in both instances in which said words appear in the fourth paragraph thereof.

Section 10. § 513, title 31, Delaware Code, is amended by adding thereto a new subsection to read:

(d) With respect to assistance provided as Medical Care as defined in section 502 of this chapter, to recipients of Aid to the Blind or to medically indigent persons who would be eligible, except for need, to receive Aid to the Blind, applications for such Medical Care and supporting information relating thereto shall be certified to the Department by the Delaware Commission for the Blind, which Department shall base its determinations of eligibility on the rules and regulations promulgated by the Department. Persons certified by said Commission shall be eligible for Medical Care in all respects on the same basis as persons who apply to the Department.

Section 11. § 517, title 31, Delaware Code, is amended to read:

§ 517. Hospital and medical treatment for recipients of aid under this chapter

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Levy Court of any county shall not provide for the hospital treatment and medical care of any individual receiving assistance in any of the categories listed in subsections (1), (2), (3) and (5) of section 504 of this chapter or receiving assistance as Aid to the Blind pursuant to the provisions of this title.

Section 12. No payment pursuant to this Act shall be made for assistance granted in the form of Medical Care, as defined in this Act, under the law in effect prior to the enactment of this Act for any period with respect to which federal aid is received under Title XIX of the Federal Social Security Act or for any period after December 31, 1969.

Section 13. The provisions of this Act shall become effective on October 1, 1966.

Approved June 7, 1966.