All Posts By

Amber Christ

Dental Coverage for Older Adults Should be Coordinated and Evidence-Based

By | BLOG, Health Care, HOMEPAGE, Oral Health | No Comments
Maddie suffers from Crohn’s Disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract leading to significant weight loss, fatigue, and pain.[1] Recently, Maddie’s symptoms have gotten much worse and her doctor has decided that her best treatment option is chemotherapy. Maddie, like many older adults, has very poor teeth. Her doctor has told her that he will not proceed with the chemotherapy until she has her teeth fixed because the risk of infection is too great. The solution seems easy: Maddie just needs to see a dentist who will deliver the proper treatment and Maddie can receive her chemotherapy. In reality, however, Maddie has ping-ponged between her doctors and her oral health providers for two months and ultimately sought help from a legal advocate when her dental services were denied. The barriers Maddie faces are overwhelming, but fixable. Read More

Repeal of the ACA—Without a Replacement—Threatens California Seniors

By | Affordable Care Act, BLOG, DUAL DEMONSTRATIONS, DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Care, Health Care Defense, HOMEPAGE, Medicaid, Medicare | No Comments
There are currently 7.6 million older adults living in California who rely on Medicare, Medi-Cal, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to see a doctor, receive care in their home, and pay for prescription drugs. The repeal of the ACA threatens these critical programs, jeopardizing the care seniors receive every day. Read More

Systemic Denti-Cal Problems Increase Financial Hardship for Older Adults

By | BLOG, Health Care, HOMEPAGE, Medicaid, Medicare, Oral Health | No Comments
Linda—a low-income older adult living in Los Angeles County—applied for a dental credit card after being advised to do so by her dentist. Her dentist’s office explained that, while she has dental coverage through Denti-Cal, it often takes a long time to get authorizations approved and it would be in her best interest to pay right now with the card and get reimbursed later. When Linda received her statement, it showed she owed over $2,000. Not only did she receive services that were not covered by her insurance, she also was charged for services that should have been covered by Denti-Cal but that were denied because her dentist’s office did not properly submit the claim to Denti-Cal. Unable to pay the $2,000 within the no-interest six month promotional period, Linda was hit with the balance plus six months of interest that accrued at 26.9%. Distraught, Linda contacted a legal advocate who is now working to dispute the charges and to rescind the credit card contract. Read More

Cal MediConnect: A Long Way to Go

By | Affordable Care Act, BLOG, DUAL DEMONSTRATIONS, DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Care, HOMEPAGE, Medicaid, Medicare | No Comments
Evaluation and enrollment data on the Cal MediConnect program reveals that the program has a long way to go to deliver on the promise of integrated person-centered care. While the data contains some promising trends, it also reveals serious deficiencies that demand focused attention from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).

The Cal MediConnect (CMC) program, which created new health plans integrating Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits for dually eligible beneficiaries, has been in effect for over two years in seven California counties. Enrollment data released by DHCS and a recent series of evaluations, including surveys, focus groups, and polling, paint a picture of how the program is performing and how enrollees are faring so far. Read More

Improving the Oral Health of California’s Older Adults

By | BLOG, DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Disparities, HOMEPAGE, Oral Health | No Comments

Justice in Aging is excited to launch a new project: Improving Oral Health of California’s Older Adults. Oral health is a critical aspect of overall health for people of all ages, but especially for older adults. Unfortunately, the oral health needs of older adults, and particularly low-income older adults, in California have been neglected. As a result, older adults encounter significant challenges when attempting to access oral healthcare and consequently experience severe mouth pain, tooth loss, and the worsening of chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and diabetes.

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Aging, Women and Poverty in California: A forum to discuss the needs of older Californians

By | BLOG, Health Care, HOMEPAGE, SENIOR POVERTY | No Comments

“It is imperative we separate the insidiousness of economic inequality from the value and purposefulness of those living in poverty.”

Paul Downey, Chair California Commission on Aging and President/CEO, Serving Seniors

“Sixty-six percent of seniors in poverty are women, women who cared for us, clothed us, housed us…it is immoral…we must do more.”

California State Senator Kevin de León

“We must invest in the social safety net.”

Denise Likar, Independence at Home
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Addressing Hunger Within the Web of Senior Poverty

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE, SENIOR POVERTY | No Comments

Nationally, twenty-three percent of low-income older adults currently face food insecurity – meaning they lack consistent access to adequate food. This figure is expected to double over the next decade as the number of seniors living in poverty continues to increase. In Los Angeles County, there are over 300,000 low-income seniors who cannot make ends meet. Yet, only a fraction of this population – approximately nineteen percent – receive free food or assistance through existing meal programs.

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