OUR BLOG

New Regulation Prohibits Discrimination in Health Care: Key Highlights for Aging Advocates

By | Affordable Care Act, BLOG, Health Care, Health Disparities, HOMEPAGE, Language Access, LGBT
Aging advocates working to promote health equity got some good news and extensive summer reading last week. After much anticipation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released final regulations that seek to transform care for underserved communities by ending discrimination in health care services and settings. Read More

Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Dual Eligibles: An Opportunity for Advocates

By | Alzheimer's & Dementia, BLOG, DUAL DEMONSTRATIONS, DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Care, HOMEPAGE
May is both Older Americans Month and Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health is a critical issue for older Americans, as one in five seniors has a mental health issue, and older men have the highest suicide rate of any group, according to the CDC. The mental health needs of seniors and persons with disabilities who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid are often overlooked in traditional medical settings, ramping up costs and leading to inadequate care. Read More

New Regulations Create Opportunity for Better Long Term Services and Supports: Medicaid Managed Care Regulation Preview

By | BLOG, Health Care, Home & Community Based Services, HOMEPAGE, In-Home Supportive Services, Person-Centered Care Planning
States and the federal government spend over $14 billion a year on Medicaid managed long-term services and supports—yet, there has never been an clear federal regulation defining state and managed care plan responsibilities in this massive enterprise. Until now. Last week, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final regulation on Medicaid Managed Care. This new regulation details, among other things, the federal government’s expectations for states and managed care organizations (MCOs) that contract to deliver managed long-term services and supports (LTSS) for older adults and people with disabilities. Read More

Big Win For Married LGBT SSI Recipients

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE, LGBT, LITIGATION, Supplemental Security Income
The last few weeks have brought some good news regarding Held v. Colvin, a case we (along with Foley Hoag LLP and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, or GLAD) filed in March 2015 against the Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of Plaintiffs Hugh Held and Kelley Richardson-Wright and a proposed nationwide class.

We filed this case to stop SSA from attempting to collect “overpayments” from very low income people over 65 and people with disabilities receiving SSI who had been married to someone of the same sex on or before June 2013 when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Read More

Department of Education to Forgive Student Loan Debt for Thousands of People with Disabilities

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE, Social Security
Nearly 400,000 people with disabilities (many who are seniors) breathed a sigh of relief last week when the Obama Administration and the Department of Education announced a program that will make it easier for people with permanent disabilities who receive Social Security Disability Insurance to apply to have their federal student loans forgiven. Read More

Voices of Medicare Summit Highlights Needs of Poor Seniors

By | BLOG, DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Care, Health Disparities, HOMEPAGE, Medicaid, Medicare
At the third annual Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMA) Voices of Medicare Summit earlier this month, I was particularly struck by how many presenters focused on the key role of Medicare for low-income older Americans. In fact, CMS Deputy Administrator and Medicare Director Sean Cavanaugh started off the day by emphasizing CMS’s commitment to make Medicare work for all beneficiaries, including those who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, half of all people on Medicare live on $24,000 or less a year, with 25% living on less than $14,000 a year. Read More

National Study Highlights Importance of Public Programs in Narrowing Life Expectancy Gap

By | BLOG, Health Disparities, HOMEPAGE, SENIOR POVERTY
“The end game faced by American seniors is defined in part by an un-level playing field, filled with resource disparities operating on both the individual and neighborhood levels.” This theory described by sociologist Corey Abramson, that inequality shapes aging, gained momentum this week with the release of a major study on life expectancy inequality in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Read More

Elder Financial Abuse and Medicaid Denials: Advocates can help older adults regain health and economic security

By | Alzheimer's & Dementia, BLOG, Health Care, HOMEPAGE, Medicaid
Elder abuse is broader than violence or neglect.  Victims of elder abuse also suffer from financial exploitation, like a former legal services client, Mrs. Anderson (name changed to protect her identity). Mrs. Anderson is an elderly nursing home resident with dementia in Maryland.  While Mrs. Anderson received nursing home care, her son misused her power of attorney to sell her house without her consent or knowledge. After the reverse mortgage company collected its payment, her the son pocketed the remaining $77,000 and used it to buy drugs. Because of this alleged “gift” to her son, Mrs. Anderson lost her Medicaid eligibility. Without help from civil legal aid, Mrs. Anderson would have been discharged from the nursing home with nowhere else to go. Read More

Aging in Film and TV: Writing the ‘World as it Actually Is’

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE, SENIOR POVERTY

By Emma Ayers and Fay Gordon

[Editor’s note: This post was originally published 2/29/16 on American Society on Aging’s AgeBlog.]  

Each day, we see the impacts of aging, whether within ourselves or in conversations with family and friends. But when we curl up at the end of the day, and escape into the world of streaming TV and film, the images reflected back at us paint a picture far different from reality.

Unfortunately, as we were reminded during last night’s Academy Awards, the stories told in films, and the actors telling those stories, often fail to reflect the diversity of experience in this country. In 2015’s top grossing films, aging was portrayed through the eyes of a wealthy businessman (The Intern), adventurous globetrotting pensioners (The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) and a woman who physically cannot age (The Age of Adeline). Read More

Times are Changing: Needs of Low-Income Seniors in the Spotlight

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE
Recently there has been a groundswell of media, academic, and pundit attention on the issue of senior poverty.

From the New York Times, the The Atlantic, to NPR, important and influential sources are finally acknowledging the difficult reality that too many of the older adults in our families and communities are facing. At Justice in Aging we are working with partners to leverage this attention to push for policy changes that can help these seniors. Read More

Democratic Debate Senior Poverty Question: A Missed Opportunity to Provide Solutions

By | BLOG, HOMEPAGE
“How will you as president work to ensure low-income seniors get their basic needs?”

During last night’s Democratic debate, Gwen Ifill shared a question from Farheen Hakeem about senior poverty. While both the Democratic and GOP debates and have discussed poverty and income inequality, Farheen’s question was the first specifically focused on senior poverty. Farheen is a 40-year-old woman who works for a nonprofit organization in Wisconsin. She asked:

“My father gets just $16 in food assistance per month as part of Medicaid’s family community program in Milwaukee County for low-income seniors. How will you as president work to ensure low-income seniors get their basic needs?”

Read More

Special Report: Advocacy Starts at Home

By | BLOG, Health Care, HOMEPAGE
As Lynn Friss Feinberg from the AARP Public Policy Institute reminds us at the beginning of the video below: “There are 40 million family caregivers in the US caring for an older adult or person with disabilities.” The economic value of these unpaid contributions amounts to approximately $470 billion. That means there are 40 million of us who know firsthand the challenges of balancing jobs, family, and school, and the unpaid labor of love which is family caregiving. As you can imagine, these challenges are even greater for low-income families. Read More