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Language Access

Llegar a la tercera edad como inmigrante, sin pensión y sin seguro médico

By | Health Care, Health Disparities, Health Equity, IN THE NEWS, Language Access, SENIOR POVERTY, Uncategorized

La Opinion: Llegar a la tercera edad como inmigrante, sin pensión y sin seguro médico, (March 28, 2020)

This article talks about how difficult it is for older adult immigrants who have no pension or health care to meet their basic needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially if they lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Justice in Aging attorney, Denny Chan, was interviewed for this article.

Se estima que de 2.2 millones de personas sin documentos que viven en California, el 2% son mayores de 65 años, según un informe del UC Berkeley Labor Center. “Muchos trabajadores inmigrantes han perdido su trabajo y están luchando para satisfacer sus necesidades para vivir; una catástrofe como una hospitalización de un miembro de la familia, los podrá en dificultades económicas”, agregó. “Un seguro médico protege a los estadounidenses de los costos médicos altos e inesperados, pero sin esos beneficios, las familias inmigrantes enfrentan altos riesgos de muerte y desesperación”. Denny dijo que, “en estos momentos la comunidad inmigrante, documentados o no, viven situaciones muy complicadas por las políticas antiinmigrantes por parte de la administración Trump.”

Many Enrolled in California Healthcare Plan Lack Interpretation Services, Surveys Show

By | DUAL DEMONSTRATIONS, DUAL ELIGIBLES, IN THE NEWS, Language Access, Medicaid, Medicare

The Sacramento Bee: Many Enrolled in California Healthcare Plan Lack Interpretation Services, Surveys Show (November 6, 2019)

Half of the non-English speaking people enrolled in Cal MediConnect reported they could never get a medical interpreter when they needed one, according to a survey conducted by San Francisco State University. Currently, Cal MediConnect is a pilot program that coordinates care for dual eligibles in seven California counties. However, a similar program will be rolled out that requires all of California’s dual eligibles to receive care through managed care plans. This new program is called CalAim. “Our experience in Cal MediConnect can be used to predict where potential language access barriers might be in this new model ‘CalAim’,” said Denny Chan, senior staff attorney at Justice in Aging. “Sooner or later, this will affect all duals across California. The agencies want to move people to managed care plans across the state, so it is important for us to make sure these problems don’t continue.”

Issue Brief: 10 Year Check-Up: The Affordable Care Act Has Enhanced Access to Quality Health Care for Low-Income Older Adults

By | Health Care, ISSUE BRIEF, Language Access, Medicaid, Medicare, Nursing Homes, REPORTS

As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit prepares to decide the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) this week, it’s time for a check-up on how the law has expanded affordable coverage for low-income older adults. Our new issue brief, 10 Year Check-Up: The Affordable Care Act Has Enhanced Access to Quality Health Care for Low-Income Older Adults, discusses all the ways this landmark legislation has improved the health and economic security of older adults. The brief also discusses how the ACA has become so ingrained in the overall health system, that without the law, the system itself would collapse.

The issue brief provides a detailed look at how the ACA has expanded affordable coverage through Medicaid to more people and made it possible for more older adults to age at home and in their communities instead of in nursing facilities. Under the ACA, older adults also are protected against being charged more for pre-existing conditions and being denied essential health benefits. Low-income older adults who receive both Medicaid and Medicare get better care coordination and more help with prescription drugs. Additionally, the ACA expanded Civil Rights protections for LGBTQ and limited English proficient seniors, and stepped up oversight of nursing facilities, among other protections.

This paper shows how, after 10 years, the ACA is woven deeply into every health care program on which older adults rely. Without it, more older adults would lose their coverage, pay more for premiums and prescription drugs, be at greater risk of institutionalization, and lose many ground-breaking consumer protections. We must continue to work together to strengthen and protect this foundational program.

Issue Brief: Older Immigrants and Medicare

By | Health Care, Health Care Defense, ISSUE BRIEF, Language Access, Medicare

Accessing the Medicare program as an older immigrant can be a complex and confusing process – especially when an immigrant is not a citizen, has limited work history, and limited English proficiency. Justice in Aging’s new issue brief, Older Immigrants and Medicare, is intended to provide advocates who work with older immigrants a summary of the policies and practices to help immigrants enroll in and pay for Medicare coverage.

The issue brief specifically covers the following topics and includes numerous hypothetical examples to illustrate the myriad of rules and scenarios older immigrants face when attempting to access Medicare:

  • Eligibility and enrollment, with particular attention to rules affecting non-citizens
  • Help paying for coverage
  • Post-enrollment issues potentially affecting immigrant beneficiaries
  • Language access rights and resources in Medicare

July 5: Immediate Changes to Medicaid Managed Care

By | BLOG, Health Care, HOMEPAGE, Language Access, LGBT, Long Term Care, Medicaid
On July 5, the first wave of new Medicaid managed care regulation requirements go into effect. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the final Medicaid managed care rule this spring, introducing sweeping changes to how the federal government will regulate the entities that manage long-term services and supports (LTSS). While many of regulation’s big ticket items will be implemented over the course of the year, a few important pieces go live this summer. Justice in Aging will discuss these changes in a free webinar on June 30. Here’s a short list of some of the items we’ll be discussing. Read More

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

Advancing Health Equity for Older Adults

By | Affordable Care Act, BLOG, Health Care, Health Disparities, HOMEPAGE, Language Access, LGBT, Medicaid, Medicare, Nursing Homes
When John’s partner, Jack, moved into a nursing facility, the staff, who were uncomfortable assisting a gay man, let 16 days pass before helping him take a shower. “He was finally taken in for a shower by a staff member with empathy,” John shared. Afraid of future neglect and discrimination, John began checking Jack out of the nursing facility and bringing him home to their apartment to help Jack shower and shave.

John should not have to worry about a nursing facility neglecting Jack due to his sexual orientation. As an 83 year-old caregiver, John should not face the additional burden of replacing Jack’s neglected care. Read More

Ten Things You Should Know About Language Access Advocacy for Older Adults

By | BLOG, DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Disparities, HOMEPAGE, Language Access

Last month, CMS announced a first-ever plan to address health equity in Medicare. One of the major priorities is to improve communication and language access for individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP). This is important because of the sheer numbers of people it affects and because language barriers are a major cause of low-income older adults being unable to access the health care they need. Here are ten things you should know about language access advocacy for older adults.

Read More

IHSS and Language Access: A Resource Manual for Advocates

By | In-Home Supportive Services, Language Access, REPORTS

NSCLC’s resource manual for advocates provides background information and practical advice for advocates whose clients receive In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) and are limited English proficient. Resources include NSCLC’s recent report on language access and IHSS, relevant state rules regarding translation and interpretation, a guide to filing access complaints, copies of and links to multi-lingual resources, and other useful information.

Read the IHSS and Language Access Resource Manual (updated March 2011)