Category

REPORTS

Fact Sheet: How the ACA is Helping Older Adults During COVID-19

By | Affordable Care Act, FACT SHEET, Health Care, Home & Community Based Services, REPORTS

COVID-19 is putting a spotlight on our nation’s healthcare system—exposing both the ways in which programs that serve older adults are essential and the gaps. In particular, the pandemic is emphasizing how older adults’ lives are at stake in California v. Texas, when the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Today, 18 states, led by Texas and the Trump Administration, submitted briefs asking the Supreme Court to strike down the ACA as unconstitutional.

Justice in Aging’s new fact sheet outlines the ways the ACA is acting as a lifeline for older adults during this pandemic. It ensures that more older adults have health insurance coverage, expands access to home and community-based services (HCBS), and prevents discrimination based on age and disability.

Eliminating the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and anti-discrimination protections would exacerbate the devastating effects of systemic racism that are causing older adults of color who to contract and die from COVID-19 at disproportionate rates.

For more on what’s at risk for low-income older adults if the ACA is struck down read our amicus brief and our 10-Year Checkup Issue Brief.

Fact Sheet: Budget Cuts to Programs for Low-Income Older Adults Must be Rejected – Cuts Would Disproportionately Hurt Older Adults of Color

By | CA Health Network Alert, Economic Security, FACT SHEET, Health Care, Home & Community Based Services, REPORTS

Governor Newsom’s revised budget makes deep cuts to nearly every program on which low-income older adults rely. The cuts to programs will be especially hard on older adults of color, who, because of systemic racism and discrimination, are at greater risk from COVID-19 and rely on these programs to survive. If enacted, these cuts will cause great harm to the health and economic security of the state’s low-income older adults and their families.

Last week, the state Senate rejected many of the cuts that the Governor proposed. Advocates need to continue to push back and educate legislators about the devastating impact of these cuts. A new Justice in Aging fact sheet discusses in more detail the specific harms of these cuts and their disproportionate impact on communities of color.

COVID-19 Advocacy Toolkit for Older Adults

By | REPORTS, Toolkit

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the unmet needs of low-income older adults across the country, as well as the disparate impact a public health crisis like COVID-19 has on communities of color. Older adults and people with underlying and chronic health conditions are most at risk from both the virus and the range of harms caused by isolation during strict physical distancing. Older adults who were already living on limited income and experiencing health disparities due to historical and present-day discrimination are most at risk of dying, whether it be from COVID-19 itself or not being able to get or afford other necessary healthcare, nutrition, and housing. Despite these facts, the relief packages passed so far have not focused on the needs of those most impacted.

We are asking Congress to take action on a range of issues. We have developed a toolkit to help you take action that includes a template letter and social media content.

Fact Sheet: Urgent Needs of Low-Income Older Adults During COVID-19 Crisis

By | Economic Security, FACT SHEET, Health Care, REPORTS

Because older adults and people with disabilities and underlying and chronic health conditions are most at risk from both the COVID-19 virus and the range of harms caused by isolation during strict physical distancing, Congress must take urgent action to protect their lives and well-being. In particular, Congress must pay extraordinary attention to older adults who were already living in poverty and experiencing health disparities due to historical and present-day discrimination. Their intersecting health and economic disparities mean they are most at risk of dying, whether it be from COVID-19 itself or not being able to get or afford other necessary healthcare, nutrition, and housing.

Read our Policy Priorities

Issue Brief: The “CARES Act:” What’s in It & What’s Missing

By | Economic Security, Health Care, ISSUE BRIEF, REPORTS, Safety Net Defense, SENIOR POVERTY

On March 27th, Congress passed the CARES Act (H.R. 748), a $2 trillion funding package aimed at addressing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Americans. Justice in Aging analyzed the bill’s provisions through the lens of low-income older adults and people with disabilities in order to update you on what’s in the bill and what’s missing. The bill makes a number of key investments that will help low-income older adults and people with disabilities.

Our high-level summary of major provisions of the CARES Act also puts forth additional policies Congress must immediately enact to meet the needs of low-income older adults in this crisis.

Summary: How States are Modifying HCBS Programs to Address COVID-19 Emergency

By | Health Care, Home & Community Based Services, Medicaid, Medicare, REPORTS

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has begun reviewing and approving states’ emergency requests to modify their home and community-based services (HCBS) waivers. These approvals, documented through CMS’ Appendix K form, list the many modifications that CMS has approved in the past week.

As an aid to advocates, providers, and policy-makers, Justice in Aging is reviewing and summarizing the CMS approvals pertaining to aging-focused HCBS waivers. This summarized information, organized by the same categories used in Appendix K, can be a guide for advocates and others to identify useful modifications and flag others that may be problematic or otherwise unwanted.

California’s Master Plan For Aging: Prevent and End Elder Abuse in California

By | FACT SHEET, Long Term Care, Nursing Homes, REPORTS

California has committed to developing a Master Plan for Aging in order to meet the needs of older adults today and for generations to come.

The fourth in this series of papers, Prevent and End Elder Abuse in California, offers specific policy recommendations, including improved data collection and sharing, increased cooperation among government entities, simpler advance planning, and establishing robust consumer protections—all of which work together to prevent elder abuse. We are grateful to partners at the California Elder Justice Coalition, with whom we worked to develop these recommendations.

FAQ: Part D Drug Co-Pays and Refunds for Certain California Dual Eligibles

By | CA Health Network Alert, FACT SHEET, Health Care, Medicare, REPORTS

In 2012, the Affordable Care Act expanded the Part D Extra Help Program, also known as the Low-Income Subsidy (LIS), so that dual eligibles enrolled in certain Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) should not be charged any co-pays for Part D covered drugs. However, since 2012, some California duals enrolled in Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) and in San Mateo’s Multipurpose Senior Services Programs (MSSP) have been improperly charged co-pays. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and California’s Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is beginning to work with Part D and Medicare Advantage plans so that these dual eligibles are properly assessed co-pays and retroactively reimbursed for any improper amounts collected.

Justice in Aging created an FAQ for advocates to answer key questions about the implementation of these refunds.

California’s Master Plan For Aging: Address Senior Hunger by Maximizing CalFresh and the Hold Harmless Food Benefits

By | CA Health Network Alert, FACT SHEET, REPORTS, SENIOR POVERTY

California has committed to developing a Master Plan for Aging in order to meet the needs of older adults today and for generations to come.

The third in this series of papers, Addressing Senior Hunger by Maximizing CalFresh and the Hold Harmless Food Benefits, offers specific policy recommendations for addressing troubling senior hunger trends, and the low utilization among seniors of available benefits.