Health Care Archives - JUSTICE IN AGING

Leaving Seniors to Fend for Themselves During Pandemic Has Cost Lives


Los Angeles Times Leaving Seniors to Fend for Themselves During Pandemic Has Cost Lives (March 24, 2020)

Despite early data showing that older adults were most at risk of complications and death from COVID-19, many companies were slow to put in measures that could help older adults stay safe. For example, in the beginning of the pandemic, drug stores were charging older adults delivery fees instead of encouraging them to stay home and safe by waiving fees. Later, many drugstores did begin waiving fees. “It’s taken way too long,” said Kevin Prindiville, executive director of the advocacy group Justice in Aging. “Our failure to create systems early on to help older people social distance has cost lives.”

Look-Alike Medicare Plans Have Regulators Rethinking New Rules

By | IN THE NEWS, Medicare

Bloomberg Law: Look-Alike Medicare Plans Have Regulators ReThinking New Rules (October 17, 2019)

Low-income individuals who are dually eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid are being targeted by private “look-alike” plans that imitate Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNPS) and promise extra benefits, but often don’t deliver and can expose enrollees to extra costs. Justice in Aging Directing Attorney Amber Christ was interviewed for the article, in which she stated, “So they sign up thinking that they’re getting something more, but what ends up happening is because there’s no coordination [between Medicare and Medicaid], they end up getting billed for services that they would have gotten free under the Medicaid program. There’s just an increased risk for that kind of improper billing to happen.”

The CMS had proposed new restrictions on marketing the look-alike plans but has walked away from the proposal, saying in an April letter that some Medicare Advantage plans felt look-alikes have a “legitimate place in the Medicare Advantage marketplace in areas where there are no DSNPs.” This article is behind a paywall. This is a summary.

Medicare Races to Fix Flaw in New Tool that Lets Millions of Seniors find Cheap Drug Plans

By | IN THE NEWS, Medicare, NEWS, Newsroom

Boston Globe: Medicare Races to Fix Flaw in New Tool that Let’s Millions of Seniors Find Cheap Drug Plans (September 10, 2019)

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its new Medicare Plan Finder on August 27. The Plan Finder is an important tool for 45 million Medicare beneficiaries during the annual enrollment period. Advocates are concerned that the Plan Finder makes it more difficult for users to evaluate the costs of their drugs and other services in relation to the costs of their overall plans, among other problems with the plan, and could lead to users choosing a plan that is not the best one for them. Justice in Aging is mentioned in this story as one of the four advocacy groups who sent a letter to Medicare Administrator, Seema Verna, expressing concern about the Plan Finder.

Graying California Panel Discussion: How Prepared is California for the Booming Senior Population?


KPBS: Graying California Panel Discussion: How Prepared is California for the Booming Senior Population? (May 22, 2019)

California’s senior population is set to double over the next 25 years. And the state’s high cost of living means a life of poverty for hundreds of thousands of older Californians. KPBS media in San Diego hosted a live panel discussion with aging and economic security experts to discuss how the state can best meet the needs of an aging population while also ensuring that low-income older adults can meet their basic needs for food, shelter, and health care. Justice in Aging’s Executive Director, Kevin Prindiville participated in this wide-ranging panel discussion.

Justice in Aging’s Letter to California’s Governor Elect Gavin Newsom

By | Statements

Gavin Newsom, California’s new governor, will begin his term among a growing crisis of senior poverty in the state. It will be critical that the Governor Elect create a master plan for aging that includes an aggressive, progressive approach to solve the root causes of senior poverty including high housing costs and high out-of-pocket medical costs, while increasing access to critical benefits that help California’s seniors get the help they need to make ends meet. Justice in Aging sent the new governor a letter congratulating him on being elected and outlining some of the critical investments in older adults we hope to see and work together with the administration to achieve.

California’s Senior Population is Growing Faster than any other Age Group. How the Next Governor Responds is Crucial


Los Angeles Times: California’s Senior Population is Growing Faster than any other Age Group. How the Next Governor Responds is Crucial ( October 7, 2018)
The next governor will be confronted with a demographic shift of epic proportions: Seniors will be California’s fastest-growing population. Between now and 2026, the number of Californians 65 and older is expected to climb by 2.1 million, according to projections by the state Department of Finance. By contrast, the number of 25- to 64-year-olds is projected to grow by just more than half a million; the number of Californians younger than 25 will grow by a mere 2,500. The reporter interviewed Justice in Aging Executive Director, Kevin Prindiville, at length for the article. The Justice in Aging perspective on senior poverty was well reflected in the fact that the journalist noted that the state is going to have to grapple with poverty in a different way, due to the unique needs of seniors aging in poverty. Kevin notes, “We get a lot of pressure to come with ideas that don’t have a dollar ask, but we’re going to have to spend some money to solve these bigger problems.” Read the full article.

Justice in Aging’s Statement on the Nomination of Judge Kavanaugh

By | IN THE NEWS, Newsroom, Statements

The stakes are high for older adults with the nomination of the next Supreme Court Justice. We need a Supreme Court Justice who will protect older adults’ access to health care, their economic security, and their right to be treated equally and with dignity in their homes, workplaces, and communities. Congress needs to reject any nominee, including Judge Kavanaugh, who will put the interests of the wealthy and powerful above the interests of the rest of us—especially the older adults in our communities. The American people want a Supreme Court justice with moderate views and who has bipartisan support. Judge Kavanaugh is not such a justice.

Judge Kavanaugh’s record gives us little comfort that he would defend the civil rights of older adults or older adults’ access to health care. He has routinely ruled against older adults in age discrimination cases. The fate of the Affordable Care Act and the consumer protections that are critical to the ability of older adults to access and afford coverage are on the line. Based on Judge Kavanaugh’s record, his confirmation would put protections for 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions at grave risk.

His willingness to defer to the executive authority of the President is dangerous and would undermine the judiciary’s role as a check on unfettered Presidential power. The Administration is rolling back important consumer protections and rights, including for LGBTQ older adults, and cutting access to Medicaid. The next Supreme Court Justice should be someone who will preserve the court system as a meaningful route to challenge these actions, not someone who would turn back the clock on civil rights

For those reasons we oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination and urge members of Congress to reject him as a nominee. 

Justice in Aging Statement on Proposed 2019 Budget

By | Statements

President Trump’s proposed FY 2019 Budget is yet another attack on the health and economic security of older adults and people with disabilities. After using the latest tax bill to give away trillions of dollars in tax cuts to America’s wealthiest, the Administration is attempting to pay for those tax cuts by slashing critical programs that keep older adults in their homes, allow them to visit their doctors, and ensure they can meet their basic needs.

This budget would take us backwards by increasing poverty and making it harder for people to get the health care they need. It goes against what Congress wants and what the public wants. In its 2018 budget, Congress recently increased spending for important and popular programs. Those gains would disappear in 2019 under this budget.

The American people do not want cuts to Medicaid or the repeal of the ACA, yet this budget renews calls for slashing Medicaid by more than $1.4 trillion over the next decade through block grants and per capita caps, as well as repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As we have explained, such cuts would be devastating to low-income older adults who rely on Medicaid to support their health care needs and ability to stay in their homes, leave millions without coverage, and weaken consumer protections.

The President promised the American people he wouldn’t touch Medicare, yet his proposed budget for the next ten years calls for over $490 billion in cuts to a program that every American will need.

The budget also would make it harder for older adults to pay rent, put food on the table, and meet their basic needs. The budget proposes significant cuts of over $83 billion to Social Security, primarily through cuts to Social Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. These programs are there for people who have no or little income and are the difference between home and a life on the streets for many.

Additionally, the budget proposes dramatic cuts to nutrition assistance, eliminates funding for home heating and cooling assistance for about 6 million low-income households, and calls for the complete elimination of the Legal Services Corporation, which provides vital legal help for low-income older adults and their families.

This budget is a true window into the misplaced priorities of this President and his Administration. On the heels of a massive tax cut that will increase income inequality, this budget proposes to make life even more difficult for America’s poor older adults and people with disabilities.

By joining together we have fought back successfully against previous attempts to cut the programs older adults and their families rely on, and we will continue to fight for justice for us all as we age.

Read our joint statement with Medicare Rights Center, and the Center for Medicare Advocacy


Joint Statement: President’s Budget Targets Key Health Care Programs; Millions of Older Adults and People with Disabilities at Risk if Implemented, Advocates Warn


Washington, DC—The President’s annual budget request is, at its core, a statement of values. It is incredibly troubling then, that President Trump’s budget blueprint for FY 2019, submitted this week, again prioritizes deep cuts to programs on which older adults and people with disabilities rely, including Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act.

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Senate ACA-Repeal Knocks Down House, Builds Shack

By | Affordable Care Act, BLOG, Health Care, Health Care Defense, Home & Community Based Services, HOMEPAGE
Over 90% of older adults say that they want to remain in their homes as they age, rather than going into a nursing home. A successful and popular program, Community First Choice (CFC), lets people do just that.

The revised Senate health care bill brings an idea that should be a hard sell for the over 3 million older adults and people with disabilities who rely on Medicaid for in-home care. On top of a massive almost $800 billion cut to Medicaid that guarantees shrunken programs and eliminated services, the Senate bill kills CFC and replaces it with an inferior version that provides fewer services for a limited time only.

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