Preserving Access to Home- and Community-Based Services Through Community First Choice

An important AARP study shows that an overwhelming majority of people would like to remain in their homes and communities for as long as possible. Personal care services, such as assistance with bathing, eating and dressing, are critically important to helping older adults and people with disabilities of all ages live independently and avoid costly nursing facility placements. Medicaid plays a critical role in providing this support. It is the largest public payer of long-term services and supports (LTSS), including …

Capping Medicaid Funding Could Hurt Millions of People With Disabilities and Poor Seniors

Medicaid is the country’s largest public health insurance program, providing access to needed health care and long-term services and supports  (LTSS) to millions of low-income Americans, including more than 17 million children with disabilities, adults with disabilities, and poor seniors. Right now, states and the federal government share the cost of Medicaid in a way that guarantees services to all who are eligible. Under this arrangement, federal funding increases (or decreases) in response to changes in enrollment, service costs and …

Protecting Medicaid’s Promise

With the start of the new Congress and new Administration, health care policy is on the front burner in Washington. The future is very uncertain, and the stakes are high. Health care touches all of us and affects nearly 20% of the U.S. economy. AARP is very focused on making sure any health care reforms protect older Americans and their families, particularly from rising costs that push many to the brink. We are especially concerned about plans for Medicaid, which …

The Ban on Preexisting Condition Exclusions Helps Older Adults

Most Americans get their health insurance through their employer or through government-sponsored programs like Medicare or Medicaid. People who do not have access to those forms of coverage — for instance, because they are between jobs or are self-employed — typically buy health insurance directly from private insurers on the individual market. Since 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has provided a critical protection for individuals who seek insurance in this market: It bans insurance companies from considering people’s health …

Nursing Facility Transitions: A Cornerstone for Balancing Long-Term Services and Supports

When Abbie was first admitted to a nursing facility in Henderson, Nev., in December 2012, she was told she would probably be there for the rest of her life. For Abbie, who was 76 at the time, that was not an option. “That place was not my cup of tea,” she said. “I didn’t belong there.” About 1.5 million Americans currently live in a nursing facility. Like Abbie, whose story was told first by Nevada’s Money Follows the Person (MFP) …

Consumer Voices Matter: Meaningful Engagement of Consumers and Caregivers in Long-Term Care

Patient-centered care is responsive to the needs and values of the individuals receiving care, and is one aspect of a high-performing, high-quality health care system. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a final rule that gives Medicaid managed care consumers and their family caregivers a seat at the table by requiring states to include consumer and family caregiver perspectives in the design, implementation and oversight of state-managed long-term services and supports (LTSS) programs. States should view the new …