Wendy Fox-Grage is a senior strategic policy advisor for the AARP Public Policy Institute. She works on state long-term care issues, including Medicaid and home and community-based services.

Need to Extend Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Protection for Home- and Community-Based Services

No husbands or wives should have to completely bankrupt themselves when their spouses need Medicaid to fund home- and community-based services (HCBS) such as help with daily activities like eating, bathing, and dressing. Yet unless Congress acts, bankruptcy or nursing home admission are exactly what could happen in many such cases in the near future because an important provision that allows spousal impoverishment protections for spouses of Medicaid HCBS recipients is set to expire on March 31. How Spousal Financial …

Family Caregiver Supports in Medicare Advantage Plans: New Opportunities for Person- and Family-Centered Care

Medicare Advantage—the private plans that cover one-third of Medicare beneficiaries—has new flexibility to offer more supplemental benefits. Importantly, among those benefits are services and supports for family caregivers. That’s good news and, in fact, some plans are adopting such benefits. A recent AARP Public Policy Institute analysis of the 2019 Medicare Advantage Landscape Source Files found that 13 percent of the plans are offering family caregiver supports such as respite care, counseling, and skills training – and family caregiver supports …

Time to Reauthorize the Older Americans Act

High-profile issues that make daily headlines currently are occupying much of Congress’s attention. Yet one important issue is receiving little to no attention: the Older Americans Act. If Congress does not act, this legislation, which was last reauthorized for three years, will expire on September 30. Since 1965, the Older Americans Act has been a safety net for older adults who are generally ages 60 and older. The Act is best known for funding congregate meals at group sites and …

AARP Shares Promising Practices and Emerging Innovations through the Long-Term Services and Supports State Scorecard

In our seminal 2017 Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) State Scorecard, we issued a call to action to “pick up the pace of change.” To help accelerate LTSS reforms, we have released a series of Promising Practices and Emerging Innovations reports that provide real-world solutions. Promising practices papers feature LTSS programs and policies from states that perform well or have improved over time on a Scorecard measure. Scorecard emerging innovations papers highlight what LTSS solutions states and organizations are developing, …

Across the States: Profiles of Long-Term Services and Supports

A major demographic shift is happening. The ages 85+ population is projected to triple between 2015 and 2050. In comparison, the population younger than age 65 will increase by only 12 percent. The growth of the 85+ age group is projected to significantly outpace all other groups once baby boomers begin turning age 85 in 2031, marking the beginning of boomer-driven 85+ population growth for the following two decades. That has significant implications. The 85+ cohort is the most likely …

No Wrong Door: Promising Practices for Accessing Long-Term Services and Supports

Most of us will need long-term services and supports (LTSS), either for ourselves or for our family members. However, most of us do not know about our options and how to pay for these services. That is why the LTSS State Scorecard — created by the AARP Public Policy Institute and funded by the Scan Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund — ranks states on their aging and disability resource centers. These centers are an important feature of a high-performing LTSS …