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 …

Money Follows the Person Program: A Win-Win Solution, but Will it Stay Around?

As AARP’s recent report highlights, the majority of Americans prefer to remain in their homes as long as possible. Helping to enable that are home- and community-based services (HCBS)—the kind of long-term supports provided to older adults and individuals with disabilities residing in communities as they age. Thus, HCBS is already the preferred option over nursing homes and, with approximately 10,000 people turning 65 every day in the U.S., its role will only increase. Over half of these older adults …

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 …

Bring a Number to the Table from the Scorecard!

As 2019 gets underway in full force, legislatures in states across the nation are convening — some for a few weeks, others for another year-round session. How can we compete for and win the attention of state legislators and draw their focus to aging, disability, and long-term services and supports (LTSS) issues? The LTSS Scorecard is the best tool we have. Every advocate should become familiar with it, particularly with where their state stands compared to others, and visit their …

What Consumers Should Know about Medicaid

Medicaid is a crucial program for millions of people. But not everyone understands who’s eligible and the benefits; moreover, the program continues to evolve. Here’s what you and all consumers should know. Medicaid is the Nation’s Largest Public Health Insurance Program.  Medicaid provides access to critical health and long-term services and supports (commonly called LTSS or long-term care) for nearly 68 million children, parents, low-income adults, older adults and people with disabilities. Medicaid covers prenatal care for millions of women …

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 …