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What you need to know: Legislative

MA Elder Economic Security Commission Report Released

Friday, May 13, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lisa Gurgone
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Lisa Gurgone, Council Executive Director, with Representative James O'Day (D-West Boylston) and Matt Albanese, Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys

On May 11th, the Massachusetts Elder Economic Security Commission released its report to the Legislature.  The Elder Economic Security Commission was established through the FY14 state budget.  This Commission was tasked with examining strategies to increase economic security for older adults and enable older residents to remain in the Commonwealth and their communities.  

Lisa Gurgone, Executive Director of the Council, was appointed by former Governor Deval Patrick to serve on this Commission as an expert on home care service delivery.  This Commission, co-chaired by Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville) and Representative Jim O’Day (D-West Boylston), also included representatives from the Massachusetts Association of Older Adults, Mass Home Care, Mass Senior Action Council, AARP, and Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging

The report of this Commission includes two general policy recommendations and a series of recommendations that address income, housing, healthcare, and long term care services and supports (LTSS).  The two overarching policy recommendations included in this report are:

  • Massachusetts should adopt the Elder Economic Security Standard Index as a benchmark for determining the economic needs of older adults in Massachusetts.
  • All state agencies dealing with older individuals should review their practices, procedures and notices to comply with the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission’s set of best practices. 

Gurgone served as co-chair of the sub-committee of this Commission which gathered recommendations regarding LTSS.  Some of the LTSS recommendations included in this report are:

  • Raising the income eligibility for the state home care program
  • Allowing for spouses to be paid as caregivers under the MassHealth PCA program
  • Expanding funding for Long Term Care Options Counselors/Family Services Counselors and Benefit Enrollment Specialists 
  • Passing PACE Buy-in legislation 
  • Establishing a Direct Care Workforce Task Force
  • Developing a social insurance “Community Living Assistance Services and Supports” (CLASS) financing model to complement current LTSS payment vehicles

Learn more by downloading a copy of the full report available online at: Elder Economic Security Commission