Health Care

We believe that poor seniors are entitled to quality health care and long term services and supports.

NSCLC seeks to ensure that low-income older adults have access to affordable health care and that more people receive long term services and supports at home and in the community.

We use administrative advocacy, in collaboration with local advocates and other national and state organizations, to provide information to and push for policy changes from federal and state agencies on relevant issues.

NSCLC selectively employs litigation to protect the rights of individuals to benefits and needed services and supports. In addition, we provide education and counseling to local advocates who work with low-income older adults.

The key federal programs on which we focus our advocacy are Medicare and Medicaid. In 2014, we are focused in particular on dual eligibles and the state demonstration projects under development as a result of the Affordable Care Act. In California, the programs we primarily work on are Medi-Cal, the In Home Services and Supports (IHSS) program, and, in 2014, the state’s dual eligible demonstration project.

2014 Priorities

We seek to:

  • Continue to champion consumer protection for those who have both Medicare and Medicaid (dual eligibles) as many states move elderly and other populations into private managed care plans.
  • Ensure that state efforts to move low-income older adults needing long term services and supports (LTSS) into private managed care plans recognize the need for consumer protection and for providing home and community based services as an alternative to institutionalization.
  • Decrease health disparities among low-income older adults by ensuring effective implementation of language access and data collection regulations.
  • Work to ensure smooth transitions to Medicare and traditional Medicaid coverage as low-income people age out of the new health care Exchanges and Medicaid expansion coverage.
  • Continue litigation efforts to keep health care accessible and affordable to dual eligibles and other low-income older adults as well as protecting and expanding access to home and community-based services.

2013 Accomplishments

Last year, NSCLC :

  • Was a leading advocate for people with both Medicare and Medicaid (dual eligibles) and a primary information source for advocates on the dual eligible demonstration projects across the country.
    • Secured $12 million in federal funds to implement ombudsman programs that will help consumers in select states
    • Educated over 4,000 California advocates on the state’s demonstration program
  • Was a vocal proponent for increased provision of home and community-based services as an alternative to nursing homes as states shift older adults needing long term services and supports into managed care plans.
    • Led advocates in pushing for new regulations on home and community based services
    • Worked with state-based advocates in Florida, New Jersey and Kansas to understand and improve recently approved Managed Long Term Services and Supports programs.
  • Reached a settlement in Oster v Lightbourne, a class action lawsuit that stopped devastating cuts to California’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program that would have impacted hundreds of thousands of seniors and people with disabilities.

 

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