The Health Care Action Team (HAT) meets on the 2nd Tuesday of every month, from 11 am to 1 pm. We meet at the Independent Living Resource Center at 825 Howard Street. Free lunch. Call Ligia to say if you can come. 415-546-1333
Expanding California’s Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) for All
The Problem: There is a crisis in our state facing people with disabilities, seniors and their families to access the long term services and supports they need to live and age in their homes and communities. People are living longer and the senior population will double by 2030. Already seniors are one-fifth and people with disabilities are 1 in 4 of the California population. Yet there are countless barriers to support people with disabilities and seniors who desire to live and age at home. Most of us will need at least one year of access to home care in our lives but few have the resources to afford it. The truly poor can access home care through Medicaid—one of the largest budget items in the state and a system that is facing unsustainable demands. Everyone else must either pay out of pocket or become very poor to access services and supports.
Furthermore, homecare workers are amongst the lowest paid which contributes to high turn over and a growing shortage relative to the need. According to a 2018 PHI study, there are 2.1 million U.S. home care workers who earn a median wage of $11.03 an hour and $15,100 a year. Thus, 20 percent of home care workers live in poverty, compared to 7 percent of all U.S. workers. And the majority don’t have retirement savings to pay for the LTSS they will need.
The Solution: Organizations of seniors, people with disabilities, family caregivers and homecare workers are coming together with the goal of creating a new way to help Californians afford their long term services and supports: a new LTSS benefit The benefit will specifically be for those who do not qualify for Medi Cal: middle class Californians. We believe that providing this benefit will not only increase opportunity and access for middle class people with disabilities, older adults, families and workers but it will help to increase the sustainability of the Medi Cal system and expand funds that could be used to raise wages in the industry..
The Work: Paving the path towards this benefit takes long standing policy work and grassroots support. The experts of this problem, people impacted by this crisis such as people with disabilities, seniors, family caregivers and paid homecare attendants, must be the ones to inform the policy work. California’s policymakers must hear from their constituents so they may learn from those directly impacted by the crisis of affording and accessing long term services and supports.
Who is doing this work: We are organizations of seniors, people with disabilities and family caregivers as well as homecare workers. We include members of the Grassroots Committee of the CA Aging and Disability Alliance and the Care Council of Northern CA. We include: Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Network, CA Domestic Workers Coalition, Ca Foundation for Independent Living Centers, Senior & Disability Action, United Domestic Workers- ASFME, CARA, Family Caregivers Alliance, Jobs with Justice SF, Elder Action, SEIU 2015 and many more.
Watch Out for Medicare and Medicaid Dual-Eligible Look-Alike Plans
People who have both Medicare and Medicaid – also known as “dual eligibles” – are being targeted for a harmful Medicare Advantage plan and should watch out. These plans are called Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP) Look-Alikes. They are not subject to the same regulations as D-SNPs and fail to coordinate Medicare and Medicaid benefits. This puts the burden on the consumer to navigate these two complicated systems and will potentially keep people from getting the care they need.
Justice in Aging has created this issue brief to help educate advocates and individuals about these dangerous plans.
CONSERVATORSHIP / SB 1045
SB 1045 is a bill that passed at the state level to expand conservatorship law to include substance abuse and to expand the criteria for losing one’s civil liberties through conservatorships. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has voted to implement this new program. There is concern that it will take away the rights of people with mental health disabilities and substance abuse WITHOUT providing voluntary services. Drug treatment, mental health services, and housing must be available when people ask for them!
Check out a fact sheet on the issue.
To find out more, please call Raia at (415) 546-1333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
IHSS Task Force News
The IHSS Task Force is a place for up-to-date conversations about how IHSS and home care in San Francisco is changing, and what needs to be done to ensure that the needs of seniors and people with disabilities are met. The group brings together leaders of government agencies and non-profit organizations involved in IHSS, along with consumers and providers, recognizing the need to hear the voices of those directly affected by the program.
Sign up for Support at Home!
Support at Home is a voucher program to help seniors and people with disabilities pay for home care so they can live safely in their homes. If your income or savings is just barely too high for Medi-Cal and IHSS, but you can’t afford the out-of-pocket costs, this program is for you. To be eligible, you must be 18 or older, need assistance with 2 or more Activities of Daily Living, have less than $40,000 in assets (excluding a home and car) and less than $80,000 in income (for a single person). Please help spread the word!
To sign up, call Institute on Aging / IOA Connect at (415) 750-4111. Click here for more information.
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For more information about HAT, please call SDA at 415-546-1333.