Legislative Agenda 2005
INCREASE FUNDING FOR NEW YORK STATE OFFICE FOR THE AGING (NYSOFA) ADMINISTERED PROGRAMS
first lines of defense in New York’s long-term care system
are cost effective community services administered by the New York
State Office for the Aging and delivered in every county by the
aging network. Programs and services include in-home services, personal
care, social adult day care, home and congregate meals, case management,
transportation, health promotion and wellness, senior center programming,
respite, volunteer promotion and more. This includes all programs
other than SNAP. A separate increase in funding for SNAP, in the
amount of $3 million, is included below.
INCREASE SNAP FUNDING FOR HOME DELIVERED MEALS FOR THE ELDERLY
Counties that are struggling with rising health care costs, particularly in the Medicaid program, can be helped significantly by an expansion of the elderly portion of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – New York’s home-delivered program for seniors). Home delivered meals help individuals recover from illness and injury and are important to hospital discharge planning. Home delivered meals help frail, older persons maintain their independence by providing nutritious meals in the home. Expanding SNAP will improve the health of older New Yorkers and help to delay more costly care in hospitals and nursing homes. Recommend that $1.5 million of the increase be used to defray unexpected costs in 2004 as a result of run-a-way gas and dairy prices and the other $1.5 million be made available for use by agencies for this program in 2005-06.
We support an increase of $3 million in funding for SNAP in SFY 2005-06
DEVELOP AN “AGING SERVICES TRUST FUND”
NYSCA supports establishing an “Aging Services Trust Fund” that would collect monies and distribute them to counties to support maintaining the independence of older New Yorkers. Trust fund dollars would be used to enhance the infrastructure for senior centers and community based senior services, including such things as construction, renovation, remodeling and purchase of vehicles. Guidelines for the receipt of dollars would need to be developed, including requests for funding and reporting mechanisms. The fund would be supported through individual donations, fines and levies on providers in violation of DOH regulations, dollars saved from the implementation of a national prescription drug benefit, attorney general settlement dollars, etc. The goal is to raise revenue that could be dedicated to senior center infrastructure, recognizing that insuring the viability of existing community based services for the vulnerable elderly is part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce Medicaid costs.
NYSCA supports the establishment of an “Aging Services Trust Fund” that would be administered by the NYSOFA.
SUPPORT THE ESTABLISMENT OF A REVERSE MORTGAGE LOAN PROGRAM FOR LOW INCOME SENIORS
NYSCA supports the establishment of a Reverse Mortgage Loan Program for Low Income Senior homeowners that would allow them to use the equity in their homes to cover costs associated with their long term care needs. Many of New York’s seniors have substantial equity in their homes, but do not have significant savings and/or available cash to cover their long-term care needs. By allowing seniors to use their home’s equity to cover these costs, they would be able to remain in their homes and communities, their preferred setting, while receiving the appropriate and needed levels of care to remain independent. In addition, the program could assist with alleviating additional potential burdens on Medicaid for costs associated with higher levels of institutional care for these individuals.
NYSCA supports authorizing the State of New York Mortgage
Agency (SONYMA) to establish a Reverse Mortgage Loan Program for
Low Income Seniors.