Alzheimer’s disease and dementia presents significant challenges to those living with the disease, their caregivers, and our entire community. All too often, families are stretched to the breaking point as they endeavor to provide care for their loved one with little to no outside help or support. Working together, we can change this status quo.
We know there’s been a lot of confusion, but Covered California is open for business. Between November 1- and January 31, Californians can shop for health coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions and they may be eligible for financial assistance. This year it is important for consumers to actively shop and compare plans.
Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles continues to advocate for affordable quality health care for all.
For more information: http://health-access.org/open-enrollment-2017/
Funding Alzheimer’s Research
In fiscal year (FY) 2017, Congress appropriated $1.4 billion in funding for dedicated Alzheimer’s disease research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
For FY 2018, Congress has proposed an additional $414 million in funding. If the increase were to pass, total NIH funding dedicated to Alzheimer’s research would total $1.8 billion.
In order to secure this increase, Congress must either pass a FY 2018 budget prior to December 8th, when existing funding expires, or pass a continuing resolution (CR) to avoid a government shutdown. Short term CRs cause delays and disrupt grant funding for Alzheimer’s research. We need advocates to tell Congress to move a 2018 federal budget bill- with all the planned funding increases for Alzheimer’s- before the December 9 deadline.
Take Action: Tell your Representative to pass a clean budget and ensure that Congress continues to increase funding for Alzheimer’s research
Protecting the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act has implemented important benefits for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Some of those benefits include:
- Free annual Medicare wellness visit that includes a cognitive assessment
- Expanding coverage of Medicare prescription drugs to eliminate the “donut hole”
- Health insurance companies cannot refuse coverage based on pre-existing conditions, which protects people with early-onset dementia from discrimination.
Continued attacks on the Affordable Care Act have proposed repealing the individual mandate, terminating the Medicaid expansion, and impose per capita caps and block grants. The proposals would directly harm Californians by:
Slashing Medicaid funding, forcing California to cut services, restrict eligibility and reduce benefits.
- Putting access to long-term services and supports at jeopardy.
- Charge older Californians more.
- Eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
Find upcoming advocacy opportunities near you: http://fightandresist.org/events/
Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Coalition, Health Reform & Dementia issue brief
Coordinated Care Initiative
Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles has been a key participant in the state’s Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI) which has sought to better serve people eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.
The 2017-18 California state budget formally terminated the CCI as a springboard to remove In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) as a managed care benefit and to re-negotiate the IHSS program’s financial structure. Under the budget, however, all other major components of the CCI will continue with little-to-no anticipated impact in the way beneficiaries in the seven CCI counties access services. The Cal MediConnect program was extended from a three-year demonstration to a five-year demonstration and will continue through December 31, 2019, pursuant to federal authority.
Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles will continue working closely with the five health plans participating in the Cal MediConnect program in their efforts to build a more dementia capable service delivery system by encouraging plans to:
- Adopt proven screening tools to better identify people with dementia
- Establish a protocol to identify family/friend caregivers
- Document family/friend caregiver in the patient’s medical record
- Assess family/friend caregiver needs
- Provide respite benefits
- Provide dementia-specific professional training programs and technical assistance to health plans
- Adopt ALZ Direct Connect referral program to connect members to:
- Support groups
- Caregiver education
- Early stage services
- Care counseling
- Medic Alert Wanderers I.D. program
Full Dental Benefits Restored to Adult Medi-Cal Recipients
The 2017-18 budget fully restored adult dental benefits starting January 1, 2018. Dental benefits were partially restored in May 2014, but there were major gaps in coverage. Most notably, starting in January 2018, all adult Medi-Cal recipients will again be eligible for gum treatment, root canals on the back teeth, and partial dentures.
Non-Medical Transportation Now a Plan Benefit
Starting July 1, 2017, all Medi-Cal plans are responsible for providing Non-Medical Transportation (NMT) to Medi-Cal recipients. Plans have always been responsible for providing Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) – this is transportation by medical mode (e.g. wheelchair van or litter van). Plans now are responsible for providing transportation or reimbursement for transportation by standard conveyance.
Justice in Aging, CCI Advocates Alert
Purposeful Aging Los Angeles
Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles is proud to be a partner of the Purposeful Aging Los Angeles Initiative, which seeks to prepare our region for a rapidly aging population.
Dementia Capable Communities
We are currently supporting dementia friendly initiatives in the Los Angeles area to help our area communities better accommodate the needs of those dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. For more information, we encourage you to visit the very informative web Dementia Friendly America website. And keep your eyes open – we plan to have more information to share about this evolving project!
At the local, state and federal levels we advocate for the legislative, policy and regulatory changes that improve the quality of care & quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families through:
- Improving dementia care and services
- Increasing access to community-based care
- Expanding funding for medical research and public programs serving people with dementia and their caregivers
- Supporting the development of dementia-friendly communities
Now is the time to join us in persuading our policymakers to take direct action on these crucial matters.
What is an advocate?
An advocate educates and engages elected officials on key issues. Our advocates are just like you – people who care about this cause, who want their elected officials to do more to address the impact of Alzheimer’s disease, and who are ready to make a difference.
If you are interested in getting involved, there are a number of ways you can help depending on the time you have available and the kinds of activities that are of interest to you.
For more information, contact Barbra McLendon at 323.930.6290 or firstname.lastname@example.org