Prepare for an Aging Population Act

Summary: The Prepare for an Aging Population Act would establish a task force to study the state’s (or locality’s) aging population and recommend a plan that would provide needed services and support for the aging in the near- and long-term.

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE

This Act shall be called the “Prepare for an Aging Population Act.”

SECTION 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE

(A)  FINDINGS—The legislature finds that:

1)     By 2030, nearly [insert percentage], or one out of every [insert statistic] people in our state/city/county will be age sixty-five or older, and [insert percentage] will be dealing with disabilities. This will affect every area of state/city/county government.

2)     There is a need for increased focus and planning to support the growing number of seniors and people with disabilities. Planning is necessary across a broad range of policy areas including health, long-term services and supports, housing, transportation, financial security, labor and workforce, and protections for vulnerable adults.

3)     To address the growing demand for long-term services and supports, our government must do more to prepare for the future, leverage private and public resources, support families as consumers and as caregivers so they can take care of their loved ones without impoverishing themselves to qualify for benefits, retain and recruit the workforce needed to meet the care demand, and help people plan for potential future costs that meet the growing desire of citizens to age with dignity in their current homes and communities.

4)     The home care workforce, as the primary workforce providing long-term services and supports, must be supported. Livable wages, benefits, full-time hours when desired, consistent scheduling and pay, and opportunities for advancement will help to reduce the high turnover rates that plague the industry.

5)     In the past few decades, a number of initiatives have been undertaken to reform the system of supports for the elderly to emphasize home and community-based options. These efforts have saved millions of dollars by preventing expensive institutional placements.

(B)   PURPOSE—This law is enacted to begin planning for future services and supports needed by our aging population.

SECTION 3.  AGING POPULATION PLANNING AND RECOMMENDATIONS

In section XXX, the following new paragraphs shall be inserted:

(A) DEFINITIONS—In this section:

“Aging population” means persons 65 years of age and older.

(B) CREATION OF TASK FORCE—The governor/mayor/county executive will appoint a planning group consisting of [twenty] voting members reflective of diverse political, racial, cultural, income and ability groups, including:

1)      Four members who represent consumers. Consumer representatives must include:

a)      A person from a nonprofit organization representing or advocating for older adult populations;

b)      A representative of an area agency on aging;

c)      A person who is an actual consumer of services for older adult populations

2)      Four members who represent private, public, and community-based health care and long-term care, service, or support providers for older adults such as representatives of:

a)      Skilled nursing care;

b)      Assisted living facilities;

c)      Adult day care and home care providers;

d)      Hospice care providers;

e)      The geriatric healthcare community;

f)       Mental health providers; or

g)      Oral health providers

3)      Two members who are subject matter experts in long-term care, services, and supports who are not providers of such services;

4)      Two members who represent the business community. Business representatives should include:

a)      One member from an organization representing businesses with fewer than fifty employees; and

b)      One member from an organization representing businesses with fifty or more employees

5)      Three members who are experts on state and local budgets or who are representatives from nonprofit organizations that have experience with fiscal and policy issues;

6)      One member who is a representative of institutions of higher education in a field related to older adult populations; and

7)      Four members who represent departments or agencies involved with issues of older adult populations.

(C)   DUTIES OF TASK FORCE

1)      The Task Force shall conduct a series of public hearings allowing experts, organizations, and individuals to make proposals, suggestions and criticisms.

2)      The Task Force shall contract for actuarial modeling of future elderly populations that will need services and supports. The modeling shall include:

a)      A long-term care benefit plan paid for and open to all that would provide a three-to-five year, capped-dollar long-term care insurance benefit, the maximum length and amount of which will be determined by actuarial analysis;

b)     A public-private reinsurance or risk-sharing model, with the purpose of providing a stable and ongoing source of reimbursement to insurers for a portion of their catastrophic long-term services and supports losses in order to provide additional insurance capacity. The entity would operate as a public-private partnership supporting the private sector’s role as the primary risk bearer; and

c)      A long-term care benefit paid for and open to those that are not currently eligible for the state Medicaid program.

3)      Based on research, testimony, and the actuarial modeling, the Task Force shall develop  report to help prepare for long-term services and supports needs.

(D)  REPORT

1)      The report from the Task Force shall include:

a)      An analysis of public and private programs that exist, their participation rates, and any clear gaps that exist;

b)      The expected costs and benefits for participants in a new long-term care benefit program, when accounting for a living wage rate for home care workers and compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state labor laws;

c)      The total anticipated number of participants;

d)      The impact on current workforce;

e)      A recruitment and retention plan to meet workforce gaps;

f)       The impact on family caregivers;

g)      The projected savings to the state Medicaid program, if any;

h)      And legal and financial risks.

2)      The report shall be completed and made public by XXXX 1, 20XX.

(E)   RECOMMENDATIONS—The Task Force shall offer:

1)      Options to address the long-term impact of the demographic shift on [Insert jurisdiction’s name] citizens, government, and the private sector;

2)      Options to address disproportional regional demographic shifts in older adult populations;

3)      Recommendations to enhance access to services and public education on aging issues;

4)      Options to strengthen long-term services and supports service quality and infrastructure to better enable the services and supports to meet future demand;

5)      Options to reduce public and private long-term services and supports administrative and service delivery costs while maintaining service quality;

6)      Administrative and regulatory reforms needed to more cost-effectively organize agencies to implement programs and services;

7)      Private sector options for long-term care, services and supports;

8)      Options to extend and improve other services and supports that would allow individuals to remain in their residencies and communities for as long as possible;

9)      Options to improve the accessibility and sustainability of affordable housing and transportation services;

10)    Options to improve caregiver supports and mitigate both the financial and nonfinancial impacts of caregiving on patients, caregivers, businesses, and the government;

11)    Projections on the economic, fiscal, and personal impacts of implementing or not implementing the recommendations. This analysis should also consider the nonfinancial and quality-of-care impacts of the recommendations on [Insert jurisdiction’s name]’s long term care, services, and supports; healthcare infrastructure and workforce; aging; and caregiver populations.

12)    Possible legislation for consideration by the [Insert legislating body] in order to implement the planning group’s recommendations and achieve its goals; and

13)    Possible regulatory changes to be offered in order to implement the planning group’s recommendations and achieve its goals.

SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE

This Act shall take effect on XXXX 1, 2016.

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