Budget Includes Nation's First Program to Develop Private Pay Model of Care to Increase Access to Aging Services for Middle Income Families
Historic Investment Increases Access to Critical Services for Older Adults and Caregivers
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie today announced that a historic $15 million investment and groundbreaking policy changes are included in the FY 2020 Enacted Budget to address local unmet needs for community-based services for older New Yorkers. The funding will enable older New Yorkers to remain living independently in their homes and communities of choice and support the nation's first policies to increase access to aging network services for middle income families.
"Every New Yorker - no matter their age - deserves the best shot at a healthy and happy life, and we doubled down on that commitment in this year's budget," Governor Cuomo said. "This funding will support critical services like home delivered meals and case management that will have a tremendous impact on both older adults and caregivers, and continue to position New York as a leader supporting older adults live independent and engaged lives in their communities."
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, "Ensuring that aging New Yorkers are able to live and thrive in our state is a priority for the Senate Majority. I am proud that we were able to provide additional funding for senior programs in the final State Budget. I want to commend Senator Rachel May for her leadership as Chair of the Senate Aging Committee and thank Speaker Carl Heastie and Governor Cuomo for working together to protect New York's seniors."
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, "The Assembly Majority is committed to protecting the health, safety and independence of older New Yorkers. Our aging population is an integral part of our communities and has helped shape the neighborhoods in which they live. This budget addresses many unmet needs and ensures that older adults and their caregivers have access to the supportive services they need to age with dignity."
"The way we take care of our most vulnerable populations is a reflection of our priorities as a state," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This historic budget investment will support the needs of older New Yorkers and ensure they have readily accessible care and services. This initiative is part of our continuing efforts to lead the nation as an age-friendly state."
The FY 2020 Enacted Budget builds on Governor Cuomo's commitment to making New York an age-friendly state and embedding healthy aging into state government work. The budget significantly invests in New York State Office for the Aging's aging network services, which will help older adults remain independent, support family and friends in their caregiving roles, and delay future Medicaid costs by intervening with less intensive services earlier. Highlights include:
- An historic $15 million recurring investment targeted to counties that report local unmet needs such as personal care, home delivered meals, case management, home modifications and other services. This targeted investment will immediately help serve thousands of at-risk older adults who have been assessed and are in need of services
- Authorizing NYSOFA to develop a private pay market to increase the ability of the aging services network to serve more individuals of all income levels and to ensure consumers can access a professional, objective network of providers whose only goal is to help older adults remain independent
- Increasing the state's commitment to the NY Connects system reform, providing additional resources to county offices for the aging and independent living center partners to help individuals of all ages access long-term services and supports
- Providing funding to expand statewide efforts to provide evidence-based interventions to address the devastating impact of chronic conditions, such as chronic disease self-management, diabetes self-management, and fall prevention programs, among others
- Providing resources to further invest in the training, education, and state certification of aging network staff to assure that New York's network of aging services professionals has the most up-to-date knowledge and skills
NYSOFA promotes and administers programs and services for New Yorkers 60 years of age and older. It provides leadership and direction to an integrated, coordinated network of 59 county-based area agencies on aging and more than 1,200 public and private organizations that serve and help empower older adults and their families. NYSOFA and its partners served almost 700,000 older adults last year.
Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York State government has shown unwavering dedication to the state's more than 4.3 million older adults and the informal caregivers who support them. In 2018, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order to support New York as the first age-friendly state in the nation. This designation includes healthy aging and maintaining independence through the expansion and better coordination of community-based services. Using the state's Prevention Agenda as the overarching framework, the Governor launched a Health Across All Policies approach, where state agencies work together to take into account how policies and programs can positively impact public health. NYSOFA's core aging programs and services have continued to grow under Governor Cuomo's leadership, increasing access to services statewide.
New York State Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said, "The FY20 Enacted Budget demonstrates Governor Cuomo's ongoing commitment to older adults and their families. This set of investments and policy changes will forever change the way aging services are provided by financing services for those who are eligible but waiting for services; providing the authorization to serve middle-income families with cost-effective, high impact services that maintain independence; and continuing to provide skills-based, measurable education, training, and state certifications to workers so the public can be confident in the high-quality services being provided. These actions are a clear example of the Governor's commitment to older New Yorkers and why New York State was designated the first age-friendly state in the nation."
Senator Rachel May, Chair of the New York State Senate Aging Committee said, "As Chair of the Senate Aging Committee, it is a priority for me that we fund the services that ensure older adults the dignity and care they deserve. Increased funding for aging services is a true win for everyone. There have actually been people in their 90s waiting for in-home services. With this record investment this year, more older adults will receive the care they need to live in their own homes and age in place. Finally, all of this will save the state money by reducing the need for people to live in nursing homes. I am thrilled to have been able to help secure this crucial funding and thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership on this issue."
Assemblymember Harry Bronson, Chair of the New York State Assembly Aging Committee said, "New York is committed to protecting the health, safety, independence, and quality of life of New York's older adults. Our spending plan makes much needed investments in the programs our older population needs to continue to enjoy their communities and age comfortably and with dignity."
Beth Finkel, New York State Director of AARP said, "The historic $15 million increase for home-delivered meals, transportation to medical appointments, assistance with daily activities and similar services will help thousands of working and middle class families avoid sending their loved ones to more expensive, taxpayer-funded nursing homes. It makes common sense and fiscal sense to support family caregivers in helping their loved ones continue living at home with dignity, as the vast majority wants. AARP thanks Governor Cuomo for his leadership in addressing this growing need for our fast-aging population by proposing this increase and ensuring its inclusion, along with the first-in-the-nation private pay initiative and funding for other effective services, in the final state budget."
Al Cardillo, President and CEO of the Home Care Association of New York State said, "HCA applauds Governor Cuomo and Director Olsen on these innovative new supports for home and community services. This creative new investment helps older adults' access to services; taps the HCA home care agencies to provide the expanded services; and takes steps toward a vision of new and needed ways to privately finance long term care in adjunct to Medicaid. Home and long-term care services should not be left out of basic, mainstream health coverage discussions, and this new program can be an important step to changing that paradigm. HCA and our home care agencies look forward to working closely with the Governor and the State Office for the Aging in realizing the great goals of this new program in New York State."
Ann Marie Cook, President and CEO of Lifespan said, "I want to sincerely thank Governor Cuomo for his continued leadership to older adults and family caregivers. This budget demonstrates his strong commitment to ensure that older adults receive the support they need to remain independent and in the community. From funding to help prevent elder abuse, to critical dollars to address unmet needs, the Governor has proven that he is committed to assist the New Yorkers who spent years of their lives making our communities a better place to live."
Holly Rhodes-Teague, Board President of the Association on Aging in New York and Director of the Suffolk County Office for the Aging said, "The Association on Aging in New York thanks Governor Cuomo and the New York State Office for the Aging for their leadership in ensuring that the Aging network has the funding needed to provide the community-based services that older New Yorkers have asked for in order to remain independent in their homes and communities."
Allison Nickerson, Executive Director of LiveOn NY said, "LiveOn NY is proud of the progress made in this year's budget to ensure the availability of services for New York's older adult population, with significant emphasis on better supporting homebound older adults in areas of greatest need. We look forward to continuing to work with the state to find new, innovative ways to support New York's aging population and better serve our communities. From NY Connects, to home-delivered meals, to case management, we thank Governor Cuomo, State Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen, and the entire legislature for their increased support of these life-sustaining programs."