The Coastal Packet: Question One would help 27,000 seniors

Friday, September 21

Question One would help 27,000 seniors

Maine Beacon - A new report  by the Muskie School of Public Service shows that, if Question 1 is passed this November, 27,000 Mainers who currently need in-home assistance would be eligible for home care support.

Currently, only about 5,600 of the 27,000 Mainers with home care needs are able to access public long-term care services, a proportion set to worsen as Maine’s senior population grows over the next two decades — with Mainers over 65 expected, according to the report, to represent almost a third of the state’s population by 2032.

The study also makes clear that the universal home care could expand and complement existing programs, eliminate waiting lists, and trigger increased federal matching funds.

Professor Sandra Butler, Resident Scholar at the University of Maine’s Center on Aging, pointed to a knowledge gap that exists between what older adults think Medicare covers and what it actually does.

“Most people don’t understand that long-term care is not funded by Medicare,” said Butler, “and they don’t save for long-term care, so they come up short when they need it. It is often unattainable for a great majority of older adults.”

“The biggest and most important takeaway from this report is clear: 27,000 Mainers, many of whom currently receive no help at all in meeting their family’s care needs, would be eligible for assistance if Question 1 passes and is implemented,” said Kevin Simowitz, political director at Caring Across Generations. “Without universal home care, those families will remain without help for the care they want and need.”

 Maine Center for Economic Policy - The Home Care referendum on November’s ballot would affect 34,442 Mainers at the top of the income distribution, according to a new analysis conducted by MECEP. That represents 3.36% percent of all Mainers with income


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