McCormack Speaks

November 7, 2017
by McCormack Speaks

An Insider’s Look at Battle Over Future of Affordable Care Act, Medicaid

This blog originally appeared on the Gerontology Institute blog, written by Steven Syreimage of a doctor in a lab coat

The future of federal policy toward health care, potentially affecting many millions of Americans, became the hottest of all front-burner issues immediately following Election Day last year.

The next president had made repeal of the Affordable Care Act a leading priority of his campaign. Republican legislators who controlled both the House and Senate were eager to make it happen. Plans to drastically cut Medicaid funding were in the works.

None of this was lost on health care advocates who had campaigned for passage of the ACA and later worked to help implement the law now enabling health insurance coverage for millions of Americans with financial support from Medicaid.

“Everything we had been doing for the past seven or eight years was threatened,” said Robert Restuccia, executive director of Community Catalyst, at an October 30 meeting of the Department of Gerontology Speaker Series at UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School.

Read more.

October 24, 2017
by McCormack Speaks

Helping a Widow Secure Survivor Pension Benefit: A Pension Action Center Case Study

Pension file folder tabThe Gerontology Institute’s Pension Action Center is part of the McCormack Graduate School at UMass Boston. It provides free legal assistance to low- and moderate-income workers, retirees and their survivors in the six New England states and Illinois whose pension benefits have been wrongfully denied. This is one in an occasional series of posts about cases the center pursues on behalf of its clients.

A 67-year old widow from Charlestown came to the Pension Action Center with a sad story and a serious problem. Her husband had worked cleaning offices as a member of the Service Employees International Union for over 30 years. But union pension fund officials told her she was not entitled to a survivor’s benefit as a result of his sudden death–just one day after signing forms to begin receiving his pension. Read more on this case study.

This blog was originally posted on the Gerontology Institute blog site.

October 16, 2017
by McCormack Speaks

A Deeper Look at Long-Term Care Insurance

Professor Marc Cohen has spent many years following the market for long-term care insurance – from its days of broad-based popularity to its current appeal among primarily affluent policyholders. Cohen recently talked about that market and ideas about how insurance coverage could change in the future. The following is an edited version of his comments.

picture of a stethoscopeWhy should people care about long-term care insurance, especially if the potential risk may be many years away?

That’s a real challenge. A lot of people misunderstand LTSS and most believe incorrectly the government pays for care, or they don’t understand government pays for care only after people impoverish themselves. For most, the risk is 30 to 40 years in the future and about half will not develop significant long-term care needs. But the risk is highly unpredictable for an individual. You don’t know if you’re going to be struck with Parkinson’s or dementia. Most people also underestimate the cost of home care or nursing homes.

See more Q & A.

October 16, 2017
by McCormack Speaks

Renee Beard Examines Risk of “Social Demotion” With Early Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

By Meghan Hendricksen, Gerontology Institute

Renee Beard, PhDThe early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive impairment can be more than a medical finding. It can become a new and serious challenge to a person’s social identity.

That was one of the findings from the latest research by Renee Beard, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at the College of the Holy Cross. Beard kicked off the Fall 2017 Gerontology Speaker Series at UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School with a talk entitled “Forget Me Not: What Gets Lost in Translation in the Alzheimer’s Industrial Complex. Read more. 

This blog originally appeared on the Gerontology Institute blog.

October 11, 2017
by McCormack Speaks

Robyn Stone Named “Influencer in Aging” by Next Avenue

By Geralyn Maga, Gerontology Institute

picture of Robyn StoneRobyn Stone, co-director of the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston, has been named an Influencer in Aging by Next Avenue. The Influencers in Aging list recognizes 50 advocates, researchers, thought leaders, innovators, writers and experts “at the forefront of changing how we age and think about aging.”

“Stone brings decades of research experience and senior-level policy expertise to LeadingAge’s mission to inspire, serve and advocate for older Americans,” reads the Next Avenue description of Stone’s accomplishments. “She has leveraged her expertise into advocacy for better long-term care policy, with a particular emphasis on lower income older adults.”

Candidates for the Influencers in Aging designation are nominated by Next Avenue readers, editors, and contributors, as well as past Influencers in Aging.

“We searched for a diverse and broad list of people whose work to improve the lives of older adults in the areas of health, money, work, living and caregiving was especially impressive over the past year,” writes Shayla Stern, director of editorial content for Next Avenue. Read more.

This post originally appeared in the Gerontology Institute blog.

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