CO-AGE Issues for 2023 Legislative Session
The Coalition of Advocates for Georgia’s Elderly (CO-AGE) is a vehicle for bringing broad-based input on aging issues from across the state to the attention of the General Assembly, with the anticipated result being the improvement of quality of life for older Georgians through public policy. Every July, CO-AGE members vote to prioritize issues to bring to Georgia’s elected officials. You must be a CO-AGE member to vote on the priority issues. The Georgia Gerontology Society supports CO-AGE issues.
Below is an overview of the 2023 issues. Please visit the CO-AGE website for more details. The 2023 CO-AGE Priorities brochure is now available online. Share this online brochure with your legislators and friends to educate them on our 2023 CO-AGE Priority Issues. View Here.
Budget Perennial Priority:
Funding for Home and Community-Based Services
Home and Community Based Services provide support for older Georgians to remain at home as long as possible by providing home modifications, personal assistance, meals, transportation, and other services. These services cost far less than staying at a nursing home and can help seniors stay independent longer. For the 2023 legislative session, CO-AGE is requesting $10 Million in funding for HCBS.
More than 9500 Georgians aged 60+ are on waiting lists for HCBS. As wait lists grow, service costs continue to rise. An increase in HCBS funding would keep service provider jobs in the local communities to meet the needs of an expanding older population.
Allow Medicaid in Assisted Living Communities
While Assisted Living Communities (ALCs) and large Personal Care Homes (PCHs) provide alternatives to nursing homes, many Georgians cannot afford private pay assisted living communities or large personal care homes.
Legislation will: 1) amend Georgia’s assisted living community statute to delete the prohibition of ALCs enrolling as a Medicaid provider and receiving Medicaid funds; and 2) add a section to the Georgia law on Community Care and Services for the Elderly to prohibit the availability of Medicaid funds from being restricted by state requirements that are more stringent than those under federal law or regulation.
Teledentistry brings about efficiency, provides access to underserved populations, and improves quality of care to reduce the oral disease burden. Georgia has no rules or legislation to authorize GA supervising dentists to send or receive remote communication.
Teledentistry legislation will: 1) reduce costs through prevention and early intervention of dental diseases, 2) enable authorizing dentists to review x-rays and photos of the patient’s issues or status, 3) further integrate medical-dental care, 4) shorten in-office or onsite dental appointments, and 5) establish a virtual dental home in the community
Work & Save Program
Many Georgians, including working caregivers, do not have access to an employer-provided retirement program.
17 other states have either passed legislation or are considering legislation to create these public-private partnerships for small businesses to offer their employees a retirement savings plan that is portable and at no cost to the employer. California, Colorado, Maine, Virginia, Oregon, New Mexico, New York, and Hawaii (just to name a few) have started these programs.
Legislation will: create a state-run program for caregivers and working Georgians to have an opportunity to offer employees the benefit of a retirement savings.
GGS Sponsored Issue
If you are a GGS member and would like to submit an issue for consideration as our GGS sponsored issue for 2022, please email the GGS Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org and answer the following questions.
- Please state the problem and why you feel it should be a priority.
- To the best of your knowledge, are other states doing anything about this issue?
- Do you have any data or evidence to support your idea?
- How would legislation or funding solve the problem?
- Are there any groups we should contact for more information about this issue?