ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Council on Aging (NCOA), the national voice for every person's right to age well, is offering a powerful tool that helps individuals who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid make more informed decisions about which health plans best meet their needs. Originally developed for California by The SCAN Foundation, NCOA has adopted the My Care, My Choice tool and plans to make it available to beneficiaries and Medicare counselors in other states through a grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL), starting first with Ohio.
For individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, understanding how the two programs work together and the care choices available to individuals can be confusing. Californians eligible for both programs have used My Care, My Choice to learn about coverage options that best meet their needs and preferences.
"The nearly 13 million Americans eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid deserve clear, person-focused information about the care choices available in their state, particularly during the fall Medicare Open Enrollment period," said Dr. Sarita A. Mohanty, President and CEO of The SCAN Foundation, a public charity devoted to transforming care for older adults. "We are thrilled that NCOA has adopted the My Care, My Choice platform, expanding beyond California to Ohio, to highlight the person-centered care choices and benefits individuals care about the most."
My Care, My Choice contains information on integrated care plans in California and Ohio for the 2022 plan year. Next year, the tool will expand to Michigan and in 2023, to Illinois.
"We believe every person deserves to age well, and through expansion of this easy-to-use tool, we are able to better inform older adults about the care choices available for their specific and unique needs," said Ramsey Alwin, NCOA President and CEO. "It's critical to empower older adults with trusted resources, and we're excited to bring this effort to Ohio, with more states to follow."
ACL is interested in better reaching and informing dually eligible beneficiaries' decisions on health plan and provider options to facilitate access to integrated care among most of the 13 million beneficiaries. Being able to leverage and expand on the My Care, My Choice tool is the perfect opportunity to pursue in partnership with the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and counselors that reach 3 million Medicare beneficiaries each year.
"Older adults and people with disabilities who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid deserve to have clear, unbiased, consumer-friendly information to make informed care choices," said Kelly Cronin, Deputy Administrator for Integrated Programs at ACL. "Providing a tool like My Care, My Choice will help these individuals understand the options that will best meet their needs and preferences, including those that provide them with the supports and services to live independently at home and in the community."
Many older adults and people with disabilities live with chronic conditions that impact their ability to live independently and do what they want to do. Person-centered care shifts the focus so that a person's values and preferences guide all aspects of their health care and support realistic health and life goals. My Care, My Choice puts the person at the center of their health care decision making and offers an actionable, scalable example of how person-centered programs are the centerpiece for better care.
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the national voice for every person's right to age well. We believe that how we age should not be determined by gender, color, sexuality, income, or zip code. Working with thousands of national and local partners, we provide resources, tools, best practices, and advocacy to ensure every person can age with health and financial security. Founded in 1950, we are the oldest national organization focused on older adults. Learn more at www.ncoa.org and @NCOAging.
About The SCAN Foundation
The SCAN Foundation is an independent public charity dedicated to creating a society where older adults can access health and supportive services of their choosing to meet their needs. Our mission is to advance a coordinated and easily navigated system of high-quality services for older adults that preserve dignity and independence. Learn more at www.thescanfoundation.org and @TheSCANFndtn.
About the U.S. Administration for Community Living
The Administration for Community Living was created around the fundamental principle that older adults and people of all ages with disabilities should be able to live where they choose, with the people they choose, and with the ability to participate fully in their communities. By funding services and supports provided primarily by networks of community-based organizations, and with investments in research, education, and innovation, ACL helps make this principle a reality for millions of Americans. Learn more at www.acl.gov and @ACLgov.
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SOURCE National Council on Aging