As older adults in New Jersey age and begin to need more help, most say they would rather remain at home and receive the supports and services they need there, instead of being forced to separate from their families and communities and move into a nursing facility. Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) pay for a range of supports and services that allow older adults with disabilities in New Jersey to remain at home and active in their communities, including caregiving, help with chores, and other supports that allow them to manage daily activities. Over the last decade, New Jersey has made significant progress in investing in HCBS and expanding access for older adults and people with disabilities. However, sizeable gaps remain that cause inequities in access to HCBS across the state. Continued and targeted efforts are needed to ensure equitable access to HCBS based on race, age, geography, type of disability, and other factors.
This Justice in Aging Issue Brief, Building an Equitable Medicaid HCBS Infrastructure in New Jersey for Older Adults, supports New Jersey policymakers, state staff, HCBS providers, and aging and disability advocates in developing an equitable Medicaid HCBS infrastructure. The paper provides a brief overview of New Jersey’s Medicaid HCBS infrastructure for older adults, identifies where there are opportunities to advance equity in the HCBS infrastructure, and recommends policy solutions leveraging those opportunities to build an equitable HCBS infrastructure.