California

Ensuring all Californians Can Thrive as They Grow Older

Because California has the highest number of seniors living in poverty of any state in the nation, and has often led the country in crafting innovative progressive policies, our work in California not only impacts millions of lives, but also serves as a laboratory for policy change across the nation. In addition to our extensive work on dual eligible issues, improving the state’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, and our efforts working in coalition to strengthen SSI in California, we also work with state legislators to craft policy. And whenever budget shortfalls lead to calls for cuts to programs senors rely on, we’re there to educate lawmakers about the impact and stop the cuts from happening. We’re also looking toward and helping to build a future where all California seniors can thrive through our participation and leadership on Governor Newsom’s stakeholder advisory committee for the state’s Master Plan for Aging. 

  • California's Master Plan for Aging
  • California Budget & Legislation
  • Crisis Care Standards

California is growing older and poorer. The state has the highest rate of senior poverty in the nation and its population of older adults is set to nearly double over the next 20 years. The need for a plan to address the unmet economic security, and health and long-term care needs of the state’s older adults is urgent. In 2019, California’s Governor, Gavin Newsom, signed an executive order calling for a Master Plan for Aging and directed the Health and Human Services Agency to convene a cabinet level working group to advise in the development of the plan.

The Master Plan for Aging was finalized and released in January 2021. Justice in Aging’s Executive Director, Kevin Prindiville, Directing Attorney for Equity Advocacy, Denny Chan, Senior Staff Attorney for Elder Justice, Vivianne Mbaku, and Senior Staff Attorney for Housing, Patti Prunhuber all serve on committees to make the Master Plan for Aging a reality.

See below for resources with Justice in Aging’s recommendations for ensuring that the Master Plan meets its goals to advance equity, increase economic security and safety, and improve access to quality, affordable health care and LTSS programs for all of us as we age. We will continue to add to this page over time. For more resources on Justice in Aging’s advocacy, see the California Budget and Legislation tab.

Letter to Governor Newsom: Request to Include New Investments in Home Based Care in 2022-23 Budget, November 11, 2021

Proposal: California’s Community CHOICEs for ALL - Making Home and Community-Based Care a Reality, November 11, 2021

Summary: 2021 Bills Related to the Master Plan for Aging, October 2021

Letter to Governor Newsom on the May Revision: Investments in the Master Plan for Aging, May 2021

Budget Summary: 2021 Budget Proposals Related to the Master Plan for Aging, May 2021

Summary2021 Legislative Bills Related to the Master Plan for Aging, February 2021

Report: Master Plan for Aging Long Term Services and Supports Subcommittee Stakeholder Report, May 2020

Recommendations: Prevent and End Elder Abuse in California, March 2020

Recommendations: Oral Health, August 2020

Recommendations: Increase Income for Seniors and People with Disabilities who Receive SSI/SSP, February 2020

Recommendations: Address Senior Hunger by Maximizing CalFresh and the Hold Harmless Food Benefits, February 2020

Recommendations: Make Medi-Cal More Accessible and Affordable, December 2019

Principles: An Equitable, Comprehensive Master Plan for Aging for all Californians, May 2019

The 2021-22 budget and legislative session ended with historic and significant investments in the health and well-being of older adults in California, including expansions in Medi-Cal eligibility and the reversal of harmful cuts made during the great recession. Below are summaries and resources detailing these changes and resources detailing Justice in Aging’s ongoing advocacy in 2022.  

Legislative Proposal: Make the Medi-Cal Share of Cost Program Affordable, January 7, 2022

Webinar: Upcoming Changes to Medi-Cal Impacting Older Adults and People with Disabilities, December 15, 2021

Letter to Governor Newsom: Reform Medi-Cal Share of Cost in 2022-23 Budget, Nov. 12, 2021

Fact Sheet: Important Health Care Changes Coming in 2022 for Low-Income Older Californians, October 2021

Summary: 2021 Bills Related to the Master Plan for Aging, October 2021

Budget Summary: Justice in Aging's Summary of the Final California 2021-22 Budget, July, 29, 2021

Budget Summary: Justice in Aging’s Response to the May Revision 2021-22 Budget, May 24, 2021

Letter to Governor Newsom on the May Revision: Investments in the Master Plan for Aging, May 2021

Budget Summary: Justice in Aging's Response to the January 2021-22 Budget, January 22, 2021

Fact Sheet: Budget Cuts to Programs for Low-Income Older Adults Must be Rejected-Cuts would Disproportionately Hurt Older Adults of Color, June 2, 2020

Visit our Resource Library for resources from prior years.

In states that are hard hit by COVID-19 surges, older adults, people with disabilities, and people of color face a real risk of being denied life-saving medical care during the pandemic. Several states, including California, have issued medical rationing plans that discriminate against older adults and people with disabilities. Justice in Aging has been partnering with disability rights advocates across the country filing complaints with the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. department of Health and Human Services and working with states to develop better standards. We are proud of our work in California convincing the state to reissue new, non-discriminatory guidelines. 

Read our summary of California's guidelines.

Advocates in other states can use this summary to push their states to issue guidelines that don't illegally discriminate on the basis of age and disability. 

Learn more about our work in other states on our COVID-19 Resource page. 

 

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