LB 690, introduced by State Sen. Kate Bolz, creates the Aging Nebraskans Task Force to develop strategies for meeting the increased demand for long-term care services as the state’s population ages. All of Nebraska’s population growth between now and 2030 will be accounted for by growth in the age 75+ population.
“We are on the cusp of significant growth in the age group that is most likely to need long-term care. The oldest baby boomer will reach the age of 75 in seven years and the age of 80 in 2026,” said Mark Intermill, advocacy director for AARP Nebraska.
He noted that long-term care services are of great interest to AARP members. Many are receiving long-term care services or helping coordinate services for a parent or other family member. And, as taxpayers, he said, “they are a source of the public funding that finances a significant share of long-term care costs.”
Voicing support for the measure at today’s Health and Human Services Committee hearing, Intermill stressed that Nebraska must develop policy addressing:
- Support for family caregivers;
- The workforce that provides long-term care services;
- Private long-term care financing options;
- A budgetary structure that will bring about continued improvements in the long-term care system; and
- A comprehensive and coordinated approach to providing access to services that people need.
LB 690 also directs the state to apply for about $6 million in federal grants to provide more home- and community-based services through Medicaid. These services are about one-third the cost that Medicaid pays for nursing home care.
Photo credit: istockphoto/Fred Froese