Health and social care trends in 2024 will continue on an innovative trajectory - with a significant increase in the number of Americans who will qualify for Medicare. Trends include improved support for caregivers, and expanding options for provision of in-home medical care.
As the baby boomer aging streak peaks, nearly 12,000 Americans will turn 65 years old each day in 2024, according to the National Council on Aging. If previous year’s trends continue, half of these new Medicare beneficiaries will choose a Medicare Advantage Plan, called an MAP, for delivery of healthcare services. According to Forbes, there were more than 4,000 Medicare Advantage Plan options this year and there is a slight increase for the next year. Many beneficiaries in large urban markets, like metro Detroit, may have as many as 40 or 50 plan options to choose from.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees Medicare and Medicaid programs, predicts that more than 50% of Medicare beneficiaries, some 33.8 million people, will be enrolled in MAPs in 2024.
Support for caregivers is a high priority for the Biden administration which is proposing several legislative reforms to promote additional services to assist them. Among these is the enhancement of the Family Medical Leave Act via introduction of a more comprehensive paid family and medical leave program. It would provide up to 12 weeks of leave to allow eligible workers to take time off to care for a seriously ill loved one or otherwise serve as a caregiver.
The Older Americans Act was introduced in 1965, as part of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society Programs. With enhancements to OAA over the last 58 years, community services tailored for older Americans have expanded beyond the initial grants to states for social and nutrition services. OAA services are now the primary funding source for myriad community services such as senior center congregate meals. OAA resources are also the primary source of funding for initiatives to promote caregiver support, elder rights, and disease prevention programs like Falls Prevention.
The proposed 2024 federal budget also includes an astounding $3 billion for the Administration for Community Living. The ACL agency is responsible for oversight of the Older Americans Act.
Other notable services supported via the OAA include:
Senior Community Service Employment Program
Falls Prevention competitive grants
Family Caregiver Support Service
Search for the following websites for more information on initiatives to support older Americans:
Sharon Williams, CEO of Williams Jaxon Consulting, LLC, is a leader in the healthcare and community-based services industries. She has led transformative initiatives with the Senior Resource Center, SE MI; Detroit Area Agency on Aging; and the NCOA-Aging Mastery Program. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.