Senior Issues

StateWide develops its Senior Issues agenda at its annual Convention and by listening to members throughout the year. Significant topics are listed on our legislative advocacy pages and reflect topics of concern and advocacy at the state and local government level.

Frequent postings keep members up to date on state and federal legislative happenings. Core issues include Providing Health Coverage for All, Preserving Social Security and Medicare, and Creating Livable Communities for people of all ages.

Health Coverage for All – Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010 and many of the policy changes and benefits are now being implemented. These include:

  • Phasing out the Medicare doughnut hole, reducing enrollees out of pocket costs for prescription drugs.
  • Covering preventive health care.
  • Providing insurance for adult children through age 29.

For more information, review an analysis of the law and specific information for seniors.

NEW! Read CMS February 2013 Testimony about implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including impact on Medicare Advantage quality and Hospital Re-admissions.

StateWide worked with the Long Term Care Community Coalition to develop FACT SHEETS with information and additional links on specific sections of the Affordable Care Act.  Click on each of the  following titles to view or print the documents. New Medicare Benefits, Home & Community Based Services,  Nursing Home CareElder Justice Act . If you have questions, or would like to request a speaker on these topics, contact us at

Social Security – The program celebrated its 77th Anniversary in August 2012 and is facing threats during Congressional Budget discussions. Social Security benefits are a lifeline for retirees as well as surviving children and spouses and persons with disabilities. Social Security is also a driving force to the economy, contributing to the spending power in communities. An analysis shows how much of an economic impact Social Security has in each of New York’s Congressional Districts.  Learn more about the consequences of a possible change in the Social Security Cost of Living adjustment to a “Chained CPI”.
Eligibility Questions? Use the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST) to find out if you could get benefits that Social Security administers. Based on your answers to questions, this tool will list benefits for which you might be eligible and tell you more information about how to qualify and apply.

Get involved with your local StateWide Chapter and join with others locally to speak up about the importance of preserving Social Security!

If you have questions, or would like to request a speaker on this topic, contact us at

Medicare – StateWide monitors federal legislative action that could impact Medicare and provides information to enrollees to help them make informed decisions about choosing a plan.
Please see our section on Health and Prescription Drug Coverage.

If you have questions, or would like to request a speaker on this topic, contact us at

Livable Communities – Most older New Yorkers wish to remain living in their own home and to age in their familiar community. StateWide Chapters work with local leaders to encourage the communities to have adequate housing and health care services and to promote local planning to ensure communities that work for residents of all ages. For more information on efforts in your neighborhood contact your local Office for the Aging.

Is there an issue that you feel is important to learn more about or share with other seniors? contact us at