Connecticut nursing home residents, family members, and caregivers attended the first virtual education session held as a collaborative effort between the Center for Medicare Advocacy and the CT Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program this week. The goal of this educational series, supported by a grant from Point32Health and the CT Department of Aging and Disability Services, is to benefit the state’s long-term care residents and families by increasing health literacy, enhancing age-friendly health care, and improving outcomes for nursing home residents. In this first educational session, CMA and the CT Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program provided an overview of the services that each organization provides and shared relevant key insights about residents’ rights and Medicare benefits.
CT Long-Term Care Ombudsman Mairead Painter started off the session by providing information on the state’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, which advocates for and protects the health, safety, welfare, and rights of long-term care residents. The Ombuds program also responds to and investigates complaints brought by residents, family members, and other concerned parties. Initiatives prioritized by the Ombuds program include a platform of inclusivity in long-term care facilities, which includes the development of an Inclusive Communities work group that focuses on education and outreach to support people who identify as members of multiple marginalized groups, including the LGBT community.
From there, the Center’s Executive Director, Judith Stein and Associate Director, Kathleen Holt provided detailed information about Medicare nursing home coverage, including coverage criteria, the Medicare “benefit period,” coverage of maintenance therapy and skilled nursing care, along with information and a resource guide about Medicare Savings Programs. Ms. Stein and Ms. Holt also answered questions from attendees about Medicare Advantage versus traditional Medicare and Medigap plans.