LeadingAge Statement on the Well-Being Insurance for Seniors to be at Home (WISH) Act

PRESS RELEASE | July 01, 2021 | by Lisa Sanders

The new legislation addresses the critical question of how to pay for a long term services and supports benefit

Contact: Lisa Sanders
lsanders@leadingage.org 202-508-9407

July 1, 2021, Washington, DC—LeadingAge’s CEO today praised the Well-Being Insurance for Seniors to be at Home (WISH) Act introduced today by Congressman Thomas Suozzi (D-NY) to provide catastrophic long-term care insurance for older adults, as a timely and much-needed response to a growing crisis.

The bill would create a public-private partnership to provide long-term care insurance for older adults who experience serious functional impairments, to enable them to purchase long-term services and supports in the setting of their choice.

“This legislation recognizes a simple reality: we're all growing older. Each of us, if we’re lucky, will live well into our eighth or ninth decade of life. And the fact is many Americans from all walks of life across this country will need some kind of help beyond what our families can provide,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services. “Right now, millions of family members and friends are struggling to balance the demands of caring for loved ones—and are increasingly stressed, stretched and in unsustainable situations.”

Results of an online survey of 800 U.S. adults released by LeadingAge yesterday reveal that an overwhelming majority of Americans—Democrats, Republicans and Independents—believe now is the right time to think about building a better system for older adults. The government has an important role, they say, in ensuring that seniors are taken care of.

“Our current approach toward financing long-term services and supports is untenable,” Sloan added. “It’s time for our elected officials to listen to Americans from both parties and provide critical, long overdue support. The WISH Act takes an important step forward toward ensuring that paying for long-term care and services does not impoverish families. Mr. Suozzi wisely devised a public-private partnership that generates funding for federal catastrophic long-term care coverage. The result is a much-needed, public-private partnership and an important step toward more equitable access to LTSS for all.”

About LeadingAge:

We represent more than 5,000 nonprofit aging services providers and other mission-minded organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside our members and 38 state partners, we use applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building to make America a better place to grow old. Our membership encompasses the entire continuum of aging services. We bring together the most inventive minds in the field to lead and innovate solutions that support older adults wherever they call home. For more information visit leadingage.org.