The Florida House Majority Office is publishing a series of sector-specific resource blog posts and downloadable documents to aid constituents in understanding the support available to them during the coronavirus crisis. This post contains information and resources for Florida's senior population. Download the PDF version here.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return do not need to file a simple return to receive the CARES Act stimulus payments.
For more information, see https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm967.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Set aside $250 million for the senior nutrition program in the Administration for Community Living to provide about 25 million additional home-delivered, pre-packaged meals to seniors.
For more details, see www.congress.gov/116/plaws/publ127/PLAW-116publ127.pdf (Page 6).
Senior Living Facilities
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued guidance to senior living facilities to limit the spread of COVID-19 that includes:
Restricting all visitors with exceptions for compassionate care, such as end-of-life situations;
Restricting all volunteers and nonessential health care personnel and other personnel (i.e., barbers);
Canceling all group activities and communal dining; and
Implementing active screening of residents and health care personnel for fever and respiratory symptoms.
For more information, visit www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-announces-new-measures-protect-nursing-home-residents-covid-19.
Medicare covers lab tests for COVID-19 with no out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries.
Extended hospitalization coverage when seniors need to stay in the hospital under quarantine.
Medicare beneficiaries can temporarily receive a wider range of services through telehealth.
For more information, visit www.medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus.
Florida Department of Health (DOH)
The DOH issued additional guidance to assisted living facilities to help them keep COVID-19 from entering their facilities, identify symptoms and manage infections effectively, screen staff and employees, clean and disinfect, and prioritize personal protective equipment use.
For more information, visit http://ww11.doh.state.fl.us/comm/_partners/action/asst_living_facilities_prevent_covid_19.pdf.
Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA)
AHCA created a new temporary Personal Care Attendant program to give long-term care facilities an avenue to fill staffing shortages. The program provides an eight-hour training of required skills to assist in direct care so personal care attendants can temporarily perform additional duties.
AHCA and the Department of Children and Families have been working together to ensure current Medicaid recipients maintain benefits during the COVID-19 state of emergency. Agencies have also extended Medicaid application deadlines.
AHCA has made on-site visits to over 900 long-term care and residential facilities since the onset of the COVID-19 emergency. Additionally, AHCA has made more than 2,000 telephone calls to residential providers statewide to assess infection control and prevention strategies, ensure county health department and local emergency operations center contact information are up to date, and assess supplies — specifically PPE.
For more information, visit www.floridahealth.gov/newsroom/2020/04/040520-2100-covid19.pr.html.