CO-AGE Issues for the 2023 Legislative Session

CO-AGE is a vehicle for bringing broad-based input on aging issues from across the state to the attention of the General Assembly. Every July, CO-AGE members vote to prioritize issues to bring to Georgia’s elected officials.

The Priority Issues for 2023 are:

Budget Priority

Perennial Issue: Home and Community Based Services

Home and Community Based Services provide support for older Georgians to remain at home as long as possible by providing home modifications, personal assistance, meals, transportation, and other services. These services cost far less than staying at a nursing home and can help seniors stay independent longer. Check back later for more detailed information on HCBS needs.

Allow Medicaid in Assisted Living Communities

While Assisted Living Communities (ALCs) and large Personal Care Homes (PCHs) provide alternatives to nursing homes, many Georgians cannot afford private pay assisted living communities or large personal care homes.

Legislation will: 1) amend Georgia’s assisted living community statute to delete the prohibition of ALCs enrolling as a Medicaid provider and receiving Medicaid funds; and 2) add a section to the Georgia law on Community Care and Services for the Elderly to prohibit the availability of Medicaid funds from being restricted by state requirements that are more stringent than those under federal law or regulation. 

Legislative Priorities

Teledentistry

Teledentistry brings about efficiency, provides access to underserved populations, and improves quality of care to reduce the oral disease burden. Georgia has no rules or legislation to authorize GA supervising dentists to send or receive remote communication.

Teledentistry legislation will: 1) reduce costs through prevention and early intervention of dental diseases, 2) enable authorizing dentists to review x-rays and photos of the patient’s issues or status, 3) further integrate medical-dental care, 4) shorten in-office or onsite dental appointments and

5) establish a virtual dental home in the community

Work & Save Program

Many Georgians, including working caregivers, do not have access to an

employer provided retirement program.

17 other states have either passed legislation or are considering legislation to create these public-private partnerships for small businesses to offer their employees a retirement savings plan that is portable and no cost to the employer. California, Colorado, Maine, Virginia, Oregon, New Mexico, New York, Hawaii (just to name a few) have started these programs.

Legislation will: create the state-run program for caregivers and working Georgians to have an opportunity to offer employees a benefit of a retirement savings.