SENIORS

  • In order to ease the financial burden on the state's elderly, Governor Mario Cuomo signed Medicare Assignment legislation in 1990. This legislation places strict limits on the amount that physicians can charge the elderly.

  • The Governor created the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage program in 1987 to ensure that all elderly New Yorkers can afford the medication they need. The EPIC program has already served 95,000 elderly New Yorkers.

  • In 1986 Mario Cuomo created the Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program to provide non-medical services at home to nearly 24,000 low income seniors. The program is available on a sliding scale based on the senior's income.

  • The Governor's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program delivers nutritious meals to seniors in their homes in order to reduce the risk of hunger, malnutrition and related illnesses. The SNAP program currently delivers more than 10 million home delivered meals each year to over 50,000 homebound elderly.

  • Unlike other governors and the federal government, Mario Cuomo has steadfastly refused to tax Social Security benefits and has twice raised benefits for New Yorkers receiving SSI. The Governor's refusal has saved New York senior citizens roughly $800 million.

  • The Cuomo administration has led the fight against age discrimination, establishing tough policies that ban age discrimination in all state agencies and housing facilities. In 1984, prior to federal action, Governor Cuomo abolished mandatory retirement for most occupations, and extended the prohibition against age discrimination in employment beyond its previous upper age limit of 65.

  • The Governor's long term care insurance project makes it possible to buy insurance policies which must provide three years of nursing home coverage and six years of home coverage.

  • In July, 1990, Governor Cuomo signed into law New York's Health Care Proxy Law. This law allows people of all ages to designate an agent to make health care decisions on their behalf in the event they become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions on their own.

  • Created by the Governor in 1987, the N.Y.S Office for the Aging and Long Term Care Ombudsman, assists seniors seeking state services and benefits.

  • To combat the problem of spousal impoverishment, the Governor has signed legislation to allow the spouse of a senior placed in nursing care to receive the most progressive levels of income allowed by the federal government.