Boston – On Tuesday, June 28, State Representative Jennifer Benson (D-Lunenburg) and State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) were honored as “Legislators of the Year” at the MassPACE Program’s 2nd Annual State House Day.
Representative Benson and Senator Eldridge were recognized for their advocacy of services for senior citizens, including the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). The Representative and Senator filed An Act to preserve eligibility for the PACE program and certain waivered services at the beginning of the 2015-2016 legislative session (H.966/S.580).
The legislation would expand access to PACE by establishing a premium system for participants whose income is over the current program limit, but below the monthly cost of nursing home care. By making PACE available to those who fall into the gap between the monthly income limit and the monthly cost of home care, thousands more seniors in the Commonwealth would have access to high quality community-based home care.
“I am honored to have received this recognition from MassPACE,” said Representative Benson. “I am so grateful for the work they do for the elderly. Expanding PACE, at very little cost to the Commonwealth, will allow more seniors to be able to stay in their homes and live independent, productive lives.”
“It was a wonderful honor to receive a legislator of the year award from MassPACE,” said Senator Eldridge. “Recognizing the wide impact programs like PACE have on improving access to all-inclusive community care as an alternative to nursing homes for our seniors, Representative Benson and I were proud to refile this legislation. I look forward to continue working together with MassPACE this session to advance the PACE bill.”
PACE is overseen by Medicare and MassHealth, and provides a range of medical, social, and wellness services to the elderly. As an alliance of health care and social service professionals, PACE’s goal is to allow participants to live safely in their own homes instead of in nursing homes.