CHAPTER 319d

DEPARTMENT ON AGING

Table of Contents

Secs. 17a-300 and 17a-301. (Formerly Secs. 17-136b and 17a-136d). Department on Aging. Duties of the commissioner.

Sec. 17a-301a. (Formerly Sec. 17a-317). Department on Aging. Duties of commissioner and department. State Unit on Aging.

Sec. 17a-302. (Formerly Sec. 17b-792). Nutrition programs for elderly persons.

Sec. 17a-302a. Meetings with nutrition service stakeholders.

Sec. 17a-303. (Formerly Sec. 17-136f). Recommendations re regulation of home health care.

Sec. 17a-303a. (Formerly Sec. 17b-33). Fall prevention program.

Sec. 17a-304. (Formerly Sec. 17b-421). Area agencies on aging.

Sec. 17a-305. (Formerly Sec. 17b-422). Allocation of funds. Review. Voluntary fee for meals.

Sec. 17a-306. (Formerly Sec. 17b-423). Regulations re Older Americans Act of 1965. Policies. Posting on eRegulations System.

Sec. 17a-306a. Promotion of independent living program. Eligibility. Regulations.

Sec. 17a-307. Transferred

Secs. 17a-308 and 17a-309. (Formerly Secs. 17-137 and 17-137a). Duties of the department; personnel; single state agency for programs for elderly persons and the aged. Receipt of grants or gifts.

Sec. 17a-310. (Formerly Sec. 17b-425). State grants for community services and programs for the elderly.

Secs. 17a-311 and 17a-312. (Formerly Secs. 17-137d and 17-137e). Applications for grants. Amount of grant.

Sec. 17a-313. (Formerly Sec. 17b-426). Payment of administrative expenses.

Sec. 17a-314. (Formerly Sec. 17b-427). CHOICES health insurance assistance program. Definitions. Requirements. Reports. Responsibilities of hospitals re Medicare patients. Regulations.

Secs. 17a-315 and 17a-316. (Formerly Secs. 17-136 and 17-136a). Advisory Council on Aging; appointment of members. Duties of council.

Sec. 17a-316a. (Formerly Sec. 17b-367a). Community Choices program.

Sec. 17a-317. Transferred

Secs. 17a-318 to 17a-339. Reserved


Secs. 17a-300 and 17a-301. (Formerly Secs. 17-136b and 17a-136d). Department on Aging. Duties of the commissioner. Sections 17a-300 and 17a-301 are repealed, effective July 1, 1993.

(1969, P.A. 814, S. 6; P.A. 75-474, S. 3, 4, 10; P.A. 93-262, S. 86, 87.)

Sec. 17a-301a. (Formerly Sec. 17a-317). Department on Aging. Duties of commissioner and department. State Unit on Aging. (a) Effective January 1, 2013, there shall be established a Department on Aging that shall be under the direction and supervision of the Commissioner on Aging who shall be appointed by the Governor in accordance with the provisions of sections 4-5 to 4-8, inclusive, with the powers and duties prescribed in said sections. The commissioner shall be knowledgeable and experienced with respect to the conditions and needs of elderly persons and shall serve on a full-time basis.

(b) The Commissioner on Aging shall administer all laws under the jurisdiction of the Department on Aging and shall employ the most efficient and practical means for the provision of care and protection of elderly persons. The commissioner shall have the power and duty to do the following: (1) Administer, coordinate and direct the operation of the department; (2) adopt and enforce regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, as necessary to implement the purposes of the department as established by statute; (3) establish rules for the internal operation and administration of the department; (4) establish and develop programs and administer services to achieve the purposes of the department; (5) contract for facilities, services and programs to implement the purposes of the department; (6) act as advocate for necessary additional comprehensive and coordinated programs for elderly persons; (7) assist and advise all appropriate state, federal, local and area planning agencies for elderly persons in the performance of their functions and duties pursuant to federal law and regulation; (8) plan services and programs for elderly persons; (9) coordinate outreach activities by public and private agencies serving elderly persons; and (10) consult and cooperate with area and private planning agencies.

(c) The Department on Aging is designated as the State Unit on Aging to administer, manage, design and advocate for benefits, programs and services for the elderly and their families pursuant to the Older Americans Act. The department shall study continuously the conditions and needs of elderly persons in this state in relation to nutrition, transportation, home care, housing, income, employment, health, recreation and other matters. The department shall be responsible, in cooperation with federal, state, local and area planning agencies on aging, for the overall planning, development and administration of a comprehensive and integrated social service delivery system for elderly persons. The department shall: (1) Measure the need for services; (2) survey methods of administration of programs for service delivery; (3) provide for periodic evaluations of social services; (4) maintain technical, information, consultation and referral services in cooperation with other state agencies to local and area public and private agencies to the fullest extent possible; (5) develop and coordinate educational outreach programs for the purposes of informing the public and elderly persons of available programs; (6) cooperate in the development of performance standards for licensing of residential and medical facilities with appropriate state agencies; (7) supervise the establishment, in selected areas and local communities of the state, of pilot programs for elderly persons; (8) coordinate with the Department of Transportation to provide adequate transportation services related to the needs of elderly persons; and (9) cooperate with other state agencies to provide adequate and alternate housing for elderly persons, including congregate housing, as defined in section 8-119e.

(d) The functions, powers, duties and personnel of the Division of Aging Services of the Department of Social Services, or any subsequent division or portion of a division with similar functions, powers, personnel and duties, shall be transferred to the Department on Aging pursuant to the provisions of sections 4-38d, 4-38e and 4-39.

(e) The Department of Social Services shall administer programs under the jurisdiction of the Department on Aging until the Commissioner on Aging is appointed and administrative staff are hired.

(f) The Governor may, with the approval of the Finance Advisory Committee, transfer funds between the Department of Social Services and the Department on Aging pursuant to subsection (b) of section 4-87 during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013.

(g) Any order or regulation of the Department of Social Services or the Commission on Aging that is in force on January 1, 2013, shall continue in force and effect as an order or regulation until amended, repealed or superseded pursuant to law.

(P.A. 05-280, S. 53; P.A. 06-188, S. 54; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-2, S. 25; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-5, S. 19; P.A. 10-179, S. 24; P.A. 11-44, S. 145; June 12 Sp. Sess. P.A. 12-1, S. 19; P.A. 13-125, S. 4.)

History: P.A. 05-280 effective January 1, 2007; P.A. 06-188 changed effective date of section from January 1, 2007, to July 1, 2007, effective May 26, 2006; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 07-2 amended Subsec. (a) by delaying establishment of Department on Aging until July 1, 2008, and amended Subsec. (d) by replacing “January 1, 2007” with “July 1, 2008”, effective June 26, 2007; Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-5 amended Subsec. (a) to change effective date for establishment of Department on Aging from July 1, 2008, to July 1, 2010, effective October 5, 2009; P.A. 10-179 amended Subsec. (a) by changing date of establishment from July 1, 2010, to July 1, 2011, amended Subsec. (c) by replacing “Elderly” with “Aging” re division, added new Subsec. (d) re temporary administration of programs by Department of Social Services, added Subsec. (e) re Governor’s ability to transfer funds between Department of Social Services and Department on Aging, redesignated existing Subsec. (d) as Subsec. (f) and amended same by changing effective date for orders and regulations from July 1, 2008, to July 1, 2011, effective July 1, 2010; P.A. 11-44 amended Subsec. (a) by replacing July 1, 2011, with July 1, 2013, and making a technical change, amended Subsec. (e) by replacing June 30, 2012, with June 30, 2014, and amended Subsec. (f) by replacing July 1, 2011, with July 1, 2013, effective July 1, 2011; June 12 Sp. Sess. P.A. 12-1 amended Subsec. (a) by substituting January 1, 2013, for July 1, 2013, amended Subsec. (e) by substituting June 30, 2013, for June 30, 2014, and amended Subsec. (f) by substituting January 1, 2013, for July 1, 2013, effective July 1, 2012; P.A. 13-125 added new Subsec. (c) designating Department on Aging as the State Unit on Aging and redesignated existing Subsecs. (c) to (f) as Subsecs. (d) to (g), effective June 18, 2013; Sec. 17a-317 transferred to Sec. 17a-301a in 2015.

Sec. 17a-302. (Formerly Sec. 17b-792). Nutrition programs for elderly persons. (a) The Department on Aging shall be responsible for the administration of programs which provide nutritionally sound diets to needy elderly persons and for the expansion of such programs when possible. Such programs shall be continued in such a manner as to fully utilize congregate feeding and nutrition education of elderly citizens who qualify for such program.

(b) Each program continued in accordance with subsection (a) of this section shall provide one meal per day, five days per week, to recipients of the program. Each program shall utilize all available municipal, state or local agencies for the purchase of food and equipment and the finding of appropriate locations for such programs.

(P.A. 75-439, S. 1–3, 4; P.A. 82-66, S. 1, 2; P.A. 93-262, S. 51, 87; P.A. 13-125, S. 19.)

History: P.A. 82-66 amended Subsec. (a) to replace the requirement that the department expand nutrition programs with requirement to administer the programs and expand them when possible; Sec. 17-136e transferred to Sec. 17a-302 in 1991; P.A. 93-262 replaced department on aging with department of social services and deleted Subsec. (c) re reports to department on aging to be submitted by state-funded nutrition programs, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17a-302 transferred to Sec. 17b-792 in 1995; P.A. 13-125 amended Subsec. (a) to change “Department of Social Services” to “Department on Aging”, effective July 1, 2013; Sec. 17b-792 transferred to Sec. 17a-302 in 2015.

Sec. 17a-302a. Meetings with nutrition service stakeholders. The Department on Aging and the Department of Social Services shall hold quarterly meetings with nutrition service stakeholders to (1) develop recommendations to address complexities in the administrative processes of nutrition services, (2) establish quality control benchmarks, and (3) help move toward greater quality, efficiency and transparency in the elderly nutrition program. Stakeholders shall include, but not be limited to, area agencies on aging, access agencies, the Commission on Aging, nutrition providers, representatives of food security programs and contractors, nutrition host site representatives and consumers.

(P.A. 14-73, S. 2.)

History: P.A. 14-73 effective July 1, 2014.

Sec. 17a-303. (Formerly Sec. 17-136f). Recommendations re regulation of home health care. Section 17a-303 is repealed, effective July 1, 1993.

(P.A. 77-601, S. 1, 11; 77-614, S. 323, 521, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 79-631, S. 100, 111; P.A. 93-262, S. 86, 87.)

Sec. 17a-303a. (Formerly Sec. 17b-33). Fall prevention program. The Department on Aging shall establish, within available appropriations, a fall prevention program. Within such program, the department shall:

(1) Promote and support research to: (A) Improve the identification, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of older adults and others who have a high risk of falling; (B) improve data collection and analysis to identify risk factors for falls and factors that reduce the likelihood of falls; (C) design, implement and evaluate the most effective fall prevention interventions; (D) improve intervention strategies that have been proven effective in reducing falls by tailoring such strategies to specific populations of older adults; (E) maximize the dissemination of proven, effective fall prevention interventions; (F) assess the risk of falls occurring in various settings; (G) identify barriers to the adoption of proven interventions with respect to the prevention of falls among older adults; (H) develop, implement and evaluate the most effective approaches to reducing falls among high-risk older adults living in communities and long-term care and assisted living facilities; and (I) evaluate the effectiveness of community programs designed to prevent falls among older adults;

(2) Establish, in consultation with the Commissioner of Public Health, a professional education program in fall prevention, evaluation and management for physicians, allied health professionals and other health care providers who provide services for the elderly in this state. The Commissioner on Aging may contract for the establishment of such program through (A) a request for proposal process, (B) a competitive grant program, or (C) cooperative agreements with qualified organizations, institutions or consortia of qualified organizations and institutions;

(3) Oversee and support demonstration and research projects to be carried out by organizations, institutions or consortia of organizations and institutions deemed qualified by the Commissioner on Aging. Such demonstration and research projects may be in the following areas:

(A) Targeted fall risk screening and referral programs;

(B) Programs designed for community-dwelling older adults that use fall intervention approaches, including physical activity, medication assessment and reduction of medication when possible, vision enhancement and home-modification strategies;

(C) Programs that target new fall victims who are at a high risk for second falls and that are designed to maximize independence and quality of life for older adults, particularly those older adults with functional limitations;

(D) Private sector and public-private partnerships to develop technologies to prevent falls among older adults and prevent or reduce injuries when falls occur; and

(4) Award grants to, or enter into contracts or cooperative agreements with, organizations, institutions or consortia of organizations and institutions deemed qualified by the Commissioner on Aging to design, implement and evaluate fall prevention programs using proven intervention strategies in residential and institutional settings.

(Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-5, S. 52; P.A. 13-125, S. 7.)

History: Sept. Sp. Sess. P.A. 09-5 effective October 5, 2009; P.A. 13-125 replaced references to Department and Commissioner of Social Services with references to Department and Commissioner on Aging, effective July 1, 2013; Sec. 17b-33 transferred to Sec. 17a-303a in 2015.

Sec. 17a-304. (Formerly Sec. 17b-421). Area agencies on aging. The state shall be divided into five elderly planning and service areas, in accordance with federal law and regulations, each having an area agency on aging to carry out the mandates of the federal Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended. The area agencies shall (1) represent elderly persons within their geographic areas, (2) develop an area plan for approval by the Department on Aging and upon such approval administer the plan, (3) coordinate and assist local public and nonprofit, private agencies in the development of programs, (4) receive and distribute federal and state funds for such purposes, in accordance with applicable law, (5) carry out any additional duties and functions required by federal law and regulations.

(P.A. 83-89, S. 2; P.A. 86-368, S. 1, 5; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 13-125, S. 14.)

History: P.A. 86-368 specified the number of planning and service areas for the elderly to be five; Sec. 17-136g transferred to Sec. 17a-304 in 1991; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department on aging, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17a-304 transferred to Sec. 17b-421 in 1995; P.A. 13-125 amended Subdiv. (2) to replace reference to Department of Social Services with reference to Department on Aging, effective July 1, 2013; Sec. 17b-421 transferred to Sec. 17a-304 in 2015.

Sec. 17a-305. (Formerly Sec. 17b-422). Allocation of funds. Review. Voluntary fee for meals. (a) The Department on Aging shall equitably allocate, in accordance with federal law, federal funds received under Title IIIB and IIIC of the Older Americans Act to the five area agencies on aging established pursuant to section 17a-304. The department, before seeking federal approval to spend any amount above that allotted for administrative expenses under said act, shall inform the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to aging and human services that it is seeking such approval.

(b) Sixty per cent of the state funds appropriated to the five area agencies on aging for elderly nutrition and social services shall be allocated in the same proportion as allocations made pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. Forty per cent of all state funds appropriated to the five area agencies on aging for elderly nutrition and social services used for purposes other than the required nonfederal matching funds shall be allocated at the discretion of the Commissioner on Aging, in consultation with the five area agencies on aging, based on their need for such funds. Any state funds appropriated to the five area agencies on aging for administrative expenses shall be allocated equally.

(c) The Department on Aging, in consultation with the five area agencies on aging, shall review the method of allocation set forth in subsection (a) of this section and shall report any findings or recommendations to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to appropriations and the budgets of state agencies and human services.

(d) An area agency may request a person participating in the elderly nutrition program to pay a voluntary fee for meals furnished, except that no eligible person shall be denied a meal due to an inability to pay such fee.

(P.A. 86-368, S. 2, 3, 5; P.A. 88-301, S. 1, 2; P.A. 92-230, S. 1; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 03-278, S. 66; P.A. 13-125, S. 15.)

History: P.A. 88-301 changed the formula for the allocation of state funds in Subsec. (b) and added Subsec. (d) allowing an area agency to request a voluntary fee for meals furnished; Sec. 17-136h transferred to Sec. 17a-305 in 1991; P.A. 92-230 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting formula for allocation of federal funds and substituting requirement that funds be allocated equitably between the five area agencies on aging and amended Subsecs. (b) and (c) for consistency; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department on aging, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17a-305 transferred to Sec. 17b-422 in 1995; P.A. 03-278 made technical changes in Subsecs. (a) to (d), effective July 9, 2003; P.A. 13-125 amended Subsecs. (a), (b) and (c) by changing “Department of Social Services” to “Department on Aging” and “Commissioner of Social Services” to “Commissioner on Aging” and further amended Subsec. (a) by adding reference to joint standing committee on aging, effective July 1, 2013; Sec. 17b-422 transferred to Sec. 17a-305 in 2015.

Sec. 17a-306. (Formerly Sec. 17b-423). Regulations re Older Americans Act of 1965. Policies. Posting on eRegulations System. The Department on Aging shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to carry out the purposes, programs and services authorized pursuant to the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended from time to time. The department may operate under any new policy necessary to conform to a requirement of a federal or joint state and federal program while it is in the process of adopting the policy in regulation form, provided the department posts such policy on the eRegulations System not later than twenty days after adopting the policy. Such policy shall be valid until the time final regulations are effective.

(P.A. 86-368, S. 4, 5; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 03-278, S. 67; P.A. 12-92, S. 10; P.A. 13-247, S. 35; 13-274, S. 10; P.A. 14-187, S. 22.)

History: Sec. 17-136i transferred to Sec. 17a-306 in 1991; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department on aging, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17a-306 transferred to Sec. 17b-423 in 1995; P.A. 03-278 made technical changes in Subsecs. (a) and (b), effective July 9, 2003; P.A. 12-92 amended Subsec. (a) to require policy manual and new policies to be posted on department’s web site and require new policies to be submitted to the Secretary for posting online, and make a technical change, effective July 1, 2013; P.A. 13-247 deleted Subsec. (a) designator, replaced provisions re community services policy manual with provision re adoption of regulations by Department on Aging re Older Americans Act of 1965, replaced provision requiring new policy to be posted in Connecticut Law Journal with provision requiring posting on eRegulations System, and deleted former Subsec. (b) re community services policy manual, effective October 1, 2014, and applicable to regulations noticed on and after that date; P.A. 13-274 made identical changes as P.A. 13-247, effective October 1, 2014, and applicable to regulations noticed on and after that date; P.A. 14-187 replaced former Subsecs. (a) and (b) re community services policy manual with provisions re adoption of regulations by Department on Aging re Older Americans Act of 1965, posting of policy on department Internet web site and submission of policy to Secretary of the State for online posting, effective June 11, 2014, until September 30, 2014; Sec. 17b-423 transferred to Sec. 17a-306 in 2015.

Sec. 17a-306a. Promotion of independent living program. Eligibility. Regulations. Section 17a-306a is repealed, effective July 1, 1993.

(June Sp. Sess. P.A. 91-8, S. 52, 63; P.A. 93-262, S. 86, 87.)

Sec. 17a-307. Transferred to Chapter 319v, Sec. 17b-251.

Secs. 17a-308 and 17a-309. (Formerly Secs. 17-137 and 17-137a). Duties of the department; personnel; single state agency for programs for elderly persons and the aged. Receipt of grants or gifts. Sections 17a-308 and 17a-309 are repealed, effective July 1, 1993.

(1957, P.A. 634, S. 2; 1959, P.A. 364, S. 2; 1963, P.A. 280; 408; February, 1965, P.A. 472; 1969, P.A. 814, S. 10, 11; P.A. 74-297; P.A. 75-426, S. 1, 2; 75-474, S. 5, 10; P.A. 77-582, S. 8, 10; P.A. 80-12, S. 1, 2; P.A. 83-89, S. 1; P.A. 93-262, S. 86, 87.)

Sec. 17a-310. (Formerly Sec. 17b-425). State grants for community services and programs for the elderly. The Department on Aging may make a grant to any city, town or borough or public or private agency, organization or institution for the following purposes: (a) For community planning and coordination of programs carrying out the purposes of the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended; (b) for demonstration programs or activities particularly valuable in carrying out such purposes; (c) for training of special personnel needed to carry out such programs and activities; (d) for establishment of new or expansion of existing programs to carry out such purposes, including establishment of new or expansion of existing centers of service for elderly persons, providing recreational, cultural and other leisure time activities, and informational, transportation, referral and preretirement and postretirement counseling services for elderly persons and assisting such persons in providing volunteer community or civic services, except that no costs of construction, other than for minor alterations and repairs, shall be included in such establishment or expansion; (e) for programs to develop or demonstrate approaches, methods and techniques for achieving or improving coordination of community services for elderly or aging persons and such other programs and services as may be allowed under Title III of the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended, or to evaluate these approaches, techniques and methods, as well as others which may assist elderly or aging persons to enjoy wholesome and meaningful living and to continue to contribute to the strength and welfare of the state and nation.

(1967, P.A. 883, S. 1; 1969, P.A. 814, S. 13; P.A. 75-474, S. 7, 10; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 13-125, S. 16.)

History: 1969 act replaced commission on services for elderly persons with department on aging; P.A. 75-474 allowed grants to private agencies; Sec. 17-137c transferred to Sec. 17a-310 in 1991; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department on aging, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17a-310 transferred to Sec. 17b-425 in 1995; P.A. 13-125 changed “Department of Social Services” to “Department on Aging”, effective July 1, 2013; Sec. 17b-425 transferred to Sec. 17a-310 in 2015.

Secs. 17a-311 and 17a-312. (Formerly Secs. 17-137d and 17-137e). Applications for grants. Amount of grant. Sections 17a-311 and 17a-312 are repealed.

(1967, P.A. 883, S. 2–4; 1969, P.A. 814, S. 14, 15; P.A. 73-144; P.A. 75-134; 75-474, S. 6, 8, 10; P.A. 77-541, S. 1, 2; P.A. 82-327, S. 6; P.A. 90-89, S. 3; P.A. 92-230, S. 3.)

Sec. 17a-313. (Formerly Sec. 17b-426). Payment of administrative expenses. The Department on Aging may use moneys appropriated for the purposes of section 17a-310 for the expenses of administering the grant program under said section, provided the total of such moneys so used shall not exceed five per cent of the moneys so appropriated.

(1967, P.A. 883, S. 5; 1969, P.A. 814, S. 16; P.A. 92-230, S. 2; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 13-125, S. 17.)

History: 1969 act replaced commission on services for elderly persons with department on aging; Sec. 17-137f transferred to Sec. 17a-313 in 1991; P.A. 92-230 deleted references to repealed sections; P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department on aging, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17a-313 transferred to Sec. 17b-426 in 1995; P.A. 13-125 substituted “Department on Aging” for “Department of Social Services”, effective July 1, 2013; Sec. 17b-426 transferred to Sec. 17a-313 in 2015.

Sec. 17a-314. (Formerly Sec. 17b-427). CHOICES health insurance assistance program. Definitions. Requirements. Reports. Responsibilities of hospitals re Medicare patients. Regulations. (a) As used in this section:

(1) “CHOICES” means Connecticut’s programs for health insurance assistance, outreach, information and referral, counseling and eligibility screening;

(2) “CHOICES health insurance assistance program” means the federally recognized state health insurance assistance program funded pursuant to P.L. 101-508 and administered by the Department on Aging, in conjunction with the area agencies on aging and the Center for Medicare Advocacy, that provides free information and assistance related to health insurance issues and concerns of older persons and other Medicare beneficiaries in Connecticut; and

(3) “Medicare organization” means any corporate entity or other organization or group that contracts with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to serve as a Medicare health plan organization to provide health care services to Medicare beneficiaries in this state as an alternative to the traditional Medicare fee-for-service plan.

(b) The Department on Aging shall administer the CHOICES health insurance assistance program, which shall be a comprehensive Medicare advocacy program that provides assistance to Connecticut residents who are Medicare beneficiaries.

(c) The program shall provide: (1) Toll-free telephone access for consumers to obtain advice and information on Medicare benefits, including prescription drug benefits available through the Medicare Part D program, the Medicare appeals process, health insurance matters applicable to Medicare beneficiaries and long-term care options available in the state at least five days per week during normal business hours; (2) information, advice and representation, where appropriate, concerning the Medicare appeals process, by a qualified attorney or paralegal at least five days per week during normal business hours; (3) information through appropriate means and format, including written materials, to Medicare beneficiaries, their families, senior citizens and organizations regarding Medicare benefits, including prescription drug benefits available through Medicare Part D and other pharmaceutical drug company programs and long-term care options available in the state; (4) information concerning Medicare plans and services, private insurance policies and federal and state-funded programs that are available to beneficiaries to supplement Medicare coverage; (5) information permitting Medicare beneficiaries to compare and evaluate their options for delivery of Medicare and supplemental insurance services; (6) information concerning the procedure to appeal a denial of care and the procedure to request an expedited appeal of a denial of care; and (7) any other information the program or the Commissioner on Aging deems relevant to Medicare beneficiaries.

(d) The Commissioner on Aging may include any additional functions necessary to conform to federal grant requirements.

(e) The Insurance Commissioner, in cooperation with, or on behalf of, the Commissioner on Aging, may require each Medicare organization to: (1) Annually submit to the Insurance Commissioner any data, reports or information relevant to plan beneficiaries; and (2) at any other times at which changes occur, submit information to the Insurance Commissioner concerning current benefits, services or costs to plan beneficiaries. Such information may include information required under section 38a-478c.

(f) Each Medicare organization that fails to file the annual data, reports or information requested pursuant to subsection (e) of this section shall pay a late fee of one hundred dollars per day for each day from the due date of such data, reports or information to the date of filing. Each Medicare organization that files incomplete annual data, reports or information shall be so informed by the Insurance Commissioner, shall be given a date by which to remedy such incomplete filing and shall pay said late fee commencing from the new due date.

(g) Not later than June 1, 2001, and annually thereafter, the Insurance Commissioner, in conjunction with the Healthcare Advocate, shall submit a list, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, to the Governor and to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to aging, human services and insurance, of those Medicare organizations that have failed to file any data, reports or information requested pursuant to subsection (e) of this section.

(h) All hospitals, as defined in section 19a-490, which treat persons covered by Medicare Part A shall: (1) Notify incoming patients covered by Medicare of the availability of the services established pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, (2) post or cause to be posted in a conspicuous place therein the toll-free number established pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, and (3) provide each Medicare patient with the toll-free number and information on how to access the CHOICES program.

(i) The Commissioner on Aging may adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, as necessary to implement the provisions of this section.

(P.A. 89-135, S. 1, 6; P.A. 93-262, S. 1, 87; P.A. 01-39, S. 1, 3; P.A. 03-19, S. 46; P.A. 05-102, S. 2; P.A. 07-155, S. 1; P.A. 10-32, S. 69; P.A. 13-97, S. 5; 13-125, S. 18.)

History: P.A. 93-262 authorized substitution of commissioner and department of social services for commissioner and department on aging, effective July 1, 1993; Sec. 17a-314 transferred to Sec. 17b-427 in 1995; P.A. 01-39 added new Subsec. (a) defining “CHOICES”, “CHOICES health insurance assistance program” and “Medicare organization”, redesignated existing Subsec. (a) as Subsec. (b) and amended by adding requirements that department administer the CHOICES health insurance assistance program, that program maintain a toll-free telephone number to provide advice and information on other health insurance matters applicable to Medicare beneficiaries at least five days per week during normal business hours, that program provide information, advice and representation concerning Medicare appeals process by a qualified attorney or paralegal, that program develop and distribute a Connecticut Medicare consumers guide, and that program include any functions department deems necessary to conform to federal grant requirements, added Subsec. (c) allowing Insurance Commissioner to require each Medicare organization to submit information, added Subsec. (d) re payment of late fees, added Subsec. (e) requiring Insurance Commissioner to submit an annual list of Medicare organizations that fail to file information and redesignated existing Subsec. (b) as Subsec. (f) and amended by changing internal references for consistency with section and making technical changes, effective May 31, 2001; P.A. 03-19 replaced “Health Care Financing Administration” with “Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services” in Subsec. (a)(3), effective May 12, 2003; P.A. 05-102 amended Subsec. (e) by renaming the Managed Care Ombudsman the Healthcare Advocate; P.A. 07-155 amended Subsec. (b) to require CHOICES program to provide information and advice on prescription drug benefits available through Medicare Part D program and long-term care options available in the state, to prepare and distribute written material, and to collaborate with other state agencies and entities in the development of a consumer-oriented website, effective July 1, 2007; P.A. 10-32 made a technical change in Subsec. (b)(5), effective May 10, 2010; P.A. 13-97 amended Subsec. (e) to replace reference to select committee on aging with reference to joint standing committee on aging, effective June 6, 2013; P.A. 13-125 amended Subsecs. (a)(2) and (b) to replace “Department of Social Services” with “Department on Aging”, amended Subsec. (a)(3) to redefine “Medicare organization”, redesignated provisions re program requirements in existing Subsec. (b) as new Subsec. (c) and amended same to replace provision requiring preparation and distribution of written materials with provision re providing information through appropriate means, to add “other pharmaceutical drug company programs”, to delete former Subparas. (A) to (F) and replace provisions re consumers guide with provision re providing information re services, private insurance policies and federal and state-funded programs in Subdiv. (4), to add new Subdiv. (5) re information to compare options for delivery of Medicare and supplemental insurance services, to redesignate provision in former Subdiv. (4)(C) re procedure to appeal as new Subdiv. (6), to redesignate provision re other information in former Subdiv. (4)(F) as Subdiv. (7) and amend same to add references to Commissioner on Aging and Medicare, to delete former Subdiv. (5) re collaboration with other state agencies and to delete former Subdiv. (6) re functions to conform to federal grant requirements, added new Subsec. (d) re functions to conform to federal grant requirements, redesignated existing Subsecs. (c) to (f) as Subsecs. (e) to (h), amended redesignated Subsec. (e) to replace “Commissioner of Social Services” with “Commissioner on Aging” and replace “commissioner” with “Insurance Commissioner” in Subdivs. (1) and (2), amended redesignated Subsec. (g) to add reference to Sec. 11-4a, added new Subsec. (i) re regulations, and made technical and conforming changes, effective June 18, 2013; Sec. 17b-427 transferred to Sec. 17a-314 in 2015.

Secs. 17a-315 and 17a-316. (Formerly Secs. 17-136 and 17-136a). Advisory Council on Aging; appointment of members. Duties of council. Sections 17a-315 and 17a-316 are repealed, effective July 1, 1993.

(1957, P.A. 634, S. 1; 1959, P.A. 364, S. 1; 1969, P.A. 814, S. 8, 9; 1971, P.A. 485, S. 1; P.A. 75-474, S. 1, 2, 10; P.A. 76-94, S. 1, 2; P.A. 77-511, S. 1; P.A. 84-256, S. 10, 11, 17; P.A. 93-262, S. 86, 87.)

Sec. 17a-316a. (Formerly Sec. 17b-367a). Community Choices program. (a) The Commissioner on Aging shall develop and administer a Community Choices program to provide a single, coordinated system of information and access for individuals seeking long-term support, including in-home, community-based and institutional services. The Community Choices program shall be the state Aging and Disability Resource Center Program in accordance with the federal Older Americans Act Amendments of 2006, P.L. 109-365. Consumers served by the Community Choices program shall include, but not be limited to, those sixty years of age or older and those eighteen years of age or older with disabilities and caregivers.

(b) The Community Choices program shall, within available resources, provide (1) information, referral and assistance concerning aging and disability issues and long-term care planning; (2) comprehensive assessments to identify possible consumer needs or desires; (3) counseling for purposes of obtaining (A) employment or employment-related services, (B) screening for public benefits and private resources, and (C) information on long-term care planning; (4) follow-up to ensure consumer referrals were appropriate and to offer additional assistance and individual advocacy if needed; (5) support to consumers making decisions about current and future supports and services; (6) coordination of transitions between providers or sites of care; (7) preparation and distribution of written materials regarding the availability of Community Choices program services; (8) maintenance of a toll-free telephone number; (9) assistance in improving and managing the program, monitoring quality and measuring responsiveness of systems of care; (10) assistance as necessary to conform to federal and other grant requirements; and (11) other related services.

(c) The commissioner shall establish program requirements and procedures for entering into agreements to operate the Community Choices program. The commissioner may adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, as necessary to implement the provisions of this section.

(P.A. 12-119, S. 1; P.A. 13-125, S. 22.)

History: P.A. 12-119 effective June 15, 2012; P.A. 13-125 amended Subsec. (a) to change “Commissioner of Social Services” to “Commissioner on Aging”, effective July 1, 2013; Sec. 17b-367a transferred to Sec. 17a-316a in 2015.

Sec. 17a-317. Transferred to Sec. 17a-301a.

Secs. 17a-318 to 17a-339. Reserved for future use.