Assemblyman Stirpe: Success for Seniors as Legislative Session comes to a Close

I’m always fighting to provide hardworking Central New Yorkers with a little financial relief so they can afford more of the things they need to keep them safe and healthy. But as we age, we’re often faced with added expenses that can make it difficult to make ends meet. That’s why, as this year’s legislative session came to a close, I made it a priority to advocate for the needs of our seniors and keep the costs of essential health care services in check.

Long-term care insurance covers the costs of personal support and care not covered by health insurance, including home care, assisted living and nursing home services. It’s estimated that about 70 percent of people age 65 and older will require this vital coverage, but in recent years, many long-term care insurers have significantly increased their rates — or even doubled them — causing major concern for seniors already living on a fixed income.

To help reduce this financial stress, I authored and helped pass legislation requiring the state Department of Financial Services to review the methodologies used for setting these rates and look at how the increases are handled. I believe this study will not only ensure prices are fair and help folks plan for their futures, but also potentially reduce the number of people forced to rely on taxpayer-funded services like Medicare and Medicaid.

Working family members should also be able to help care for their elderly loved ones without risking financial stability, which is why I helped make paid family leave a reality in New York State. Under the new program, employees will be able to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave per year, giving them the flexibility they need to support their families through illness, emergencies, doctor’s appointments and medical treatments. And, in a further effort to protect seniors and advocate for their rights, I also helped restore much-needed funding to the New York Statewide Senior Action Council in this year’s state budget.

We’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s still more that can be done to help keep life affordable for aging New Yorkers, and I’ll always fight to make the voices of our seniors heard. If you have any questions or concerns about this or any community issue, please don’t hesitate to contact me at or by calling 452-1115.