Retirement Security: Older Women Report Facing a Financially Uncertain Future

Retirement Daily

Retirement Security: Older Women Report Facing a Financially Uncertain Future

Fast facts: The GAO held 14 focus groups with women retirees across the United States to get their perspectives on financial security. Every group was concerned about rising health care costs and each group discussed how a lack of personal finance education had a negative effect on their retirement security. Women in all groups also equated financial security in retirement with being able to maintain their independence.

The GAO also analyzed data on the retirement security of older women and found:

· Median household wealth was $250,000

· Liquidity and traditional pensions were important at all levels of wealth

· A large portion of women over 70 are widows


Key Questions About Nursing Home Regulation and Oversight in the Wake of COVID-19

Key takeaways: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to renewed interest among policymakers, the media, residents, and their families in nursing home regulation and oversight, as residents and staff are at increased risk of infection due to the highly transmissible nature of the coronavirus, the congregate nature of facility settings, and the close contact that many workers have with patients. Certification of nursing home compliance with federal Medicare and/or Medicaid requirements generally is performed by states through regular inspections known as surveys. Federal regulations issued in 2016 require facilities to have an infection control and prevention program and a written emergency preparedness plan. This issue brief answers key questions about nursing home oversight and explains how federal policy has changed in light of COVID-19. Key findings include:

Infection control deficiencies were widespread and persistent in nursing homes prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a May 2020 GAO report.

Despite widespread issues found in more comprehensive surveys before the pandemic, preliminary reports of targeted nursing home surveys focused on infection control and immediate jeopardy since March 4, 2020 reveal that only a small share have deficiencies. However, the pandemic has brought renewed attention to nursing home quality issues.

While the pandemic has led to new federal guidance, funding, and reporting requirements, state survey agencies and nursing homes each may face issues related to funding, capacity, and data as the pandemic continues.


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