Low-income older adults and people with disabilities, many of whom have complex health needs, are among those most at risk during the coronavirus pandemic, yet they are additionally facing challenges accessing the non-COVID-19 health and social supports they need to stay safe and well. Data shows that Black Americans and other people of color face alarming and highly disproportionate rates of infection and death in states throughout the country. At Community Catalyst and the Center for Community Engagement in Health Innovation, we are working with partners at all levels to educate and influence decision makers on their development of the next federal package of policies to address COVID-19 and to focus on the needs of these populations.

Our recommendations focus on the importance of investing in Medicaid and centering equity, and include a number of recommendations specific to meeting the health and social needs of older adults, people with disabilities, and people with chronic conditions during the pandemic.