What is a COA Board?

A Council on Aging (COA/Council) operates under Chapter 40 Section 8B of Massachusetts General Laws, permitting municipalities to establish COAs for coordinating aging programs alongside the Executive Office of Elder Affairs. COA board members hold responsibility to their town or city government and the community, with their duties outlined in legal charters or warrants. Understanding and upholding the COA’s mission, often centered on aiding the aging population, is crucial. COAs function as the primary public social service agency in many municipalities, addressing needs starting from age 50 and facilitating independence through information, support, and resource linkage.

Operating within the municipality’s legal framework, COA board members carry public responsibilities akin to elected officials, necessitating comprehension of state laws and ethical obligations. COAs identify and address unmet needs, often incorporating education and advocacy, requiring board members’ commitment to the agency’s mission and adherence to legal and ethical standards.


View/Download Board Resource Guide

What is COA Friends Group?

A Friends of Councils on Aging Group (FoCOA) is typically a nonprofit organization operating under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. FoCOA groups are formed to support the mission and activities of Councils on Aging (COAs) within their communities. These groups often work closely with COAs to raise funds, advocate for seniors, and provide additional resources and services beyond what the COAs can offer with their public funding.

FoCOA organizations may engage in various activities such as organizing fundraisers, providing volunteer support for COA programs, offering additional social or recreational activities for seniors, and advocating for policies that benefit the aging population. By operating as a nonprofit, FoCOA groups can receive tax-deductible donations and grants to further support their efforts in enhancing the quality of life for seniors in their communities.

News You Can Use

When Pharmacies Don’t Recognize Medicare Savings Plan Drug Pricing

More Medicare-enrollees than ever are now eligible for the Medicare Savings Program (MSP), which covers the monthly $174.70 Medicare Part B premium, eliminates some co-payments for outpatient services, and provides a program called Extra Help that significantly lowers prescription drug prices.

But sometimes a pharmacist over-charges for drugs because the customer’s MSP enrollment status has not been updated in any of the systems they use in order to know what to charge.