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Marc Cohen

Co-Chair of New Caregiving Study Panel and Gerontologist

Marc Cohen is co-chair of the Academy’s new Caregiving Study Panel. For thirty years, Cohen has conducted research on how the financing and delivery of long-term care services is impacted by public policy and affects disabled elders and their families. Cohen’s experience spans the government and the public and private sectors. He has also studied long-term care domestically and internationally.

“Over many years, Marc Cohen has applied his considerable expertise to better understanding the unpredictable, catastrophic risk of long-term care (LTC),” said Judy Feder, Academy member and Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University. “His work has educated us all on the challenges facing private LTC insurance and on how social insurance can serve as a foundation for comprehensive protection provided by both the public and private sectors.”

Cohen began his career as a Research Assistant for the Congressional Budget Office. In this role, he helped develop an econometrics model for the Social Security system and evaluated the impact of legislative changes to the program. Cohen eventually moved back to his home-state of Minnesota where he worked for the Department of Public Welfare in St. Paul and the Hennepin County Department of Economic Assistance in Minneapolis.  In the early 1980s and then again in the early 1990s, Cohen conducted research for the Brookdale Institute of Gerontology in Israel where he evaluated Israel’s Geriatric Rehabilitation Day Hospitals, profiled the private health insurance sector, mapped the organ donor system in Israel and researched the organization and delivery of long-term care services in Israel. In the late 1980’s, Cohen was a founder of the research and consulting firm Life Plans, Inc. which provided risk management, consulting and research services to long-term care and health insurers, government agencies, industry associations, and providers. Much of his groundbreaking work on the role and impact of private insurance for long-term care occurred while he served in various capacities at LifePlans (1987-2016) including President and Chief Research and Development Officer.   

In recent years, Cohen has spent time sharing insight on long-term care financing with government officials at the local and national level. He was a Member of the Governor’s Long-Term Care Advisory Committee for the State of Massachusetts from 2009 to 2010. Following this role, he served as Technical Advisor to the Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Group responsible for overseeing the analysis and evaluation of the Community Living Assistance and Supports (CLASS) Act in Washington, D.C. From 2014 to 2016, he was a Steering Committee member and participant of the Long-Term Care Financing Collaborative. Cohen has briefed Congress and organizations such as the Bipartisan Policy Center and the National Alzheimer’s Advisory Council on long-term care financing in the United States. Cohen is currently a Professor in the Department of Gerontology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He is also Co-director of the Leading Age LTSS Center at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, which is part of the McCormack Graduate School of Policy & Global Studies. Cohen is also the Director of Research at the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation at Community Catalyst, in Boston.

Cohen received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. He received his Ph.D. in Advanced Study for Social Welfare from Brandeis University’s Florence Heller School of Advanced Studies in Social Welfare. Cohen has been a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 2013.