A Mouthful of Pain for Older People: Sen. Cardin Introduces Medicare Dental Benefit

by Viji Sundaram. This article originally appeared in India West.

When Sanjog Kaur could no longer bear the pain around her upper molar that had been bothering her for months, she took a needle-nose pliers from her husband’s toolbox one recent day, sterilized it in boiling water, rocked the offending tooth back and forth a few times and yanked it out of her mouth. Then she put a sterilized cotton ball in the gap to suck up the blood

“I was scared, but I had no other option,” said the 70-year-old Indian American resident of the Bay Area, who asked that her real name not be used. “A visit to the dentist has always set us.... Read More

             

New Congress begins slowly, but seniors’ priorities remain on the docket

by Marci Phillips. This article originally appeared on the NCOA blog.

The 35-day partial government shutdown that occurred during December and January was the longest government shutdown on record, and it hampered many aspects of the government’s work on behalf of older adults. While the government is back at work, Congress must pass a funding bill by February 15th. The National Council on Aging‘s Public Policy and Advocacy team are monitoring the negotiations and the shutdown’s effects on benefits and services that older adults rely on.

Only 5 of the 12 FY19 appropriations.... Read More

             

Christmas at the Covingtons

by Peter White. This article originally appeared in The Tennessee Tribune.

Rose and George Covington live in a 4-bedroom, two-bath brick house on Meridian St. in East Nashville. They are still doing what they started doing 45 years ago: raising children. Their own two, Tim and Jessica, are grown and out of the house.

They’ve got five grandchildren and one great grandchild, Michael, who is 2 ½. Rose and George are raising them. There is also Rose’s nephew, Jerry, 14. Kids from an extended family of eighty-nine at one time or another have lived in the house on Meridian St. It has four blue metal chairs on the front lawn and a welcome mat by the front.... Read More

             

SEARAC Toolkit Sheds Light on Public Charge Proposal

The Trump Administration has proposed broadening the set of government services considered when determining whether an individual is a ‘public charge,’ a term applied to someone who is likely to rely on government assistance for support. If a person is considered a public charge, they may be denied a green card.

Seniors and parents of U.S. citizens are a significant, and growing, segment of immigrants to the U.S. and are critical to the well-being of intergenerational families. Between 1990 and 2010, the number of immigrants age 65 and older grew from 2.7 million to nearly 5 million. The number of parents of U.S. citizens who have been admitted as legal permanent residents more than tripled between 1994 and 2016. In making it.... Read More

             

Winning Strategies: Organizing Consumers for Delivery Reform

by Jessie Zimmerer. This post originally appeared on the Center for Community Engagement in Health Innovation blog.

If health care advocacy were a sport, there’d be no question about our defensive strategy. Much of our collective efforts over the last few years have centered around defeating threats to Medicaid and Medicare, and protecting the Affordable Care Act. Defense is crucial; defense is where games are lost. And defense is exciting. There’s a palpable urgency in the crunch to defend needed programs that piques the interest of otherwise passive spectators, and as our state partners have seen,.... Read More

             

Medicare Advantage Plans Cleared To Go Beyond Medical Coverage — Even Groceries

by Susan Jaffe. This article originally appeared on Kaiser Health News.

Air conditioners for people with asthma, healthy groceries, rides to medical appointments and home-delivered meals may be among the new benefits offered to Medicare beneficiaries who choose private sector health plans, when new federal rules take effect next year.

On April 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded how it defines the “primarily health-related” benefits that private insurers are allowed to include in their Medicare Advantage policies. And insurers would include these extras on top of providing the benefits traditional Medicare provides.

“Medicare Advantage beneficiaries will have more supplemental benefits, making it easier for them to lead healthier, more independent lives,” said CMS.... Read More

             

Southeast Asian Americans Speak Out to Protect Affordable Healthcare

For many Southeast Asian Americans, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal fight last year felt personal.

When the ACA was first passed, uninsured rates in Cambodian, Hmong, Lao, and Vietnamese American communities were high. Compared to the 15% of Americans overall who did not have health insurance in 2011, 20% of Cambodian, 20% of Vietnamese, 19% of Laotian, and 16% of Hmong Americans were uninsured. Too many families used emergency rooms as last-resort healthcare providers or went for years without regular check-ups.

Only four years later in 2015, the uninsured rate was cut in half. Thousands of families were finally accessing the preventative and life-saving care that they needed. Some accessed care through the healthcare exchange, supported by subsidies to.... Read More

             
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