A Culturally Relative Approach to Outreach in Rural & Frontier Communities

by Clarissa Durán, Program Manager for the Rio Arriba County – Northern NM BEC. This article originally appeared on the website of the National Council on Aging (NCOA).

The Northern New Mexico Benefits Enrollment Center (NNM BEC) is a partnership of entities in North Central New Mexico comprised of Rio Arriba County Health and Human Services (RAC HHS) Department Senior Care Services Division, Santa Fe County Human Services Department, Holy Cross Hospital in Taos, and North Central Community Based Services (a non-profits agency in the northern frontier area of Rio Arriba County) as well as many nonprofit supporting partners.

Covering an 8,000 square mile tri-county area, the NNM BEC serves many rural.... Read More

             

Paiute Tribe Elders Navigate a Faltering Health Care System

By Debra Utacia Krol, High Country News

Dennis and Betty Smartt live in a neatly painted white-and-blue home on the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Reservation, on the Nevada-Oregon border. They’ve spent their entire lives here, in this small tribal community of 600 people.

The Smartts, members of the Paiute Tribe, exemplify the challenges Native elders face as they get older in remote communities with poor health care access.

At their home, Dennis’ handcrafted eagle feather headdress adorns a stand in the living room. He recently returned from a trip to Fort Bidwell, Calif., where he spoke at a traditional gathering of elders for prayer and cultural talks. That trip illustrated some of the challenges the Smartts and.... Read More

             

Texans With HIV Cope With Homes And Medicines Ruined By Hurricane Harvey

This story by Kaiser Health News senior national correspondent Sarah Varney aired Nov. 24, 2017, on Here & Now.

Angelia Soloman watched out the window of her ranch house in northeastern Houston as the floodwaters rose up to the windowsills.

She huddled inside with her three adopted children (ages 12 to 15), a nephew and her 68-year-old mother. “They were looking and crying, like, ‘We’re gonna lose everything,’” said Soloman. “And I’m like, ‘No, it’ll be OK.’”

When the water began rushing under the front door, filling up the house like a bathtub, Soloman led her family outside, and plunged into a river of water up to her chest.

The hurricane couldn’t have come at a worse time.... Read More

             

What Advocates for Older Adults Need to Know About the Budget Resolution

by Tracey Gronniger. This post originally appeared on the Justice in Aging blog.

If you work with older adults (or have older adults in your life), you have a sense of what we all need as we age. The burden of high health care and housing costs on low-income seniors is growing, and fewer seniors can meet these basic needs: hot meals and enough food to eat, a stable home in the community, and quality health care. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans passed a budget resolution that would make this vision of aging more and more rare. The budget resolution.... Read More

             

New to HealthCare.gov? Three things you should know

This post originally appeared on the HealthCare.gov blog.

If you haven’t applied for insurance on HealthCare.gov before, here are three things to know about the Health Insurance Marketplace:

Open Enrollment for 2018 health insurance runs from November 1 through December 15, 2017. Plans joined during Open Enrollment start January 1, 2018. There are a few things you can do now to get ready. See if your income is in the range to save before you apply. Select your household size and state to see if you may qualify for savings. Marketplace plans must cover a.... Read More
             

The Incredible Disappearing Affordable Care Act

Well, September has officially passed. The Republican attempt to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has officially sunsetted. Hallelujah.

…right?

My fleeting sigh of relief was almost immediately replaced with concern over the death-by-a-million-paper-cuts approach to ending affordable healthcare access, the latest being #45’s decision to eliminate health-care subsidies — not to mention continued Republican rhetoric to try again in, oh, I don’t know, maybe January or February.

My mother-in-law is in her last — who knows how long she has. And her remaining days, which could and should be carefree, are instead filled with anxiety about how her middle-aged daughter will afford health care. Not whether her daughter can afford pretty golden baubles. Not.... Read More

             

New Medicare Cards are Coming Soon

by Seema Verma, CMS Administrator. This post originally appeared on the CMS blog.
To read this article in Spanish, click here.


When you get your new Medicare card in the mail, keep it safe! Guard your card to prevent fraud.

As you may have heard, or perhaps you’ve seen a recent TV commercial, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will soon be issuing every Medicare beneficiary a new Medicare Card, without Social Security Numbers, to prevent fraud, fight identity theft, and keep taxpayer dollars safe, and to help ensure that we always put the needs of patients first.

It’s unfortunate that criminals are increasingly targeting people age 65 or.... Read More

             

Open Enrollment Season is Right Around the Corner – Are You Ready to #GetCovered?

This past week, I flipped my calendar from August to September, and I started thinking about pumpkins and sweet potatoes, hot chocolate, leaves changing color – and open enrollment for health insurance! This time of year is vitally important to diverse elders, because both Medicare and the Affordable Care Act have had a profound impact on our ability to age with health and dignity. Read on for more information and key dates around healthcare open enrollment, and make sure you’re ready to #GetCovered!

Medicare Open Enrollment
October 15 – December 7, 2017

Medicare has a huge impact on diverse elders’ ability to get care. Various studies have found that

46% of Latino older adults
43% of Asian.... Read More

             

Are you managing multiple chronic health conditions? Medicare can help!

Managing your health can be challenging, especially if you have two or more chronic conditions or illnesses. The Connected Care campaign offers information to help you take advantage of new Medicare services that pay for comprehensive care management particularly needed by patients dealing with multiple chronic conditions. If you have Medicare and live with two or more chronic conditions, you may be eligible for chronic care management (CCM) services to help you maximize your health and spend more time with your loved ones.

What does CCM mean for you?

CCM means having a continuous relationship with a.... Read More
             

Older Adults & the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace: What’s at Stake for 2018

by Natalie Kean. This post originally appeared on the Justice in Aging blog.

Among its many achievements, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made great strides in covering more older adults who previously had no access to health care. Before the ACA, many low-income older adults who did not have employer-based coverage had no affordable coverage options to address their growing health care needs prior to becoming eligible for Medicare. Insurance companies were allowed to effectively price lower-income older adults out of the individual market or deny them coverage altogether based on pre-existing conditions. These insurance practices posed.... Read More

             

Statement of the #CaringMajority

People across our country are enjoying longer lives. In fact, 10,000 people are turning 65 every day. This is great news for all of us, as we have longer to enjoy the intergenerational relationships that make our families stronger. However, it provides a challenge for our caregiving infrastructure.

These demographic shifts are putting an increased demand on our families, our finances, and on our care system in ways we didn’t anticipate. With some forethought, investment and planning, we can prepare for them. Instead of preparing for the future, though, we’re facing unprecedented attacks on the care we already have. Republicans in Congress are trying to take us back decades right when we need to provide more care, not less.

In.... Read More

             

Q&A About the ACA for Diverse Elders

With the confirmation of Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), diverse elders may have more questions than ever about the future of the Affordable Care Act. The Diverse Elders Coalition will make protecting healthcare access a priority in the coming months, and as we learn more about the fate of the ACA, we will communicate that on our blog and social media.

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In the meantime, here are some questions and answers about the Affordable Care Act and where things stand right now. If you have additional questions, please reach out to the health navigators.... Read More

             
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