Veterans should be aware of a marketing scam targeting callers trying to reach the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Call Center or GI Bill Call Center. A marketing company has established two fraudulent numbers that differ from the two official VA call center numbers by one digit. If the fraudulent number is dialed by mistake, the answering party will offer a gift card and try to obtain personal and financial information, including credit card information, from the caller. The answering party may even transfer the caller to the VA after the caller’s information is obtained. The numbers to be avoided are: 800-872-1000 (the VA National Call Center number is 800-827-1000) and 888-442-4511 (the VA GI Bill Call Center number is 888-442-4551). VA has notified law enforcement authorities to address this situation.
Author: Weprin 6965
2015-2016 Regular SessionsIN ASSEMBLYApril 15, 2015
Introduced by M. of A. WEPRIN — read once and referred to the Committee on Ways and Means
AN ACT to amend the tax law, in relation to providing tax credits for installing wheelchair ramps and stair lifts into a residence
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:
Section 1. Section 606 of the tax law is amended by adding a new subsection (ccc) to read as follows:
Section 2. This act shall take effect on January first next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.
Please help us by writing to your assembly person to support this bill. If you are in another state, let your legislators know that this is an important step to provide accessible living for people with mobility issues. Follow the bill at https://legiscan.com/NY/text/A06965/2015
Thursday, April 30, 2015
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
10:00 – 10:30 Networking Breakfast
10:30 Panel Discussion
Join us for information on:
- Advocating for seniors and accessing services
- Key points and trends in Fully Integrated Dual Advantage (FIDA)
- Quality of life issues for seniors
- Increasing awareness of senior fraud and scams
Hear from our expert panelists:
Vicki Ellner, Founder/CEO, Senior Umbrella Network of Brooklyn
Roan Kane, Executive Vice President/Membership Chair, Senior Umbrella Network of Brooklyn, Home Care Consultant
George Fehling, CEO, Handicap Access, Inc.
Eleanor Spring, Certified Fraud Examiner/Senior Advocate
Gather resources and network!
Bedford Stuyvesant Multi-Service Center
1958 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11233
Times change and things get better. We have changed our name to better reflect what we do for our clients.
You can still contact George and Vera to get service on any of our installs or to buy or rent a ramp or lift.
In addition, we now offer many services and products that can help you to achieve accessibility throughout your home.
Our organizing business will also be located at this website.
We hope to give you a complete accessibility experience by joining all these services in one place.
Call us at 718-605-2626
PLEASE JOIN US
JUNE 8, 2014
2 PM- 4 PM
5 EXPERTS FOR SENIORS
Join Us for an enjoyable afternoon of discussion about everything you need to know before making any decisions about a life changing event.
• A CHANGE IN YOUR HEALTH
• LOSS OF A LOVED ONE
• FORGETTING THINGS
• ANXIOUS OR DEPRESSED
• WEAKNESS OR A FALL
• FINANCIAL & LEGAL CONCERNS
Caryn Isaacs, Private Professional Patient Advocate has 35 years of experience helping people to navigate the health care system. She will help you to determine if you are the right person to take on the role of guardian,health care proxy or power of attorney. GetHealthHelp.com 347-965-9222
George Fehling, Daily Money Manager “King of Queens” The Queens Courier honored George for his commitment to the people of Queens. He will talk to you about organizing life’s details upon deciding to downsize or the death of a spouse. OrganizingLife’sDetails.com 718-605-2626
Iris Bikel, Esq, Elder Law Attorney will help you to work through the maze to protect you’re the assets you have taken a lifetime to make. Besides the wills, trusts and health care forms, Iris looks at business succession plans, special needs planning, tax reduction techniques. IrisBikelAttorney.com 917-640-6292
Marc Miller, Ph.D. is a professional coach and mediator who specializes in helping family members to communicate more productively with each other. Marc will discuss the conflicts and misunderstandings that may arise when facing decisions regarding health care and changes in living arrangements. MarcMillerCoaching.com 516-935-7711
Annette Fisher is a Certified Senior Advisor NMLS 67607, Reverse Mortgage Specialist and Real Estate Salesperson. She is passionate about keeping seniors in their homes & other options.
Fort Funding Corp. Licensed by New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. Registered Mortgage Broker New York State Department of Financial Services. Loans arranged through Third Party Lenders. Connecticut Mortgage Broker Only. Not a lender or Mortgage Correspondent Lender. Equal Housing Opportunities. Fort Funding MLS 39463 BRESRE.com 718-968-5242
The New Homestead Senior Citizens Retirement Home
82-45 Grenfell Street
Kew Gardens, New York 11415
For more information Call 347-965-9222
I have been attending the annual round of politicians and lawyers to hear this years changes to the budget and rules regulating insurance coverage. In past years, the powers that be gave me a blank stare when I would explain that Medicare and Medicaid pays for expensive wheel chairs to get around the house, but they do not pay for ramps or lifts that the person needs to get in or out of the home. They all agree that this doesn’t make sense and something should be done, but years have gone by and nothing has been done.
This year there may be some good news for people who need ramps and lifts. Many of the politicians have responded to the needs of their constituents and are looking at ways to address this obvious flaw in the insurance coverage.
A good start is the NY State budget has designated some funds for people who need specialized equipment and can’t afford it. The budget provides $4.1 million for the expansion of the eligibility for the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Program (EPIC) and $5 million for Community Services for the Elderly. Some of this money could be used for ramps and lifts, in homes and public spaces.
The Budget also includes landmark changes designed to protect consumers against the financial nightmare of surprise medical bills from out-of-network physicians. Most importantly, it takes the consumer out of the middle of billing disputes between out-of-network medical physicians and health insurers, and holds the consumer harmless from out-of-network costs in the case of emergencies and surprise bills. The agreement also holds insurers accountable for building and maintaining robust provider networks, so consumers have sufficient in-network health care options. It also incorporates new disclosure requirements aimed at helping consumers identify whether providers are in their network, which will reduce incidents of surprise bills. This could also incentivize insurers, especially MLTC plans, to include costs for ramps and lifts.
Here is an article about reform for the entire health care system. No service should be forced to stand alone to fight for coverage. When someone falls victim to an illness or accident, there are many services and products that are needed to keep them comfortable and safe. The current insurance system, including Medicare and Medicaid need to take this into account when overhauling the payment system.
The New York Times
April 22, 2014
Acceleration Is Forecast for Spending on Health
By Eduardo Porter
The Affordable Care Act may well be on track to meeting its primary goal of providing coverage for most uninsured Americans and protecting everyone against the risk of losing their insurance. But for all its innovative proposals to flush waste out of the system, reining in health care spending still appears well beyond the grasp of Obamacare.
“We have been consistently bending the cost curve over the last 20 years, but the kinds of things that we do don’t tend to be permanent,” said Charles Roehrig, who runs the Center for Sustainable Health Spending at the Altarum Institute, a nonprofit based in Washington. “It will take a lot of work just to stay on the same curve we have been on for a while.”
The evolution of the American medical-industrial complex has been driven by two critical dynamics. The first is the development of new technologies. The second is our willingness to pay for them.
Most health care economists agree that the Affordable Care Act, along with other forces, will help reduce waste, pushing the industry to drop the “fee for service” model that encourages doctors and hospitals to spend more whether it is useful or not.
Last November, President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers issued a hopeful analysis, which posited that structural changes flowing from the act were helping push the growth in health care spending to its slowest on record.
David Cutler of Harvard points to studies that suggest that straightforward changes, such as improving the dismal management of American hospitals, could cut health care costs by 25 to 50 percent. “Getting better is not rocket science,” he said.
But that optimism might be premature. Mr. Roehrig argues that the decade-long slowdown in spending growth reflects a response to the two recessions that provided the economic bookends to the first decade of the new century; not a fundamental shift in the way the system operates.
During that period, employers pushed workers to take insurance with higher out-of-pocket payments, which discouraged use. Medicaid in financially troubled states has cut provider fees and limited access to high-cost services. And, of course, many unemployed workers who lost their company health insurance cut back on visits to the doctor.
These effects, Mr. Roehrig noted, have by now mostly petered out. As the economy recovers, spending growth will resume its climb, reinforced even more by the understandable demands from the eight million newly insured Americans under the health law for services they couldn’t afford previously. He forecasts that health spending will grow substantially faster than G.D.P. in the near future, but expects the gap to shrink gradually to below one percentage point over time. In the long run, he projects that health care spending could consume 30 percent of G.D.P.
Mark McClellan, a former administrator for the Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services under George W. Bush, and Alice Rivlin, a former vice chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, point out that innovations that improve health or reduce the cost of medical services may also increase demand.
“It would be a mistake to assume that slow growth in health care spending will continue,” they wrote, “or that spending reflects high-value care and therefore, health care delivery reform is no longer an urgent priority.”
Over the last 40 years or so, health care spending has been growing 2.4 percentage points faster than the economy, on average.
But that slowdown still isn’t good enough. By 2032, health care will consume almost a quarter of the nation’s economic production, taking an even bigger bite from workers’ wages and either forcing taxes up to pay the government’s share, adding more to the national debt, or squeezing other important public services.
So, if Americans really want to win the health care spending war, it may take more than reform. It may still take a revolution.
There are a number of risks associated with the harsh, winter weather – not just the frigid temperatures. One of the most threatening winter hazards is the potential for slipping and falling on patches of ice or snow. These falls can lead to a variety of injuries-from cuts and scrapes to broken bones. In fact, fractured ankles (at any age) and broken hips (especially for those over 50) are two of the most frequent, common injuries that can result from falls on snow or ice.
Experts in geriatric care at Hebrew SeniorLife offer the following tips to help you avoid winter falls:
•While warm coats, mittens and hats can help to keep you warm, appropriate footwear during the winter months is essential. Rubber or neoprene soles, especially those with plenty of tread, provide better traction on snow and ice than either leather or plastic soles. “Comfort” shoes, which are popular with seniors, have smooth soles and should be avoided.
•Planning ahead is essential. Think about the best route to your destination and add extra time to get there. Avoid rushing or taking shortcuts through the snow or over icy areas.
•If you have to walk over slippery surfaces, bend your body slightly forward, take shorter strides, or shuffle your feet for better traction and stability.
•Be careful getting into and out of the car. This is when many falls occurs. Take a quick look around to make sure your footing is clear when you step out of the car.
•Be aware of “black ice,” which is hard to see. Stay on clean, clear pathways or ones that have been treated with sand or salt.
•If you have to shovel, make sure you clear a level pathway to stand on, so you don’t lose your balance.
•Take advantage of floor mats when you enter buildings. These help remove moisture from your shoes. Once indoors, avoid walking on wet or slippery surfaces.
I love to travel. Here are some great sites that list and review travel options for people looking for accessible locations, including ramps and adaptive rooms and amenities. These sites are helpful for people in wheelchairs as well as older adults who just need a little extra help, like having elevators instead of stairs and ways to avoid long walks.
A travel club: http://www.handicappedtravelclub.com/htc-about.php
Some good tips about accessible travel: http://www.usatourist.com/english/traveltips/handicapped-travel-tips.html
A free e-book about accessible travel: http://the-disabled-traveler.com/
- Screening Procedures for Passengers 75 and Older: TSA has implemented modified screening procedures for passengers 75 and older. Changes are similar to screening procedures for passengers 12 and under and improve screening by better focusing resources on passengers who may be more likely to pose a risk.
- TSA Cares Helpline: Travelers with disabilities or medical conditions may call 1-855-787-2227 toll free with questions about screening policies and procedures as well as what to expect at the security checkpoint. When a passenger calls TSA Cares, a representative will provide assistance either with information that is relevant to the passenger’s specific need or the passenger may be referred to disability experts at TSA.
And Amtrack accessible travel. http://www.amtrak.com/accessible-travel-services
Have a wonderful time and don’t forget to stay safe.