AOASCC News & Notes

TEARS Elder Abuse Conference
 
This premiere annual conference for professionals working with older adults and caregivers will focus on Financial Exploitation.

This is your opportunity to:
  • Learn about Generations of Change and Emerging Threats as presented by an FBI agent with 35 years law enforcement experience.
  • Hear from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services special agents. Medical identity theft not only harms beneficiaries and providers, it causes significant financial losses for the Medicare Trust Funds and taxpayers.
  • Attend an atypical lecture on credit card and identify theft from someone who is both a professional counselor and an identity theft victim several time over.

Tuesday October 2, 2018  
Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Seating is limited and spots are filling quickly!

Spotlight on Volunteering

Help Student Become Great Readers

Last year, 1,198 students benefited from tutoring services provided by Experience Corps volunteers.

Volunteers tutor students in Kindergarten through grade 3 who are struggling to learn to read and write. Do you love learning and have a few hours to make a real difference in the life of a child?

Information sessions are currently being held. Click here for more information.

Trends & Highlights

  • 23.5% of adults 65 and over volunteer - that is
  • 11.0 million older adults giving
  • 90 median hours annually. This add up to
  • 1.9 billion hours of service equaling
  • $45.4 billion of service contributed

Medicare Fraud is a 60 Billion Dollar per Year Business.

Medicare fraud is robbing money from Medicare recipients every day. Every dollar lost to fraud is one less dollar to be spent on Medicare recipients. We all hear the calls for reducing Medicare costs in the face of the growing Medicare population. However, there is something that can be done beside reducing spending on medical care. We can reduce money lost to criminal activity.

The SMP program was created for this purpose. The mission of the SMP program is to prevent, detect and report Medicare fraud, abuse and errors. Even innocent billing errors can result in millions of dollars of financial loss in the Medicare program.

We are recruiting volunteers to work in the SMP program. Volunteers will receive professional training to prepare them to work side by side with SMP program managers. They help with calls from consumers who believe they have been the victim of Medicare fraud and they work to raise awareness among Medicare recipients about Medicare fraud. Consumers can do a great deal to reduce fraud by taking responsibility to read their Medicare notices and verify that the services billed are the services that they received. Volunteers also help raise awareness about the SMP program through community presentations. 

If you want to reduce the amount of money lost to Medicare fraud every year, please consider becoming a volunteer in the SMP program. Contact Sharon DellaCamera at 203 785 8533 or sdellacamera@aoascc.org.
VISTA Service Inspires Future Plans

August concludes another service year for the our PAVE New Haven AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) Project. Many VISTA members discover that their year of national service – tackling education and economic opportunity gaps in New Haven – shape their career goals and commitment to volunteer service.

Carolyn’s service with the Volunteer and Training Department brought new knowledge of the rich array of financial education resources available to New Haven residents of all ages, from grade schoolers to elders. Michelle’s time at Squash Haven stoked career interests in education and youth development. Joining the community of St. Martin de Porres Academy focused Michael’s plans for a career in public interest law. Meanwhile, Caitlin reaffirmed her love of teaching and will continue at St. Martin as an AmeriCorps teaching fellow. Dwight Hall at Yale enabled Marquita to pursue her passion for education and social equity, while Hannah applied her science expertise to the development of after-school programs at the Yale Peabody Museum. And, Julius is taking his VISTA Leader experience to a new level as a program officer with the Corporation for National and Community Service.
We wish the PAVE VISTAs well as they embark on exciting new ventures!
Caregiver Corner  

Many adult children find themselves having to deal with becoming a long-distance caregiver. Long-distance caregiving is difficult and expensive. It is estimated that long-distance caregivers spend about $8,728 a year out of pocket. Costs can include phone calls, travel expenses, medicine, medical supplies, meals, and home maintenance, as well as other necessities.
 
Along with the financial costs, there's also the cost of time. About 80% of all long-distance caregivers are employed, and many of them have had to rearrange their work schedule and miss work in order to conduct caregiving duties.
There are some things you can do to make long distance caregiving manageable.
  • Get a case manager to help decrease the pressure that's on you, since they can work with services available in your loved one's area, like personal support, nursing services that can come to your loved one's home, delivery of meals, or help with personal hygiene.
  • When you return to your own home, be sure and stay in touch with the friends and neighbors you've met. Talking to them will make you feel less guilty about not being there, and also less afraid for your loved one's well-being.
  • Investigate the options for a personal emergency response system for your loved one's home. This will allow 24 hour assistance for your loved one in the event of an emergency.
  • Create a "communication book" where care providers can make note of concerns or questions for you, then you'll have the ability to follow-up on a weekly basis.
  • Prioritize the tasks that you want to accomplish with each visit; in order to stay focused and less confused on visits, keep a list of people you'll need to speak with; and make sure that care providers know where and how to reach you, wherever you may be.
  • Discuss legal and financial issues - these topics may be difficult to talk about, but they help ensure that the older person maintains decision-making authority even when incapacitated.
  • Know where to find all legal, financial, and insurance documents, including birth certificates, social security cards, marriage or divorce decrees, wills, and power of attorney before an emergency happens.

CHOICES - Changes to Medicare Advantage Plan

Several changes have been made to Medicare Advantage plans for 2019. In 2019, plans can fulfill Medicare’s disclosure requirement by posting “evidence of coverage” (EOC)  on the plan’s website by October 15 and mailing a notice to enrollees which provides: 
  • Instructions to locate the electronic EOC online (e.g. URL address)
  • Instruction on how to request a hard copy (e.g. phone number, online link).
You will no longer receive it automatically in your mailbox.

Plans will be able to immediately substitute newly available generics for brand name drugs on the same or lower cost-sharing tier without prior beneficiary notice.
  • Plan may provide beneficiaries with general notice that mid-year generic substitution may occur and affected enrollees and providers can be notified after the fact.  
  • The Part D plan that utilizes the general notice will be required to provide 30 days supply of the brand name drug upon beneficiary request. 
  • Beneficiaries can continue to seek formulary exceptions
This a change from previous years when the plan had to provide a 60 day supply.

MA plans may provide customized supplemental benefits and reduced cost sharing to beneficiaries that meet specific health status criteria: 
  • Target population must be objectively identifiable based on health status, disease state or clinical condition (Target populations include: diabetes, COPD, hypertension, tobacco use, opioids addiction)
  • Reduced cost sharing or additional benefit must be medically related to the target condition.
Prior to 2019, MA plan were required to offer all enrollees in a service area
access to same benefits  

Expands the enrollment period from January 1 – March 31 each year
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