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Director's Message

Elections, benefits and open enrollment November 2010

As I write, the news is filled with speculation about the coming mid-term elections and it seems that the news in general has been pretty grim for too many months. We at PSRC know that one of the key elements of healthy living is managing stress, and we highly recommend lots of laughter. In fact, studies have shown that laughter relaxes the whole body, boosts the immune system, triggers release of endorphins, and improves the function of blood vessels for heart health (helpguide.org). We hope that you will join us for an evening of lots of laughs with the Capitol Steps on November 18. This group of former US Capitol staff creates new lyrics to classic hit tunes to poke fun at politics on both sides of the aisle. The event supports PSRC’s Human Capital Campaign, supporting the staff that provide all the programs and services described in this issue.
 
November 15-December 31 is Medicare Open Enrollment period, when you can change your coverage. We recommend that every year you read the description of your plan benefit, as significant details may change. The formulary may not include the medications you take, copays may change, and covered benefits may change. You can review options at Medicare.gov or by making an appointment with a SHIP counselor-call 609-924-2098x14.
 
In addition to these annual issues, there will be changes from the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act over the next few years.   The Act will not cut basic Medicare and will not cut current doctor payments. However, it will reduce the subsidy that has been paid to the Medicare Advantage plans. To encourage people to subscribe to these managed care plans, companies that offered them were subsidized at a higher rate than traditional Medicare. This is what enabled them to offer additional benefits such as vision, dental and hearing aids. It is predicted that as the subsidy is reduced, many companies will increase premiums, drop their plans, or reduce the extra benefits offered.   The law will slow payment increases to providers but will increase payment to Primary Care doctors in an effort to reduce the shortage of these practitioners and improve medical training in geriatrics.
 
Other features include:
  • There will be higher taxes and Medicare D premiums for the wealthiest 5% of participants.
  •  People who reach the “Doughnut hole” are receiving a $250 rebate this year, and 50% discount on brand-name drugs and 7% discount on generic drugs next year, to close completely by 2020.
  •  Medicare benefits will expand to include free coverage for wellness and preventive care, including an annual physical and many screenings.
  •  Better chronic care.
  •  Eliminates lifetime limits of coverage.
  •  Greater access to home and community-based long term care, mandatory spouse protection.
  •  CLASS Act, a voluntary long-term care public insurance plan will be introduced in 2013.  
The The changes are expected to extend the solvency of Medicare for 10-12 years. One of the key features of current thinking is to direct funds to community-based care. Not only do people prefer to remain at home, it is more cost effective than long term institutional care. PSRC sees a growing demand for our Support & Guidance Services to coordinate community services, provide smooth transitions after a hospitalization, and support family caregivers.
 
Sources: AARP Bulletin: Users Guide to Health Care Reform; National Council on Aging, Innovations Summer 2010; NCOA Straight Talk for Seniors, www.ncoa.org; Medicare.gov.

Susan W. Hoskins LCSW

 

Previous Messages

GrandPals Celebrate 20 Years!

Multi-generational Households

No One Ages Well Alone

Help at Home

Gratitude

November 2016 Family Caregiving

October 2016 Annual Report

September 2016 Corporate Healthcare

Strategic Planning

Is Your Home Age- Friendly?

May 2016 Director's Message Part 2 - We Need Your Help

May 2016 - Part 1 - Going Solo

April 2016 - Volunteering

March 2016 - Partners In Caring

February 2016 - PSRC's Strategic Plan

January 2016 - Hope

December 2015 - Gratitude

November 2015 - Helicopter Children

October 2015 - Is Princeton An Age Friendly Community?

September 2015 - Annual Report

July & August 2015 - Family and Community

June 2015 - A Gift that Keeps Giving

May 2015 60 Is the New 60

April 2015 - Spring

March 2015 - Being Mortal

February 2015 - Mentoring

January 2015 - Winter Blues

December 2014 - Leaving A Legacy

October 2014 An Age Friendly Future

September 2014 Annual Report

July - August 2014

June 2014 - Romance After 50

May 2014 - Your Virtual Estate

April 2014 - Memory and Forgetting

March 2014 - Aging in Community

Observational Stay

February 2014 - Family Caregiving

January 2014 - Attitudes about Aging

December 2013 - Giving

November 2013 - Healthcare Marketplace

October 2013 - Annual Report 2013

September 2013 - Total Brain Health® Fair

July - August 2013 My cat, My Father and Me

June 2013 - Age Friendly Communities

May 2013 - Navigating a Changing HealthCare Landscape

April 2013 - Becoming Visible

March 2013 - Navigating Life’s Transitions

February 2013 - Partners in Caring Princeton

January 2013 - Men as Caregivers

December 2012 - The Safety Net

November 2012 - Going Solo

October 2012 - Documenting Your History

September 2012 - A Journey of Transformation

July - August 2012 - Gratitude & Moving

June 2012 - Diversity

May 2012- Aging in America

APRIL 2012 - TEN YEARS

March 2012 - Patient-centered Care

February 2012 - Can you Spare an Hour?

January 2012 - Challenges & Opportunities

December - Are you Prepared for Emergencies?

November - We need YOU!

October - Chocolate for Memory

September- Looking Back and Looking Forward

July - August 2011; Ageism

June 2011 - Accessibility

May 2011 - Paper retention

Knit Wits, April 2011

Lessons and Legacies, March 2011

Independent Living February 2011

Home Safety January 2011

Witness to my Life December 2010

Elections, benefits and open enrollment November 2010

Retire in 3D!

Strategic Planning September 2010

Am I Old? July 2010

Memory Clutter June 2010

Aging In America May 2010

Volunteering April 2010

Spirituality March 2010

Estate Planning February 2010

Encore Careers January 2010

Hiring Home Care December 2009

Annual Giving by Sharon Naeole November 2009

Flu Pandemic 2009 October 2009

Healthy Memory, Healthy Mind September 2009

A Personal Perspective on Caregiving July/August 2009

TRANSPORTATION May 2009

Wei Ji: Crisis, Danger and Opportunity April 2009

Write your own obituary March 2009

Hobbies February 2009

Hope and Vision in Challenging Times
January 2009

Medicare Changes 2008: Take A Look! December 2008

Scams, Frauds and Rip-offs November 2008

Engaged Retirement: Beyond Financial Planning October 2008

September 2008 Caregiver Dilemmas

Finding Rhythm and Purpose July/August 2008

Spring Cleaning II June 2008

V + OA = ER (Volunteering + Older Americans=Engaged Retirement)May 2008

Spring Cleaning April 2008

Have You Had the Talk Yet? March 2008

Get Moving with FitRhythms™! February 2008

My Condolences January 2008

Advocacy December 2007

What Are Social Services? November 2007

Sensitive Topics October 2007

Plan for the Future September 2007

The Up-side of Aging Summer 2007

Volunteering June 2007

Strategic Plan May 2007

National Conference on Aging: Let's ReThink Aging April 2007

Brain Health March 2007

Resiliency February 2007

Transportation January 2007

Season of Giving December 2006

Medicare Part D November 2006

April Hill McElroy October 2006

Civic Engagement September 2006

Change June 2006

White House Conference on Aging May 2006

Hearing Loss April 2006

GrandPals March 2006

Lets Talk February 2006

Eldertopia January 2006

Hoarding December 2005

Annual Report: November 2005

Are You Prepared? October 2005

Planning Ahead October 2005

Watch Your Language September 2005

Medicare Part D Summer 2005

Sue Tillett June 2005

The End of the Journey May 2005

Clutter March 2005

New Dietary Guidelines February 2005

Transitions January 2005

Funding December 2004

Caregiving November 2004

Civic Engagement with GrandPals October 2004

A New Look September 2004

Safe Driving Summer 2004

Food Safety June 2004

Communication June 2004

The Challenge of Giving Care May 2004

Seniors On The Move April 2004

Depression March 2004

McGreevey February 2004

Medications January 2004

Random Acts of Kindness December 2003

Civic Engagement November 2003

Reverse Mortgages Oct 2003

Emergency Preparedness, Jan 2003


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