Category Archives: Uncategorized

“ANALYSIS: More than Half of Uninsured People Eligible for Marketplace Insurace Could Pay Less for Health Plan than Individual Mandate Penalty” – Kaiser Family Foundation

About 4 in 10 Could Obtain Bronze Plan at No Cost

“A new Kaiser Family Foundation analysis finds that more than half (54% or 5.9 million) of the 10.7 million people who are uninsured and eligible to purchase an Affordable Care Act marketplace plan in 2018 could pay less in premiums for health insurance than they would owe as an individual mandate tax penalty for lacking coverage.

aca sign up

“Within that 5.8 million, about 4.5 million (42% of the total) could obtain a bronze-level plan at no cost in 2018, after taking income-related premium tax credits into account, the analysis finds.

“Most people without insurance who are eligible to buy marketplace coverage qualify for subsidies in the form of tax credits to help pay premiums for marketplace plans (8.3 million out of 10.7 million). Among those eligible for premium subsidies, the analysis finds that 70 percent could pay less in premiums than what they’d owe as a tax penalty for lacking coverage, with 54 percent able to purchase a bronze plan at no cost and 16 percent contributing less to their health insurance premium than the tax penalty they owe.

“Among the 2.4 million uninsured, marketplace-eligible people who do not qualify for a premium subsidy, 2 percent would be able to pay less for marketplace insurance than they’d owe for their 2018 penalty, the analysis finds.

“The Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate requires that most people have health coverage or be subject to a tax penalty unless they qualify for certain exemptions. The individual mandate is still in effect, though Congress may consider repealing it as part of tax legislation.

“Consumers can compare their estimated 2018 individual mandate penalty with the cost of marketplace insurance in their area with KFF’s new Individual Mandate Penalty Calculator.

“The deadline for ACA open enrollment in most states is Dec. 15, 2017.”

“A nation of McHospitals? | Why the health landscape might change more than we imagine.” – Politico

mchospitals

“For years, the nation’s hospital chains worked to get bigger, bigger, bigger. In the 1980s and 1990s, for-profit companies like HCA and Tenet emerged as juggernauts, snapping up local hospitals and opening clinics in one town after another. Their ambitious not-for-profit cousins, the big academic medical centers like Harvard-affiliated Partners Healthcare, scooped up smaller rivals in response. Just four years ago, the Tennessee-based Community Health Systems spent $7.6 billion to buy a competitor and become the nation’s largest for-profit hospital company, with more than 200 hospitals in 29 states.

“Today, in any town or city, in any region of the country, you’ll almost certainly see the same scenario: Only a handful of hospitals, sometimes owned and operated by a company thousands of miles away.

“As the pace and scale of consolidation picked up, the outcome long appeared inevitable: an American future in which a handful of hospital chains dominate American health care … ”

Continue reading this article at Politico, click here.

Tip Sheet: Engaging Veterans in Evidence-Based Programs

engaging veterans tip sheetClick here or on the graphic above to download the complete tip sheet as a .pdf file.

December 16 – Wreaths Across America dedication

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Wreaths Across America Website

“Dementia caregivers | Juggling, delaying, and looking forward Family caregivers play a vital role in providing support to older adults living with dementia and other cognitive impairments.” – University of Michigan National Poll on Aging

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ANN ARBOR, MI – “They don’t get pay, recognition, or much of a break. They spend hours a day helping someone who may not even recognize them anymore.

“Now, a new poll gives a glimpse into the lives of the spouses, grown children and other family members and friends who act as caregivers for up to five million Americans with dementia.

“The strain of providing such care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions came through in the latest results from the National Poll on Healthy Aging, with 78 percent saying caregiving was stressful.

“But the poll also reveals the positive side of caregiving, with 85 percent of family caregivers calling it a rewarding experience. In fact, 45 percent rated it as ‘very rewarding’, compared to 19 percent who called it ‘very stressful’. However, 40 percent of those who called dementia caregiving very stressful also said it was not rewarding.

“Another potential benefit? Perspective. Ninety-one percent of the caregivers said they had thought about their own future care needs because of their experience taking care of someone with dementia.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety and to download the full report.

“In-Home Care Helps Seniors Manage Diabetes | November Is American Diabetes Month – Caring Right At Home

diabetes“Today, almost 30 million people in America are living with diabetes. Diabetes is actually a group of diseases; the most common by far is type 2 diabetes, in which the body has trouble using insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. The older we get, the more likely we are to develop type 2 diabetes.

“Doctors know that managing diabetes in older adults can be a tricky balancing act. If a senior’s blood sugar is too high, they can suffer damage to their heart, kidneys, nerves, eyes, bones and feet. Diabetes can lead to blindness, amputations and even death. Diabetes raises the risk of stroke, and causes problems with thinking and memory by decreasing the flow of blood in the brain.

“On the other hand, if a senior is taking too much medication, this can lead to hypoglycemia — blood sugar that is too low, which can cause dizziness, loss of consciousness, confusion, personality changes and falls. So, the doctor will carefully monitor a senior’s blood sugar and adjust the dosage of medications accordingly.”

Read this article in its entirety at Caring Right At Home, click here.

 

“6 in 10 doctors report abusive remarks from patients, and many get little help coping with the wounds” – STATnews

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This story was produced in collaboration with WebMD and Medscape.

by Bob Tedeschi

“Most doctors have absorbed racist, sexist, and other bigoted verbal remarks from patients under their care, according to a new national survey. And in interviews, physicians say these ugly incidents, while not frequent, can leave lasting scars.

“African-American doctors told STAT they had been called racial epithets and been asked to relinquish care for white patients by family members — and even colleagues. Asian-American physicians reported being demeaned with longstanding cultural and racist stereotypes, and female doctors being sexually harassed by patients during physical exams.

“A wide-ranging survey of more than 800 U.S. physicians, conducted by WebMD and Medscape in collaboration with STAT, found that 59 percent had heard offensive remarks about a personal characteristic in the past five years — chiefly about a doctor’s youthfulness, gender, race, or ethnicity. As a result, 47 percent had a patient request a different doctor, or ask to be referred to a clinician other than the one their physician selected.

“Fourteen percent said they had experienced situations in which the patient complained, in writing, about the doctor’s personal characteristics.”

Continue reading this STATnews article here.

“Watch Your Mailbox: A Guide to Open Enrollment [Part 1]”

This article is the first installment in our 2017 “Preparing for Open Enrollment” series. To stay up-to-date on the latest Open Enrollment blog posts, subscribe to our mailing list. For a complete overview of Open Enrollment, check out our “Guide to Open Enrollment” page.

medicare enrollment

“It’s finally fall! For many people, that means football, foliage, and delicious pumpkin-flavored treats. For Medicare recipients, fall also signals a slightly-less-fun (but equally important) event: the annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP). Open Enrollment occurs every year from October 15th to December 7th. During Open Enrollment, anyone with Medicare can change their prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan for any reason.

“You may be thinking, ‘But I already chose my Medicare plan! Why change plans and go through all that again?’”

Click here to read this article in its entirety.

Read the second OEP blog post: “Gather Your Things: Preparing for Open Enrollment [Part Two] »

Read the third OEP blog post: “Go Shopping: Preparing for Open Enrollment [Part Three] »

Two agencies align with Service Area 13 Link partners’ networks

NEW PARTNERS

Berks County partners’ network

Lancaster County partners’ network

Lebanon County partners’ network

Over the past month, two more resources providers have aligned with the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources | Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area..

To align with the Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area as a partner entity costs nothing. The Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources part of the national Aging and Disability Resources Center [ADRC) network.

For more information about how your agency, entity or organization can become a partner, text or call the Lead Link coordinator at 717.380.9714 or email blllink@mail.com.

Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) are the first place to go to get accurate, unbiased information on all aspects of life related to aging or living with a disability.

Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) are a nationwide effort to take a seamless approach in the way we assist seniors and adults with disabilities who need help with activities of daily living. The ADRC in Pennsylvania is known as the Link.

HOW CAN THE LINK ASSIST YOU AND/OR YOUR FAMILY?

  • Easily connect you to local services/supports through any Link partner agency
  • Explore existing options to ensure a secure plan for independence
  • Assist consumers with applications to determine funding eligibility
  • Help consumers remain or return to their community because of a disability, an illness or accident, or to transition from an institution back to the community
There is no charge for information and assistance provided by any Link or Link partner agency.

PA LINK TO AGING AND DISABILITY RESOURCE CENTER TOLL FREE HElpLINE: 1-800-753-8827

Friday Wrap-Up, October 6, 2017 | a message from the Secretary of Aging

Each week week the Office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging releases a Friday newsletter with information relevant to activities, issues and events for older Pennsylvanians and persons with disabilities across the Commonwealth. Click here to download the newsletter as a .pdf file.