Medicare beneficiaries remembered to take preventive benefits

WILKES-BARRE — This week, the Pennsylvania Aging Agency encouraged Medicare recipients to save money through…

WILKES-BARRE — This week, the Pennsylvania Aging Agency encouraged Medicare recipients to save money through preventive care and maximize preventative benefits that help them lead a healthier life.

The department recently launched a five-week media campaign to promote awareness of these benefits.

Beneficiaries with Medicare Part A and Part B with limited income and financial resources may be eligible to pay a portion of their monthly premiums through the Medicare Savings Program.

Those who are enrolled in Medicare Part D and have limited finances and resources may be eligible for additional assistance. This reduces compensation and prescribing costs.

Elderly people enrolled in the original Medicare or Medicare Advantage plan can receive free or low-cost preventive services based on specific guidelines. These preventive services are:

• Screening

• Wellness

• Counseling

• Shot

• Nutrition

“Navigating the Medicare system can be difficult. Understanding how beneficiaries can take advantage of their benefits will lead to greater health outcomes.” Said Susan Neff, director of APPRISE. “Our trained staff and volunteers talk to Medicare beneficiaries who are interested in hearing about these preventive benefits in their plans and discussing ways to save money through Extra Help and the Medicare Savings Program. I’m looking forward to that. “

Medicare recipients who have questions or would like to know more can call the APPRISE helpline (1-800-783-7067).

APPRISE is a state health insurance support program in Pennsylvania where nearly 800 trained counselors are free, confidential, objective and easy to understand about their original Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, Prescription Drug Plans and Medicare Supplement Plans. Provide information and allow Medicare recipients. Compare plans, decide which one best meets your needs and save money.

Local government should

Request a fund allocation

Regional Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin announced this week that counties, metropolitan and local governments are now able to request some of the federal local fiscal reconstruction funds provided by the U.S. Relief Program. did.

“Today, county and local governments can request local fiscal reconstruction funding provided by the US Rescue Program,” said Davin. “This funding is preceded by COVID-19. We provide immediate relief to local governments facing no financial difficulties. I help all counties, cities and city governments recover from pandemics and pave the way for long-term growth. Encourage the use of funds. “

As part of a US relief program signed by President Joseph R. Biden, the federal government has provided counties, metropolitan and local governments in Pennsylvania with a total of approximately $ 6.15 billion to support COVID-19 response efforts. , Replenish lost income, financially stabilize households and businesses, and tackle systematic public health and economic challenges.

The US Treasury has established two separate ways for local governments to request these funds, depending on the type of local government.

County and metropolitan governments must request funding directly from the US Treasury through the submission portal web page.

Local governments that are not large cities or counties (called local government non-qualified units (NEUs)) must visit the DCED website and request funding through the federal government.

Due to the Treasury’s requirement to disburse all local financial reconstruction funds within 30 days of receiving federal funding, DCED has set aside five days for the NEU to ensure adequate processing time for each request. We strongly recommend that you request funding within.

Information on how to claim funds, where they are funded, counties, cities, and federal allocations to the NEU can be found on the DCED website and the US Treasury website.

Local governments with further questions about access to these funds can email [email protected]

Congressman Keller Holds First Secretariat

Prison Reform Caucus Conference

US House of Representatives Fred Keller, R-Middleburg, and Prison Reform met with the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) this week to “wellness where there is an opportunity to better analyze staffing data and improve employees. program.”

The findings of the GAO report show that there is a clear inconsistency within BOP’s data collection system that this data cannot be used to improve government policies and operations. Specifically, the report outlined flaws in BOP staffing methodologies, plans to identify staff shortages, and agency maintenance issues.

“Throughout the pandemic, we saw BOP leaders make suspicious decisions in reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread, addressing staff shortages, and caring for prisoners and prison officers,” Keller said. “BOP leadership needs to understand that the decisions made in Washington affect the daily lives of families and communities.”

Keller went on to outline three key areas where BOP can be improved.

• Improving transparency and working with Congress

• Better preparation for future emergencies

• More comprehensive data collection efforts

At the meeting, Keller, chair of the BOP Reform Caucus, made the following statement:

“GAO’s recommendations and insights today give BOP Reform Caucus an important perspective on the serious administrative challenges facing prison offices from prison officers in Pennsylvania and across the country. We have heard about systematic issues such as staff shortages, lack of internal data collection, and ineffective response strategies at COVID-19. Going forward, the BOP Reform Caucus will be transparent in meeting the standards set by the BOP. We need to work with the leadership of the institution to ensure sex and develop higher standards in the future. “

Keller has faced recurring problems with BOP, including lack of response from institutions and continued movement of prisoners at BOP facilities nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the serious need to stop movement. After experiencing it, I established BOP Reform Caucus in August 2020. And transfers to protect prison officers, other prisoners, and the surrounding community.


Buy flood insurance

Pennsylvania Insurance Secretary Jessica Altman asked real estate owners this week to consider buying flood insurance to protect their homes, businesses and property.

For many Pennsylvanias, extreme weather events such as hurricanes and heavy thunderstorm floods can occur throughout the state during the summer.

As the country enters the hurricane season, the federal government is working to improve the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

“Floods threaten the entire state of Pennsylvania during this time due to the heavy summer storms,” ​​said Altman. “The Commonwealth of Nations is usually affected by the strong winds and heavy rains associated with hurricanes and often causes serious damage. Standard homeowner insurance policies do not cover flood damage, so homeowners Whether you purchased through the fast-growing private market or NFIP, you should review your insurance policy and consider this additional protection.

Consumers should be aware that flood insurance will not be effective immediately. In most scenarios, there is a 30-day wait period before the policy becomes active. This will prevent individuals from taking out flood insurance only if the storm is heading in the direction of their property. However, there are some exceptions.

• If a new address is added to the Special Flood Hazardous Area (SFHA) map and you have flood insurance within 13 months of the map revision.

• When renewing flood insurance and expanding coverage.

• If your home is burned down in a federal land affected by a flood and insurance is purchased within 60 days of containing the fire.

• If you just bought a house and the lender requested flood compensation.

Pennsylvania continues to see a significant increase in the number of private market flood countermeasures. As of January 2021, owner-occupied private homes and secondary / seasonal real estate coverage for the entire state exceeded 12,800, compared to approximately 1,500 insurance just five years ago. The number of contracts has increased by 17% since 2020 and has increased by 750% over the last five years.

“Flood insurance can be easier than ever and more affordable than you might think,” said Randy Padfield, director of PEMA. “We have shown that we are vulnerable to this threat, as large-scale floods occur in places that have never been flooded, and floods can occur anywhere it rains. I will. “

Padfield said it was important for families to have an emergency contact plan, and that everyone knew what to do and where to go in an emergency.