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Author: NWVCIL

Open Enrollment

Posted in Disability, and Public Awareness

From the Bureau of Behavioral Health and Health Facilities:

West Virginians who need to enroll, re-enroll or switch health insurance plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace  at  www.healthcare.gov should note that the annual open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace opens today and will be open a total of six weeks. It will will run from Nov. 1, 2017 through Dec. 15, 2017.

Consumers not covered by an employer-sponsored or a public plan can compare and enroll in individual health insurance plans via online exchanges operated via the federal government.

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
• Procrastinators, beware. The 2018 healthcare.gov open enrollment period is Nov. 1 – Dec. 15, 2017, with coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2018.
•  Need help?  Call the West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner Consumer Services at 1-888-879-9842, TTY 1-800-435-7381.
• Have unpaid premiums? Beginning with 2018 open enrollment, insurance companies may be permitted to collect unpaid 2017 premiums before providing coverage in 2018.
• Want to carry over coverage? If you’re currently covered through the exchange and do not choose a plan for 2018, you will be re-enrolled in the same or a similar plan. Compare your existing plan against others in the marketplace to find the best fit.
• Not covered? Anyone without health insurance must pay a penalty for every month they are uninsured (unless they qualify for an exemption). If you lose coverage due to job loss or another
qualifying event, you have up to 90 days to secure coverage or pay a fee assessed against your tax return.

RETHINK YOUR RESEARCH
No matter which insurance option fits your needs, three simple steps will help you focus your research efforts, cut through the clutter and get smart about YOUR health insurance needs:
1.  Start early. The more information you gather, the smarter your decisions.
2.  Stay informed. The health insurance landscape is evolving rapidly. What is true today may be false tomorrow.
3.  Shop around. What made sense this year may not be the best solution next year, particularly if your employment situation has changed. Take time to shop around.

Social Security Announces 2.0 Percent Benefit Increase for 2018

Posted in Disability, and Public Awareness

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase 2.0 percent in 2018, the Social Security Administration announced today.

The 2.0 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 61 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2018. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 29, 2017. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits) The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $128,700 from $127,200. Of the estimated 175 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2018, about 12 million will pay more because of the increase in the taxable maximum.

Information about Medicare changes for 2018, when announced, will be available at www.medicare.gov.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.

From:  https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/releases/#/post/10-2017-1

Aging in Place

Posted in Disability, Outreach, and Public Awareness

From the National Institute on Aging

Living at home as you age requires careful consideration and planning. Check out this infographic and get 6 tips to make your home safer and more accessible to help you stay independent as you grow older:

Share this infographic on social media:

Twitter: Do you want to grow old in your own home? Check out these tips from NIA to help you #ageinplace: http://bit.ly/2hflN9b

Facebook: Many adults want to stay in their homes as they get older. Just a few changes could make it easier for you to continue to live independently. Check out these 6 tips from the National Institute on Aging to make your home safer as you get older: http://bit.ly/2ynUq0M

Senate won’t vote on last-ditch Obamacare repeal bill

Posted in Disability, and Public Awareness

From:  http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/26/obamacare-repeal-failure-republican-senate-243148

The Senate will not vote on Republicans’ latest bill to repeal Obamacare this week, putting an end, for now, to the GOP’s seven-year campaign promise to dismantle the health care law.

The decision was reached at a party lunch Tuesday after it became clear the plan would fail, GOP senators said. Three Senate Republicans had already said they would vote against the measure, and the GOP could only afford two defections.

“Why have a vote if you know what the outcome is and it’s not what you want,” said GOP Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama. “I don’t know what you gain from that. But I do believe that the health care issue is not dead, and that’s what counts.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans are not giving up on a health care bill but made clear he wants a quick pivot to another issue where Republicans hope to notch a legislative victory: taxes.

“We haven’t given up on changing the American health-care system … We’re not going to do it this week, but it still lies ahead of us. We haven’t given up on that,” McConnell said Tuesday afternoon. “Where we go from here is tax reform.”

Vice President Mike Pence also told Republicans they should keep working on health care and not give up just because a key procedural deadline to pass the bill with a simple majority expires after Sept. 30.

“The vice president said that we need to resolve to do this now before this current Congress leaves office,” at the end of 2018, according to a Republican senator in the room.

Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill Introduced

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, Outreach, and Public Awareness

Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill Introduced
From http://www.advocacymonitor.com/

This Wednesday, Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson (GCHJ) proposal (PDF), the Republicans’ last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and make major cuts to Medicaid.

Like the previous bills we’ve seen, the GCHJ proposal would eliminate coverage and protections for millions while completely decimating Medicaid. The proposal would repeal the ACA individual and employer mandates, eliminate assistance that makes coverage affordable, revoke protections for people with pre-existing conditions, phase out Medicaid expansion, and dramatically cut Medicaid by imposing per capita caps. Just like the other bills, the GCHJ proposal will be devastating for people with disabilities.

NCIL is closely monitoring the progress of the GCHJ proposal, and we will be sending out a targeted action alert next week with more information for constituents of key Republican Senators. In the meantime, call your Republican Senators NOW and urge them to oppose the GCHJ proposal!

You can reach your Senators by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY). New tools are available at trumpcaretoolkit.org. You can also use Resistbot to have your texts turned into faxes, mail, or hand-delivered letters; use faxzero.com to fax your Senators for free; or contact them via social media. You can find social media contacts on Contacting Congress.

FEMA Meeting Announcement

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, Outreach, and Public Awareness

SEPTEMBER 19, 2017 PIERPONT COMMUNITY & TECHNICAL COLLEGE 1201 Locust Avenue Ruth Ann Musick Library,  RM# MMA 304-816-0658 Tuesday, September 19, 2017 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM Open to public, people with disabilities, and disaster survivors The meeting is open to all people with a disability, including staffers from CILs. FEMA will provide American Sign Language Specialists (ASLS), and a Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART). The purpose of this meeting is to provide information on disaster assistance and the registration process to increase knowledge for future disasters. In addition, learn how the disability community can play a role in Long Term Recovery Groups (LTRGs) by providing their expertise and community resources.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2017 PIERPONT COMMUNITY & TECHNICAL COLLEGE 1201 Locust Avenue Ruth Ann Musick Library, RM# MMA 304-816-0658 Tuesday, September 19, 2017 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM Open to public, people with disabilities, and disaster survivors The meeting is open to all people with a disability, including staffers from CILs. FEMA will provide American Sign Language Specialists (ASLS), and a Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART). The purpose of this meeting is to provide information on disaster assistance and the registration process to increase knowledge for future disasters. In addition, learn how the disability community can play a role in Long Term Recovery Groups (LTRGs) by providing their expertise and community resources.