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50+ Alaska News www.aarp.org/ak AK Summer 2008 Calendar Investor/Consumer Protection Workshops Sept. 12 – 13, Haines Clinics Get a Sept. 26 – 27, Homer Oct. 10 – 11, Valdez Oct. 24 – 25, Seward Shot in the Arm To register, go to www.aarp.org/ ak or call 1-866-227-7447. New state funding for federal Candidates’ Debate Oct. 6, 6 – 7:30 p.m., Wendy clinics will benefit residents in Williamson Auditorium, University of Alaska Anchorage campus. U.S. remote areas where medical Senate and House candidates will discuss health care and financial professionals are scarce. security issues. E-mail questions Kasmar Marilyn Kasmar, execu- to email@example.com with “Question For the first time, the state would “support access to health tive director of APCA, joins for Candidates” in the subject will help fund 26 community care for all Alaskans.” the staff of the Anchorage line. Call 907-762-3302 or visit health centers (CHCs). The cen- ”Because of our strong work- Neighborhood Health Center, www.aarp.org/ak for more. ters offer basic medical, dental ing relationship with the which serves 13,000 people Volunteer and behavioral health treatment [APCA], our members will bene- each year. to nearly 85,000 residents. fit,” said Ken Osterkamp, AARP Make it fair time … Join the AARP booth at the The 2009 state budget allo- state director. “Especially those eligible for Medicare. Alaska’s Alaska State Fair in Palmer, Aug. cates $3.85 million for federal under 65 with no health insur- CHCs accept all patients and 21 – Sept. 1. Call 907-762-3303 or CHCs and the 124 clinics that ance and those over 65 who charge fees on a sliding scale. e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. they operate. It was approved by cannot find a private physician In the new budget, $2.5 million Gov. Sarah Palin (R) on May 22. willing to treat them.” will pay for health information Or make it game time. The Special Olympics needs Of the new funds, the Added Marilyn Kasmar, APCA technology to make CHC opera- volunteers to telephone athletes Legislature dedicated $1 mil- executive director, “We needed tions more efficient. The budget and provide information. Call lion to workforce recruitment the state to step in and help in also includes a $350,000 sub- Donna Davidson at 907-222-6852 and retention, CHCs’ top need, order to get more primary care sidy for treatment of Medicare or e-mail email@example.com. according to the Alaska Primary access to the medically under- beneficiaries. Join the Pillow Patrol. Care Association (APCA). served here in Alaska.” Donate or make pillows for foster AARP members in Alaska Many older Alaskans depend To locate a community health kids on Oct. 25. Call Marianne wrote to Palin and urged her to on CHC clinics, because many center near you, visit www.hss. Kerr at 907-786-6300 or e-mail approve the Legislature’s fund- other physicians stop seeing state.ak.us/dph and click on firstname.lastname@example.org. ing request, which AARP said patients when they become “Health Planning,” then “CHC.” In This Issue AARP Alaska Non-Proﬁt Org. Don’t Be Ripped Off .............. 2 3601 C St., Suite 1420 U.S. Postage Protect yourself against identity Anchorage, AK 99503 PAID theft and fraud. Permit No. 43 Long Beach, CA Q&A ........................................ 3 “If you’re not happy with the answers you get from your pro- vider, call us.” Judith Bendersky Divided We Fail .....................4 Older women face high risk of poverty. Alaska has the highest percentage of grandparents age 60 and older raising grandchildren, about three times the national average. Keep up to date on the festivities for Alaska’s celebration of 50 years of statehood: visit www.gov.state.ak.us/ASCC. A Healthier Community Voices on the Street A T THE S TATEHOUSE Is Just a Phone Call Away Question: What is the most Law Will Put a Freeze on Identity Theft Alaska Health Fair teams up with organizations and vol- important issue that you want House bill (HB) 65, Alaska’s unteers to provide health education and free and low- the Alaska congressional can- didates to address this year? Personal Information cost health screenings and tests in communities across Protection Act, will the state. It assists more than 170 health fairs annually; How to improve become law in July the fairs can be tailored to serve specific groups or the ethical behav- 2009. It enjoyed biparti- address specific health issues. For more information ior of the congres- san support and passed or to learn how to organize one in your community, sional people. the House and Senate visit www.alaskahealthfair.org or call Claudia Hering at — Manmath Panda, unanimously. AARP 907-278-0234. Upcoming fairs include: 45, Anchorage Alaska worked on ❏ Sept. 27: Southwest Anchorage Health Fair Given that I work behalf of the bill for ❏ Sept. 27: Seward Health Fair in health care, get- the past four years. ❏ Oct. 4: Korean Health Fair, Anchorage ting health care HB 65 requires businesses and government to ❏ Oct. 9: Senior Center Health Fair, Wasilla under control. It notify you if information is acquired without your ❏ Oct. 11: Turnagain Health Fair, Anchorage affects everything. authorization. It enables you to freeze access to ❏ Oct. 18: Hillside Health Fair, Anchorage If we could figure your credit report, and prohibits businesses and ❏ Oct. 25: Chugiak Health Fair out our health government from intentionally releasing your care system, that would be the Social Security number. Victims of identity theft most important thing. — Janet may petition the court and file a police report to Johnston, 46, Anchorage W OMEN IN THE W ORKFORCE declare their innocence. The goal was “to craft The economy. It clear rules and guidelines to … ensure the proper Program Improves Skills to Get Ahead affects everything care of this personal information,” said Rep. John Through Aug. 22, AARP’s Women’s Leadership else. — Debra Bolles, Coghill (R-North Pole). “AARP has called this the Council is accepting applications for scholarships 54, Anchorage most important issue before the Legislature this for women age 40 and older to get the skills, train- session and I would agree.” ing and education to re-enter the work force or According to the Federal Trade Commission obtain better employment. The program is open (FTC), 384 Alaskans were victims of identity to those with incomes at or below 150 percent of The trust in gov- theft in 2006. Credit card fraud is the most com- the poverty line. Priority is given to women who ernment has been mon form of reported identity theft, followed by are raising the children of another family member, battered. I feel that phone or utilities fraud, bank fraud and employ- those in dead-end jobs and those who have been I’ve been betrayed ment fraud. out of the paid work force for five or more years. by so much manip- The new law calls for the creation of a database Funds can be used for full- or part-time study at ulation in the of claims of identity theft and establishes a toll- a public or private secondary school, including public process and that the welfare of the public free number for reporting them. It also prohibits technical schools and four-year universities, and has been set aside whereas spe- businesses and the government from printing the may be used for tuition, fees or books. To learn cial interests of big corporations last four digits of credit card numbers and cards’ more, e-mail email@example.com, visit www.aarp.org/ have taken over. I want trust in expiration dates on receipts. givewlc or write to: AARP Foundation Women’s that process to be restored. — Scholarship Program, P.O. Box 23737, Nashville, Sharon English, 58, Anchorage F ROM THE G RASSROOTS TN 37202-3737. To fix Medicare Initiative Could Publicly Fund Candidates I N Y OUR P OCKET now, so it’s more Ballot Initiative 3 will give Alaskan voters an accessible and fair. It’s not fair opportunity on August 26 to support “clean elec- Economic Stimulus Available Until Fall right now. And the tions.” AARP is working with the media and with There is still time to apply for the one-time reimbursement our members to ensure that the public under- stimulus payment authorized by Congress ear- rate for physicians stands the benefits of approving public funding of lier this year — $300 for an individual and $600 in Alaska is really whacked. — candidates rather than the present system of pri- for a couple filing jointly, for those with at least Susan Royce, 63, Sitka vate fundraising. AARP provided testimony sup- $3,000 in income in 2007. Those no longer fil- porting legislation for voluntary public funding of ing tax returns have until Oct. 15 to claim their I would ask [the campaigns for Alaska’s Senate and House, but the payments. According to the IRS, 10,265 eligible candidates] what bills did not pass last session. The ballot initiative Alaskans have yet to file and 55 percent of those they can do to improve Medicare. would provide public funding to candidates who who haven’t filed are 65 years or older. AARP has Get the physicians agree to limit their campaign fundraising and many free resources, including a new online tool to accept Medicare spending. A qualified candidate may receive state at www.aarp.org/stimulus. Or call the AARP Tax- patients. – Linda matching funds if he or she is opposed by some- Aide program at 1-888-227-7669 or the Internal Fleener, 68, Anchorage one not taking part in the program. Revenue Service at 1-800-829-1040. The percentage of Alaskan adults who smoke dropped from 27.7 percent in 1996 to 21.5 percent in 2007. To learn more about Alaska’s campaign-funding ballot measure, go to www.elections.state.ak.us, click on “Primary Election.” Q&A Medicare recipients to be sure Medicare Summary Notice, they receive all possible bene- check for errors. And if you Serving 94,374 members fits. The Senior Medicare Patrol need help learning how to AARP Alaska (SMP) project utilizes the read the Summary Notice, call 3601 C Street, Suite 1420 same volunteers to educate the us. Second, confirm that the Anchorage, AK 99503 public about ways to prevent reported services or supplies 1-866-227-7447 toll free Medicare error, waste, fraud or were actually received. Look www.aarp.org/ak abuse. We are funded through at the notice to make sure it firstname.lastname@example.org two federal grants. We work makes sense. Judith Bendersky, left, directs for the Alaska Department of S TATE O FFICE S TAFF the Alaska State Health Health and Social Services and Q. What if I see something sus- Kenneth Osterkamp Insurance Assistance Program we operate out of the Senior picious or just plain wrong on State Director (SHIP). She and Jeanné Information Office. my Medicare Summary Notice? Christa Hernandez Larson, Health Program A. First, call your provider. Senior Operations Administrator Associate, work from the Q. What do most people need? Mistakes are made, but if you’re J. Patrick Luby Senior Information Office in Advocacy Director A. We help with eligibility not happy with the answers Anchorage. Daryl Royce issues (for Medicare), assist you get from your provider, call Community Outreach Director with benefits and claims, help us and we will report this to Ann Secrest A ‘One-Stop Shop’ select a Medicare Prescription a national center that collects Communications Director for Medicare Help Drug Plan, sort out Medicare this information and investi- secondary payor issues, counsel gates it if appropriate. AARP talked with Judith E XECUTIVE C OUNCIL M EMBERS on MediGap insurance, discuss Bendersky about two state George Hieronymus Medicare’s Advantage Plan and programs that provide older State President find extra help for paying for For more information, call Alaskans with Medicare infor- Rosemary Hagevig prescriptions. Hand in hand the Senior Information Office Fred Jenkins mation. with helping older Alaskans help line at 1-800-478-6065 Charles Johnson Q. What do you do? understand Medicare is also or 269-3680 (in Anchorage) A. I’d like to think we are a education on how to detect or e-mail judith.bendersky@ Jan Watson one-stop shop for Alaska’s older Medicare fraud. And there alaska.gov. You can also learn AARP Tax-Aide State Coordinator population. The SHIP project are simple things you can do. more at www.hss.state.ak.us/ Joaquin Barbachano trains volunteers to educate First, when you receive your dsds/shipMedicare.htm. AARP Driver Safety Program State Coordinator Marie Darlin Lead Advocacy Volunteer F ROM THE S TATE D IRECTOR Two Phone Numbers You Need AARP C HAPTERS Ten years ago if you had a ques- There are about 180,000 Alaskans age 50 and Anchorage Sourdough tion about home and community- older, more than half of whom are AARP mem- Chapter #533 based services for older Alaskans bers, so it’s good to know that they have someone 907-243-4601 or about AARP membership you to call in times of need. This brings us back to the Fairbanks North Star could ask friends, family or the AARP Alaska Information Center. Given the many Chapter #770 AARP Alaska Information Center. options for information and referral I decided it 907-458-7161 Otherwise your options were was time to close the doors on the center. This is Mt. Juneau Chapter #865 pretty limited. the trend nationwide as state AARP offices have, 907-586-3637 Fast forward to today and the problem is too as intended, fully assumed their advocacy, com- Ketchikan Chapter #1824 many options. We have two recommendations: munication and community outreach duties. As 907-225-2814 ❑ If your question has to do with your mem- a good steward of our association’s resources I Mat-Su Valley #5280 bership or the services or products of an AARP- decided that it was the right thing to do. 907-745-5033 endorsed provider, call 1-888-OUR-AARP (1-888- Luckily we have no shortage of work for volun- 687-2277). teers with programs like AARP Tax-Aide and the ❑ For questions about home and community- Driver Safety Program going gangbusters. We’ll 78 Percentage of AARP members based services it’s just as easy: dial 211 or go to www.alaska211.org. A United Way program known as “Fast forward stay committed to working with all our volunteers to fully utilize their talents. To everyone who in Alaska who are somewhat, Alaska 2-1-1 is available 24 hours to today and the ever put in time at the Northway very or extremely concerned a day to connect you to the agency Mall: Thank you! about avoiding consumer that has the information or ser- problem is too fraud that could threaten vice you need. Ken Osterkamp is the AARP savings. many options.” Alaska state director. The median age of the workforce in Alaska is 41.3 years, slightly higher than the national median age of 40. Learn more about programs to help Alaskans reduce energy bills through efficiency: www.ahfc.state.ak.us, click on “Energy.” Resources D IVIDED W E F AIL To call or visit online: Older Women Face AARP Drivers Safety Program 1-888-AARP-NOW Higher Poverty Risk www.aarp.org/drivers On Feb. 13, Congress passed the Economic Alaska Attorney General’s Stimulus Act of 2008, which will give $300 to Office of Consumer $600 to most taxpayers. Protection This boost is particularly welcomed by women. 1-888-925-2521 In 2004, women’s median annual income from www.law.state.ak.us (click on Social Security was about $8,800, compared with “Consumer Protection”) $12,600 for men. In the same year, the medi- Alaska’s Aging and Disability an pension income for men was $12,000, while Resource Centers women took in about half as much, $6,141. www.alaskasilc.org/adrc.cfm Considering these numbers, it’s not surpris- ing that 12 percent of U.S. women are below the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource federal poverty line as compared with 7 percent Agency of Alaska of men. 907-561-3313 The single greatest force keeping women from more than $900 million, an amount that exceeds www.alzalaska.org earning money during their working lives is fam- total Medicaid spending in the state. None of this Home and Community-Based ily. Women often quit their jobs or take unpaid work gets credited toward caregivers’ retirement Services (Alaska 2-1-1) leave after having a baby, take part-time jobs income. Dial 211 while their children are in school and provide bil- Divided We Fail continues to call on elected www.alaska211.org lions of dollars worth of unpaid care annually to leaders to propose solutions to the financial dif- older family members. ficulties faced by women and by all residents. Alaska Housing In Alaska, 68,000 family caregivers provide You can help by reading and signing the pledge Finance Corporation services with an estimated economic value of below. Senior Housing Office 907-330-8436 www.ahfc.state.ak.us/home/ senior_guide.cfm Join Divided We Fail State of Alaska Senior I want to join with millions of other now. Candidates owe and Disability Services 1-800-478-9996 Americans to support candidates who will us action and answers, www.hss.state.ak.us/dsds give us action and answers on health care and they must commit to delivering and lifetime ﬁnancial security. We need to long-term, lasting solutions if elected. State of Alaska Senior elect leaders who will end the gridlock in Benefits Program 1-888-352-4150 Washington and get things done. Signature ....................................................................... http://seniorbenefits.alaska.gov I pledge to: Name .............................................................................. State of Alaska Senior Information Office ❏ Vote for candidates who will ensure Address .......................................................................... 1-800-478-6065 that all Americans have access to afford- www.hss.state.ak.us/dsds/ able, quality health care. City, State, Zip ............................................................... seniorInfoOffice.htm ❏ Vote for candidates who will ensure E-mail ............................................................................. To read: that all Americans have peace of mind To receive the following free about their lifetime ﬁnancial security. ❏ Please keep in touch with me by e-mail AARP publications and others, ❏ Vote for candidates who are speciﬁc about AARP activities, events and mem- call 1-866-227-7447 or e-mail email@example.com. about what they’ll do and how, and who ber beneﬁts. stop speaking in generalities. Please mail your signed pledge to Money Matters: Your Guide for Financial Security I’m using my vote to deliver the message AARP Alaska, 3601 C Street, Suite 1420, that the time to address these problems is Anchorage, AK 99503 Future Focus: Your Guide to Financial Planning for Retirement AARP is nonpartisan and does not own a political action committee (PAC), endorse political candidates, or contribute money to political parties or political candidates’ campaigns. AARP educates the public about issues of concern to older Americans and their families through voter guides, issue workshops and candidate forums. Alaska home health aides earn nearly $12 an hour, highest in the nation; the ratio of aides to residents 65+ is also highest. For tips on speaking with health care professionals about checkups, tests and shots you need, see www.ahrq.gov/ppip/50plus.
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