AK_Summer_08cgla indd by chenboying


									50+ Alaska News                                  www.aarp.org/ak
                                                                                        AK                                         Summer 2008

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 ak@aarp.org 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 droyce@aarp.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 dkdavidson@gci.net.                    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
fyanc4h@uaf.edu.                                 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

   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 wlc@aarp.org, 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
         ak@aarp.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
          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
         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

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
                                   Higher Poverty Risk
                                   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.
                                     The single greatest force keeping women from                                      more than $900 million, an amount that exceeds
                                   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
                                    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
                                    Washington and get things done.                                                   Signature .......................................................................

                                    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 ...............................................................
                                    ❏ 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
ak@aarp.org.                        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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