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NYS Senator Addabbo Senior Brochure 2012

NYS Senator Addabbo Senior Brochure 2012

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Published by Joseph Addabbo Jr.
Issues that face NYS seniors
Issues that face NYS seniors

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Published by: Joseph Addabbo Jr. on Sep 06, 2012
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New York State SenateAlbany, NY 12247
Dear Friend:As a member o the New YorkState Senate Committee onAging, I am committed to fghtingor legislation and services toimprove the overall quality o lieor seniors living here in Queensand throughout the state. Rightnow, New York is third in thenation in terms o its 65-and-older population, and the U.S.Census Bureau projects that thenumber o people in this agegroup will rise to almost ourmillion by the year 2030.Come to think o it: I’ll be oneo those people 65-and-olderby 2030! It’s really not that araway, and the work we do todayon behal o our seniors createsthe oundation or how we will allare in the years to come.In this light, I hope you fnd thisupdate on news and programsor senior citizens in New YorkState interesting and useul. Asalways, please accept my bestwishes or good health andhappiness and please do nothesitate to contact me i I mayever be o any assistance to youin the community.Sincerely,Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.15th Senatorial District
New York State Senator 
15th Senate District
District Office:159-53 102nd Street
Howard Beach, NY 11414 • Phone: (718) 738-1111
One o the biggest victories wewon or seniors this year was therestoration o tens o millions odollars in cuts to New York’s ElderlyPharmaceutical Insurance Coverage(EPIC) program, which helps olderpeople enrolled in Medicare Part Daord the high cost o prescriptiondrugs. As part o the 2012-2013State Budget, $34.1 million wasrestored to the EPIC program andaction was taken to once again rollback co-payments to a maximumo $20 or participating seniors byJanuary, 2013.These changes were needed toaddress the economic hardshipsimposed on EPIC participantswhen severe cuts were made tothe program in the 2011-2012 statefscal year to help close a yawningmulti-billion dollar state budgetgap. As a member o the SenateAging Committee, I was pleased andrelieved that we were able to restorenecessary unding or EPIC thisyear and help seniors 65 and olderin need o this prescription drugassistance.I also sponsor several bills toimprove EPIC that I hope willbe taken up by the Senate andAssembly in 2013: one (S254) toensure that current enrolleesdon’t lose eligibility or EPIC i theyreceive cost o living increases inSocial Security or their pensions,and another (S984) to increaseincome ceilings or participationso that more seniors can takeadvantage o lower medicine costs.
Addabbo@nysenate.gov •
Website:addabbo.nysenate.govSatellite Office:
66-85 73rd PlaceMiddle Village, NY 11379 •Phone:(718) 497-1630
Right now, single seniors enrolled inEPIC may have annual incomes o upto $35,000, and married couples mayearn up to $50,000.Seniors who are already participatingin EPIC will be receiving letters romthe program later this year to explainchanges that have been made, but
Iwould also like to invite interestedconstituents to take advantageo a series o EPIC lectures I amsponsoring.
Come prepared withquestions and fnd out how EPICmight be able to save you money onnecessary medications.Here is the schedule o ree lectures,which are in addition to similarevents I’ve already held in HowardBeach, Ozone Park & Woodhaven:
• 9/18/12
11:00 AM,Peter Cardella Senior Center,68-52 Fresh Pond Rd.,Ridgewood
• 9/19/12
1:00 PM,Elmhurst AARP,69-60 Grand Ave., Maspeth
• 10/2/12
11:00 AM,Ridgewood Older Adults,59-14 70th Ave., Ridgewood
• 10/11/12
Noon, SacredHeart Golden Age, 83-1778th Ave., Glendale
• 10/16/12
11:00 AM, MiddleVillage Senior Center,69-10 75th St., Middle Village
In the meantime, i you have anyquestions about EPIC, you maycall my ofce or the State EPIChotline at
1-800-332-3742 (TTY1-800-290-9138).
September, 2012
I you aren’t eligible or EPIC, and are having troubleaording expensive prescription drugs, help may justbe a mouse click or a phone call away! The New YorkRX Card program is ree or everyone and providespharmacy discounts or both brand and genericmedications that average about 30 percent. Thereare no age or income restrictions, no waiting periods,no limits, no claim orms, and the card is acceptedat more than 56,000 pharmacies around the country,including most major chains.
To learn more about the program and to sign up,interested consumers may call 1-800-931-2297 orvisit the website at www.newyorkrxcard.com.
Thosewho visit the website are oered the opportunity tocreate and print their new discount card online.
Please note:
this is a discount card, not prescriptiondrug insurance, although it can be used tosupplement most health insurance plans.
In addition to the
restorations made to the ElderlyPharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program,
 the Legislature took some other actions to beneftseniors over the course o the 2012 session. Here are aew items o interest: —A total o $46.8 million, including an increase omore than $800,000, was provided in the State Budgetor the
Expanded In-Home Services or the ElderlyProgram (EISEP),
which helps older people who neednon-medical assistance stay in their homes;—$325,150 was added in the State Budget or the
Community Services or the Elderly (CSE) program,
 which helps communities throughout New York betterrespond to the needs o local senior citizens. Theprogram will now receive a total o $15.6 million; —The
Naturally Occurring Communities (NOCs) andNaturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs)
 programs had cuts restored, and will be unded at$2.02 million each. These programs are designed tohelp groups o seniors “age in place” with supportiveservices and avoid unnecessary institutional care.—A new law (Chapter 40)
adds the Director o the StateOfce or the Aging to the New York State EmergencyServices Council.
In the event o an emergency, theAging Director would advise the Governor on how bestto address the needs o New York’s senior population.
As a member o the Senate Aging Committee, I havesponsored or co-sponsored a number o bills to helpolder New Yorkers aord their homes, receive goodhealth care, fnd employment and otherwise meettheir most pressing needs. Here are a ew pieces olegislation I’ve been advocating and would like to seeapproved by the Senate and Assembly:
This bill would
exclude Social Securitypayments and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)rom being counted as income or the Senior CitizenRent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program,
enablingmore elderly tenants to save money on their housingexpenses.
This legislation seeks to improve health care orall patients in hospitals and other health care acilitiesin New York by implementing the
“Sae PatientHandling Act.”
The bill requires that a statewide planbe adopted to ensure that all patients are handledsaely, using new technologies and best practices.Such a policy would help reduce injuries or patientsand health care sta alike.
Senator Addabbo joins with other Queens public ofcialsand advocates or the elderly in protesting proposedbudget cuts to senior centers in the borough.
Senator Addabbo joins representativeso the ElderlyPharmaceuticalInsurance Coverage(EPIC) program at alecture he sponsoredat the WoodhavenRichmond Hill SeniorCenter to help seniorslearn more aboutchangesto EPIC.
—In anticipation o the implementation o ederalhealth care reorm in New York, Governor Cuomoissued an Executive Order earlier this year to
establisha New York State Health Beneft Exchange,
whichis required under ederal law and goes into eectin January, 2014. Basically, the Exchange createsan organized health insurance marketplace whereconsumers and small businesses will be able to shopor coverage and easily compare dierent health planoptions and receive certain tax credits.—A new law seeks to signifcantly
expand taxi service
 in all fve boroughs o New York City and increase thenumber o
cabs that are equipped to be accessible orpeople with disabilities.
(Signed into law, Chapter 9)—Legislation seeks to ensure that
access aislesaround handicapped parking spaces are at least eighteet wide
in order to accommodate wheelchairs andother mobility devices used by the disabled. (Signedinto law, Chapter 274) —A new
Protection o People with Special Needs Act
 is designed to overhaul and improve the state’s systemo providing care or people with special needs anddisabilities. The measure seeks to better protect andserve more than one million vulnerable children andadults in state operated, certifed or licensed acilities
and programs. (S.7749/A10721, will be sent
to Governor or review)
This bill would implement the
“Sae Stafngor Quality Care Act”
to improve the ratio o patientsto nurses and direct care sta in hospitals and nursinghomes. Increasing the number o sta available toserve patients could improve the overall quality o careand help prevent “burnout” among overworked healthcare proessionals.
Given the enormous growth in the 65-pluspopulation, and the extremely high cost o long-termcare – whether at home or in an institution – thislegislation creates a task orce to devise
a plan toprovide long-term care insurance or all elderly NewYorkers in need.S4108:
To encourage employers to provide jobs orolder New York residents, this legislation would
provide tax credits to small businesses who hireworkers who are 55 years o age or older.
Each hire, aslong as the employee works at least 35 hours a weekor a ull year, would qualiy the business or a $5000tax credit, up to a maximum o $25,000.
This legislation would provide neededassistance or amilies who need to take o timerom work to care or newborn babies or sick amilymembers. People shouldn’t have to choose betweenleaving their jobs and caring or their loved ones. Toaddress this issue, the bill would establish
amily careinsurance
under our state’s workers’ compensationand insurance laws to enable New Yorkers to care orloved ones without wiping themselves out fnanciallyand emotionally.
New York State Senior Citizen Helpline:1-800-342-9871www.aging.ny.gov
Operated by State Ofce or the Aging. Providesgeneral inormation about programs and services orseniors, oers reerrals to local resources.
New York City Department or the Aging:1-212-442-1100www.nyc.gov/aging/
Oers inormation, reerrals and assistance aboutservices and benefts available to seniors in NewYork City, including ood stamps, Medicaid, reducedare programs, tax exemptions and public assistance.I you have Internet access, you can ollow this linkto read and print out a booklet called “Benefts orOlder New Yorkers at a Glance”:
Kinship Navigator:1-877-454-6463www.nysnavigator.org
Oers inormation and reerrals to services orgrandparents and other older relatives who fndthemselves caring or their grandchildren and otherrelated children because o death, substance abuse,mental illness, incarceration, military deploymentand other reasons.
Patients’ Rights Helpline:1-800-333-4374www.nysenior.org
Operated by Statewide Senior Action Council andprovides inormation about patients’ health carerights. Call i you have been denied emergencytreatment, discharged too soon, denied admission,transerred unsaely, kept in a nursing home againstyour will or have other serious concerns about yourhospital, nursing home or home health care.
Medicare:1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)www.medicare.gov
Ofcial government Medicare helpline operates 24hours a day and provides inormation and counselingabout this health insurance program or seniors 65and older. 
Medicare Rights Center Helpline:1-800-333-4114www.medicarerights.org
Provides inormation, counseling and advocacyor people receiving Medicare and those who arehaving trouble understanding the complexities o theprogram.
Social Security Administration:1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778)www.ssa.gov
Ofcial government Social Security Administrationhelpline or Social Security benefciaries; providesinormation and assistance with the program.To help seniors live saely and independently in theirown residences, the New York Foundation or SeniorCitizens sponsors two programs to identiy at-homesaety hazards and assist qualifed seniors with reehome repairs. The
Home Repair Program
operates inall fve boroughs o New York City, and assists seniorowners o private homes, condos and co-ops – whohave limited fnances – with ree home maintenanceand repairs including minor plumbing, gutter cleaning,carpentry, and some emergency services. Under the
Home Saety Audit Program
, volunteer specialistsaged 55 and older visit and inspect the homes oseniors to pinpoint and help address potential saetyhazards.To learn more about these programs, and to see i youqualiy or assistance, you may call the Foundationor Senior Citizens at 1-212-962-7559 or visit theFoundation’s website at
In additionto its home saety programs, this group also oersassistance with home sharing, respite care and otherservices or seniors.
Senator Addabbo joins with Ed Shusterich, an activeMiddle Village resident, to celebrate the placement o aplaque in Juniper Park commemorating 9/11 heroes andvictims.

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