Please take a moment to check out the May newsletter, meet our new staff members, and get the latest news on the upcoming Magic City Chocolate Challenge! You can also visit us at our website, Facebook, and Twitter.
Medicare dual eligibles are individuals with Medicare Part A and/or B who also qualify for a Medicare Savings Program (MSP) or qualify for Medicaid benefits. Dual eligibles generally qualify for Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) benefits, in which Medicare premiums, deductibles, and copayments are covered by Medicaid–effectively providing full health coverage.
Section 231 of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 created a new type of Medicare Advantage coordinated care plan focused on individuals with “special needs” called the Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan (SNP) program. “Special needs individuals” were identified by Congress as: 1) institutionalized; 2) dually eligible; and/or 3) individuals with severe or disabling chronic conditions.
Medicare is facing challenges. By 2030, Medicare eligible beneficiaries are expected to double. In a few years, Medicare won’t be able to pay the full amount of hospital costs. Congress has time to address the issues that are affecting higher health care costs; they should allow Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prcices. Improving technology could eliminate duplication and misuse of expensive testing, while improved information sharing would lead to better fradulent claims detection. Please reach out to your member of the House and Senators Shelby and Sessions to stop changes to Medicare that are harmful to senior citizens and people with disabilities. Contact information is available at http://www.house/gov and http://www.senate.gov.
Kiersten came to Disability Rights & Resources from the Greater Birmingham Humane Society, where she developed enrichment programs for volunteers as well as engaged the community in animal welfare causes. She was previosuly a Licensed Veterinary Nurse for many years but realized that her passion was in outreach and helping others improve their communities. Kiersten is active in a variety of organizations incudling the Humane Society of the United States and the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. Outside of her professional interests, Kiersten enjoys traveling, camping, reading, and living in Birmingham with her husband and rescue dogs.
Vickie is a native of Fairfield, Alabama and previously worked with Disability Rights & Resources as the Homeless Outreach Specialist. She has worked with the disability community for several years and is very excited to return to Disability Rights & Resoures. Her goal as Peer Advocate is to maximize every aspect of her role by empowering and motivating those with disabilities to become proactive in their environments. As a result, she aims to minimize barriers that stand in the way of acheiving self-sufficiency. Vickie’s motto is “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” (Margaret Mead).
Also returning to the staff is Liz Johnson, Disability Rights & Resources’ new Work Incentives Counselor (WIC) with the Alabama BOND Program!
Liz grew up in Dothan and attended the University of Alabama. She began working for Social Security as a Service Representative in Dothan and was later promoted to Claims Representative after relocating to Tuscaloosa. As a Work Incentives Counselor, Liz will be using her extensive knowledge of Social Security to assist SSDI beneficiaries in managing their benefits and promoting self-sufficiency through employment. Aside from her professional interests, Liz has a strong passion for traveling, and New York is one of her most frequented and beloved destinations. She is also a longtime volunteer with Meals on Wheels and is a founding member of the Tuscaloosa Wine Club. Welcome back, Liz!
The first annual Magic City Chocolate Challenge will take place on Thursday, June 27 at Cantina Pepper Place, 2901 2nd Ave S #110. The fundraising event will last from 5-9pm, with proceeds going towards Disability Rights & Resources’ new facility, located in the heart of the Civil Rights District. Tickets are $25 and include samplings from chocolate competitors, happy hour drink prices, and two raffle tickets. Please visit our website and check out next month’s newsletter for more information!
Disability Rights & Resources Job Announcement
We are seeking a Work Incentives Counselor (WIC) to provide work incentives planning and assistance directly to beneficiaries with disabilities under the Alabama Benefit Offset National Demonstration (BOND) Project, which is funded by the Social Security Administration. Qualified applicants will possess a knowledge of SSDI, SSI, public benefits, and federal work incenvites in addition to having strong interviewing, counseling, and evaluation skills. People with disabilities are encouraged to apply; Bachelor’s degree in psychology, vocational guidance, counseling, or related fields is desireable. To apply, go to http://www.aansocial.org. Under, “Find a Job” enter “Work Incentives Counselor.”
Mark Your Calendars!
May 9: Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD, http://www.globalaccessibilityawarenessday.org/)
May 15: Montgomery Center for Independent Living “Chat and Chew” 11-1, Montgomery
May 29: Disability Rights & Resources Peer Support Meeting, 11 AM
Disability Rights & Resources Technology Lab Open Mon-Fri 8:30-4
* Please note that Disability Rights & Resources is a fragrance-free environment, and we ask that you refrain from wearing any scented products while visiting our facility. Thanks!