Social Security and its Office of the Inspector General continue to receive reports about fraudulent phone calls from people claiming to be Social Security employees. These scammers try to trick people into providing personal information or money, and often threaten their victims with arrest. Don’t be fooled.
Although new rules and social distancing regulations have been put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still resources available to you just a phone call away. Social Security services can be provided at no cost from the safety of your home.
There are many Medicare options available to seniors that will ensure that your medical costs and healthcare needs will be covered in your retirement. But Medicare is complex and difficult to navigate on your own, so it is important that you select a local advisor who knows the Hawai‘i market and will find the right insurance plan for you.
Preparing yourself with the proper tools helps to make any job a bit easier. If you are baking, you need the proper ingredients. When building something, you need hammers, nails and other related items. It’s the same when you are preparing for your Health Plan Open Enrollment session; or if you are a caregiver, for your person’s Medicare Annual Enrollment.
Tax season is officially under way, and Hawai‘i residents can count on AARP Tax-Aide volunteers to help reduce tax stress. Beginning Feb. 1, AARP-trained and IRS-certified volunteers will be available at 45 locations throughout the state to help taxpayers prepare basic federal and state forms.
Q: How do I show proof of my Social Security benefit amount?
A: There are several ways to do this:
Hawai‘i’s Sage PLUS (SHIP) counselors are often asked, “What is Medicare, and how does it affect me?” Medicare is the United State’s federal health insurance that is available to those 65 years and older, and to people at any age with certain disabilities. You can choose to use the government’s Original/Traditional Medicare, or a commercial Medicare Health Plan or a Medicare Supplement (also known as “Medigap” insurance).
This February share your heart with those special people by using your Medicare Preventive Benefits. As of January 1, 2011, under Original/ Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans there are no co-pays for preventive benefits. That means if your doctor feels that you could benefit from a cardiovascular screening you will pay nothing out of pocket for the screen.
If you are a bride-to-be planning a wedding, there’s so much to do: get the dress; choose a caterer; book a venue; select the flowers. But there’s one more important thing you may need to put on your list: contact Social Security if there’s going to be a name change.
The “Extra Help” and the “Medicare Savings Programs” now allow more people with Medicare to pay $2.50 for generics drugs, $6.30 for brand name drugs, never experience the “donut hole” and to get help from the State of Hawai‘i in paying for their Medicare Part A and/ or B Premiums.
Who are hoarders and clutterers? Television shows like Mission Organization and Hoarders on A&E TV have brought to the forefront this behavior that is often observed but rarely addressed. On a more sobering note, it has opened our eyes to thousands who may find themselves living with fear, isolation, shame and self-neglect.
These days, everyone is taking a new look at their finances—and no one is looking more closely than the millions of baby boomers who are nearing retirement age. While some boomers expected to retire at one of the traditional milestones, such as age 62, the current economy is forcing many of them to re-evaluate their plans.
The cool winds and changing leaves are telltale signs—another autumn has arrived. Sometimes it’s hard to believe how quickly the seasons change and the years pass by. Whatever season of life you happen to be in, it may be a good time to reflect on the protection you have through Social Security.
Now that we have your attention … Medicare is available in all 50 states and territories, including Las Vegas. Now is the time to review your Medicare options for both health and drug plans. Medicare Open Enrollment is November 15th to December 31, 2010, but you can compare options beginning October 15, 2010.
Aging is inevitable; it is a process of growing old. However, it should not influence an individual’s life expectancy. We are able to live long and healthy lives if we live a healthy lifestyle by exercising, eating right, and for some, taking medications as prescribed by a health care provider. “Healthy aging” helps us take control of a natural part of life.
Across the state, Hawai‘i’s AARP chapters offer rewarding opportunities for friendship, education, advocacy and volunteer service. On O‘ahu there are three AARP chapters in Honolulu, Pearlridge and Wai‘anae.
If you’re one of more than 193,000 Hawaii residents who depend on Medicare for stable, affordable health care, the new health reform package passed by Congress this year offers benefits you should know about.
The Hawaii Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) includes a website and statewide single access phone number designed to make comprehensive information on aging, health and disability services readily available to seniors and disabled adults, as well as their caregivers.
The Elderly Affairs Division (EAD) is the designated Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and serves as the City and County of Honolulu’s focal point for older adults. The agency is part of a national network of 56 state units on aging created by the Older Americans Act of 1965.
Technology has transformed our daily lives in so many ways — from the way we get our news, to the way we seek entertainment. Can technology also transform the way we take care of our elder loved ones?
On May 29, 2010 my husband and I were enjoying a vacation in the Pacific Northwest when we received a “frantic” call from my sister-in-law who was staying with my 92-year-old mother-in-law. We had ordered a refill of Mom’s medication through her Medicare Part D plan. The plan called to see if it was okay to put a $1,200 charge on my credit card. “But I thought Mom has Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage” my sister-in-law exclaimed. Mom does have a Part D plan but she had reached the “donut hole” or coverage gap in the plan. How did this happen?
Social Security can get a bit tricky, so we’ve brought in some help — Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay, a Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Hawaii. Here are her answers to a few Frequently Asked Questions.
If you are divorced, there are several things you should know about Social Security. A divorced spouse may be eligible for benefits on more than one work record—such as one’s own record and an ex-spouse’s record. This applies to both divorced men and women. If you’ve never asked Social Security about receiving benefits based on your ex-spouse’s work, you should consider it. Some divorced people may get a higher benefit based on their ex’s work.
There’s a service available that can help you feel empowered and stay engaged with individuals or co-workers. Relay Conference Captioning (RCC) is a free* service available to Hawai‘i residents who are deaf or hard of hearing that enables them to actively participate in multiparty teleconference calls or web conferences. The service enables you to participate in teleconference calls or webinars by reading live captions through a web browser on your computer or mobile device. Saving a copy of the RCC transcript is one of the available options.
In response to this epidemic of isolation, a strategy called “home sharing” has been implemented in many U.S. cities for over 40 years. Recently, the nonprofit Hawaii Intergenerational Network (HIN), with funding from the HMSA, Kaiser and Atherton Family foundations, began a project called “Homesharing Hawaii” to offer a similar program in the state that will help seniors safely age in place and secure very affordable housing for low- and moderate-income renters. It is also a cost effective program because it doesn’t require building new housing or providing ongoing rental subsidies.
On Feb. 14, Hawai‘i District 5000 Rotary Clubs sponsored 42 island high school students for the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards camp at Salvation Army’s Camp Homelani in Waialua. Activities encourage leadership, citizenship and personal growth. Evidence-based, fun-filled experiences promote community service above self and develop youth empowerment for students who demonstrate potential leadership skills.
Now that your Hawai‘i driver’s license does not have your Social Security number on it, you may need to get an original or replacement card to use as a separate piece of identification. Getting or replacing your Social Security card is a free service. You can use a my Social Security account to request a replacement Social Security card online if you…
The State Office of Veterans’ Services’ (OVS) motto is “proud to serve those who served their country.” We accomplish our mission by reaching out to eligible veterans and helping them file service-connected disability claims for benefits and entitlements they’ve earned through military service. We have offices on Kaua‘i, Maui, Kona, Hilo, Tripler Army Medical Center and Diamond Head. We travel to Moloka‘i monthly and Lāna‘i quarterly. OVS-accredited counselors work very hard to assist all veterans who are separating or retiring from active service.
Each year, we announce the Social Security (SS) annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). In 2020, nearly 69 million Americans are receiving a 1.6 percent increase in their SS benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.
The Rotary Club of Honolulu is teaming with Miracle Ear Foundation’s Gift of Sound™ program, which provides free hearing aids to those that qualify. The application fee is $150, which includes a hearing assessment, hearing aid fittings and follow-up adjustments. While supplies last, the Rotary Club of Honolulu will assist those who can not afford the $150 application fee through its Can You Hear Us Now? program.
Social Security is an earned benefit. SS keeps track of your earnings so you can be payed the benefits you’ve earned over your lifetime. This is why reviewing your SS earnings record is so important. You can do much of your business with SS online.
I’m trying to figure out how much to save for my retirement. Does the government offer any help with financial education? Will my son be eligible to receive benefits on his retired father’s record while going to college?
Meaningful employment is one of the best ways to keep fit in every way as we age — socially, mentally and even physically. But some of Waikīkī Community Center’s clients had difficulty finding employment. Retirees also found that the way people look for work has changed significantly. Others felt employers didn’t want to hire them due to their age. Many wanted to change career paths entirely. Therefore, WCC started Back-to-Work Force, a free service employment program focused on adults 50 and over.
Assistance is available for some people with limited income and assets who may be eligible for a program called “Extra Help.” It’s a Medicare health plan that assists in paying costs related to a Medicare prescription drug plan. This can include monthly premiums, annual deductibles and prescription co-payments. Extra Help is estimated to be worth about $4,900 per year. Many people qualify and don’t even know it.
Many seniors approaching retirement age have not built up adequate savings in their Social Security accounts. By finding employment before taking SS withdrawals, seniors can build up accounts and ensure a healthier retirement payments when the time comes. The Honolulu Community Action Program Inc. administers the Senior Community Service Employment Program for low-income seniors who meet the program’s eligibility requirements:
Are you caring for someone over 60 who is living at home? Then, Project Dana has a special program just for you, called the “Caring Giver Support Group” or CGSG. Using education and group training sessions, CGSG helps caregivers to better understand their loved ones while learning to care for themselves, as well. Group sessions are also a safe place to connect and talk story about the joys and frustrations of being a caregiver.
With National Caregivers Month quickly approaching, let’s remember former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, who said it best in 2012—“There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers.” As a caregiver, what questions should I ask to help me assess the best Medicare Advantage (health plan) possible?
Most men seem to have little knowledge about prostate cancer, even though it is one of the most common cancers found in men in the U.S. Until diagnosed, most of us tend to ignore the issue entirely. I was no different some six years ago — before I was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer. I was in denial, even though I was symptomatic. I convinced myself that I knew better and self-diagnosed what I thought was simply an enlarged prostate. Little did I know I was about to embark upon an adventure and steepen my learning curve on the topic.
Hawai‘i has 268,000 Medicare beneficiaries in 2019 — nearly 19 percent of the state’s total population. About 45 percent of Hawai‘i’s beneficiaries select Medicare Advantage plans. The remaining 55 percent are covered under Original Medicare. Every year during Medicare’s Annual Election Period, Medicare beneficiaries can add, drop or switch plans. Medicare health plans and prescription drug plans can change in cost, coverage and services every year, so look at your plan’s coverage for 2020 and compare it with other plans.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, more than 59 million people in the United States have Medicare. That number is expected to grow to close to 80 million by 2030. Currently, people 65 or older and younger people with disabilities who meet all other eligibility requirements may qualify. Therefore, it is important to start becoming familiar with Medicare terms and definitions. Here are a few.
My child who gets Social Security will be attending his last year of high school in the fall. He turns 19 in a few months. Do I need to fill out a form for his benefits to continue? Yes. You should receive a SSA-1372-BK form in the mail about three months before your son’s birthday. Your son needs to complete the form and take it to his school’s office for certification.
Our parents may have had an easier time than many of us do now. When they turned 65 years old, they were eligible for full Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare. Today, depending on the year you were born, your full SS may not take effect until you are 67, so you may continue to work and you’re eligible for Medicare. So what should you do?
Maui Economic Opportunity administers more than 40 programs and provides tools to help people and change lives through five departments: MEO Business Development Center, Community Services, Early Childhood Services, Transportation Services and Youth Services. Services for low-income seniors are at the core of MEO programs, administered through MEO Community Services.
I’m planning to retire next year. I served in the Navy back in the 1960s and need to make sure I get credit for my military service. What do I need to do?
Most people use new or upgraded versions of cars, phones, appliances and all sorts of gadgets to manage their daily lives. Yet, they seem surprised to learn of a loved one’s, a friend’s or their own need for a medical procedure to maintain or improve functional capabilities. The need for a knee or hip replacement or cataract surgery comes as a shock or a hardship.
Long-Term Care Ombudsmen are advocates for residents living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult residential care homes, expanded adult residential care homes and community care foster family homes. We are NOT the state inspectors and do not write deficiencies or issue fines or citations. Our focus has always been on quality of life and quality of care issues — advocating for all our residents so their rights can be honored and protected.
Since 1989, ALU LIKE’s Elderly Services Department, Ke Ola Pono No Nā Kūpuna (KOPP), has provided nutrition and supportive services (recreation, education, promotion of well-being) to independent Native Hawaiians 60 years of age or older on the islands of Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i, Maui, Moloka‘i and O‘ahu. Today, there are 18 site locations statewide.
Lanakila Meals on Wheels, a program of Lanakila Pacific, works with registered dietitians and chefs to ensure their healthy and delicious meals meet or exceed USDA nutrition guidelines while addressing the age-related dietary needs of seniors.
Did you know Medicare coverage includes preventive services? Contact your doctor for more information and to schedule recommended preventive screenings, care, and to participate in educational classes. (Cost sharing and other limitations may apply.)
My Social Security gives you a personal online account you can securely use to check your Social Security information and do business with us. With a my Social Security account you can perform a variety of tasks.
The general enrollment period for Medicare Part B, medical insurance, begins January 1 and runs through March 31. Keep in mind that, although there is no monthly premium for Medicare Part A, there will be a premium for your Medicare Part B. And in most cases, that premium goes up each 12-month period you were eligible for it and elected not to enroll.
In 2019, a new Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, from January 1 to March 31, will begin and is expected to run annually. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you’ll have the opportunity to switch to another Medicare Advantage Plan or to Original Medicare Parts A and B.
Although improved fitness plays a significant role in improving overall health and reducing your risk for disease, Medicare usually does not cover exercise classes or the services of a personal trainer. However, when medically necessary, Medicare Part B may cover occupational and physical therapy, which could include some exercise and fitness training.
Falling isn’t fun for anyone, but as we get older falling can have serious, life-changing effects. These injuries can require skilled nursing care — or worse, falls can be fatal. The good news is that falling can often be prevented.
One question that is frequently asked by people about to turn 65 who have health insurance through an employer is: “Do I need to enroll in Medicare?” Good question! If you or your spouse are still working when you turn age 65 and have insurance through your employer you may consider delaying Medicare Part A and Part B until you retire if you have Creditable Coverage, which means coverage as good as Medicare. Or you can choose to elect your Part A, which is premium-free, and delay Part B until retirement. Depending on the size of the group, one plan would be primary while the other would be secondary.
Social Security benefits are paid each month. Generally, new retirees receive their benefits on either the second, third, or fourth Wednesday of each month, depending on the day in the month the retiree was born.
Volunteering is a popular antidote to feelings of isolation that can occur as we age. Here are two programs that enable seniors to share their time and skills with younger generations.
According to Kathryn Coleman, Director at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), a final rule issued in April 2018 has redefined the “primarily health related” supplement benefit definition. As a result, CMS expects Medicare Advantage plan sponsors to begin offering services for enrollees needing assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL) or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL).
Q: I’m trying to decide when to retire. Can Social Security help?
A: The best place to start is with a visit to the
online Social Security Statement. The statement provides you with estimates of benefits for you and your family as well as your earnings record and information you should consider about retirement and retirement planning.
The Big Island again finds itself dealing with a large number of people displaced by a lava event. “The fast-moving lava flow from Kīlauea volcano on May 3, 2018, forced 1,500 residents out of their homes and in search of shelter,” says Kimo Alameda, County Executive on Aging.
Have you heard these questions before: “How do I get my Mom to let go of her things?”, “Why does my Dad not want to get rid of his junk?” and “I’m not making much progress with them, what am I doing wrong?” Most times the answer isn’t black and white, as it really depends on the emotional attachment a person has to those items. Every item has a memory or a story that tugs at their heart, and for those reasons, they can’t get rid of them.
I’m applying for disability benefits. Do I automatically receive Medicare benefits if I’m approved for disability benefits?
Recognizing the growing burden of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Alzheimer’s Association launched “The Healthy Brain Initiative” in 2013 to improve the diagnosis of dementia, and find and institute preventive measures.
Aging is a natural process that no one wants to face alone. Many people choose to live alone in their home as they age, but find themselves depressed, lonely and not eating right. There are many benefits to living in a retirement community.
Hawaii Five-0 flawlessly executed the eighth season’s Sunset on The Beach premiere. The event attracts thousands of fans from across the world, cheering as the cast arrive at the red carpet, like former Honolulu resident Judy Glassmaker, who returns every year and who grew up watching the original series.
In 2017, Hawai‘i legislators and Gov. David Ige created the Kupuna Caregivers Program. This program helps family caregivers who work at least 30 hours per week outside the home by providing a $70-per-day benefit in services that could help make home caregiving for aging family members more affordable.
Yoko Futa, an 83-year-old former clerk for the Dept. of Transportation, volunteers for about 10 hours a week, helping patients at Queen’s hospitals. Yoko Futa is a member of The Queen’s Medical Center’s Volunteers in Place program, a way for community-minded people and groups to serve at home, centers or sites.
The Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), one of the largest senior volunteer networks in the U.S., is one of three Senior Corps programs funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that supports service and volunteering.
Many of these supporters dutifully provide care without complaint. Yet, demands may start to take a toll and their own health may be compromised.t’s estimated there are more than 150,000 unpaid family caregivers in Hawai‘i. These valuable helpers are typically women in their early 60s who are caring for their husbands or elderly parents while still working. And that doesn’t take into account those who may occasionally care for their grandchildren, as well.
The City and County of Honolulu offers a real property tax credit to property owners who meet certain eligibility requirements. If you qualify, you are entitled to a tax credit equal to the amount of taxes owed for the current tax year that exceed 3 percent of the titleholders’ combined gross income.
Henry Ford once said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80; anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
Na Kupuna is a program that provides seniors an opportunity to do just that. As a part of the University of Hawaii’s Student Equity Excellence Diversity (SEED) initiative, Na Kupuna opens up college courses to seniors age 60 and older, which they can attend for free. About 650 senior citizens take advantage of this program every semester!
Medicaid Program To the Rescue by Cassandra Stewart, Executive Director, Cardon Outreach from the Oct-Nov 2016 issue of Generations Magazine, Hawai‘i’s Resource for Life
‘Silent Teachers’ Help Future Doctors by Steven Labrash, CFSP, Director UH Willed Body Program from the Oct-Nov 2016 issue of Generations Magazine, Hawai‘i’s Resource for Life
We Salute Veterans Every Day by Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Hawai‘i from the Oct-Nov 2016 issue of Generations Magazine, Hawai‘i’s Resource for Life
How to Chill Hot and Spicy by Annette Pang, Relationship Life Coach from the Oct-Nov 2016 issue of Generations Magazine, Hawai‘i’s Resource for Life