Jan 29, 2010
Jan 27, 2010
For more information or to register, please click here: www.aoa.gov
Jan 26, 2010
is a comprehensive credit card reform bill that was signed into law by President Obama in May 2009. The Act will become effective on February 22, 2010, and provides new protections for consumers, including:
Enhanced disclosures of credit card terms require:
- Cardholders to be given 45 days notice of any interest rate increase
- Issuers to provide disclosures upon card renewal when the card terms have changed
- Issuers to disclose the period of time and total interest it will take to pay off the card balance if only minimum monthly payments are made
- Full disclosure of payment due dates and applicable late payment penalties.
Elimination of Universal Default - credit card issuers can no longer increase the interest rate on one card if a customer missed a payment on another card.
Restrictions on Interest Rate Hikes - no interest rate increases during the first year or on existing balances.
Penalty Payments - card issuers must wait until payments are 60 days late before charging penalty interest rates.
No Fees for Payment by Phone or Online
Bills Must Be Mailed 21 days Before Due Date - no weekend or early morning deadlines.
No More Two-Cycle or Double Billing - cardholders can’t average your balances for the last two statements and charge you interest on that number.
Application of payments - credit card companies must apply any payment above the minimum to the highest interest rate balance.
Over-the-Limit Fees - these fees can only be applied if the consumer consents to over-the-limit transactions.
Age Requirements - applicants under the age of 21 must obtain a co-signer OR show they have sufficient income.
Jan 25, 2010
On a fittingly spring-like day in Washington, some excellent news sprouted up from news reports of the President’s State of the Union address, which is set for this Wednesday evening. As part of a larger set of initiatives designed to help middle-class Americans, the White House will champion increases in existing programs that help older adults and their family caregivers.
While this will not be official until the President’s FY 2011 budget is released the first week in February, n4a believes that the budget will contain a total of $102.5 million in increases for three critical federal programs: $50 million for Title III-B, Supportive Services, of the Older Americans Act (OAA) and $52.5 million for OAA Title III-E, the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP), and the Lifespan Respite program, currently administered by the Administration on Aging. It is not yet clear how the funds for NFCSP and Lifespan Respite will be divided. These increases would represent a major increase for NFCSP and a 13.5 percent increase for III-B over FY 2010 funding levels. It is also a major victory for n4a’s advocates who have been pressing for OAA increases, most particularly Title III-B, for years.
References to this caregiving/aging initiative may be included in the President’s State of the Union address on January 27, so stay tuned.
To read the White House’s press release: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/president-obama-and-vice-president-biden-preview-initiatives-middle-class-families
To read the White House fact sheet, which provides more detail on the proposed initiatives:
Jan 21, 2010
The Retired Senior Volunteer Program’s Worcester Area Volunteers are organizing the donation drive. The items will be shipped by the International Medical Equipment Collaborative in North Andover to the Dominican Republic. The items will then be driven to Port-au-Prince, at the epicenter of the disaster.
Items may be dropped off at the Worcester Senior Center, 128 Providence St., starting Tuesday. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. RSVP health and safety coordinator Rita Sullivan said donations will be kept at the senior center until Feb. 12, when they will be picked up and sent on their way to Haiti. For more information, call Ms. Sullivan at (508) 791-7787.
From: Al Norman, Mass Home Care
Governor Patrick once again has failed to articulate any vision for an elderly agenda for the Commonwealth in his annual State of the State speech.
In 2009, the Governor said we should "check on your elderly neighbor when its cold to make sure the heat is on." That was the only reference to seniors.
In 2008, the Governor said: "Too many young families and seniors are still being pushed out of their homes by escalating property taxes."
And this evening's State of the State kept alive the absence of any elderly themes. The closest he came to a senior issue was one anecdote about a "grandmother" in Lynn who had to take in her children's family into her home---and then lost her job.
Nothing about how the state has driven down the use on institutions by 25% since 2000.
Nothing about the aspirations of seniors to live out the days at home.
Nothing about his frustrations to implement a plan that gives senior citizens a right to care in the least restrictive setting.
What could he say?
There are 2,300 seniors waiting to get into home care.
I impounded $2.5 million meant to help guide seniors to their alternatives to nursing homes.
I cut $1 million from the elder abuse protection program.
I failed to submit an 1115 waiver that we spent two years negotiating with the federal government.
I shut down virtually all of my "Community First" agenda.
This is the State of the State, and for this reason, there seemed to be very little for the Governor to talk about.
Jan 20, 2010
On the occasion of CMAA’s 35th Anniversary, Senator Harriette Chandler (D-Worcester) offered a Special Citation on behalf of the Massachusetts Senate. It was delivered to the offices in West Boylston after the recent event was cancelled due to weather.
In his letter of thanks sent to Sen. Chandler, Executive Director Robert P. Dwyer expressed the gratitude of CMAA’s Board and staff. He wrote:
...I would also like to recognize the help that you have offered to CMAA over these last several years. You have been a good friend to this Agency, certainly as an expression of your care and concern for your constituents who are elders and caregivers of elders. Your appreciation for our mission and work has always been felt.
Senator Chandler has been a friend of CMAA for many years. Our best wishes to her in the coming year!
Jan 9, 2010
Social Security Administrator Michael J. Asture has urged seniors who were rejected for the program in the past to reapply. This could save you as much as $4,000 in costs for you prescriptions on your Medicare Part D Program. If you feel you are qualified you can apply for the program online at www.socialsecurity.gov or by calling 1-800-772-1213. Seniors can also apply at their local Social Security office.
Jan 8, 2010
The SHINE program helps seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare to understand the many and increasingly complex insurance options available to them. The need for trained volunteers to educate and provide unbiased information has never been greater.
Through an intensive training program, SHINE (Serving Health Information Need of Elders) Counselors become certified to explain health insurance options. They work one-on-one with Medicare beneficiaries to educate, answer questions, solve problems, and screen for low-income health programs. SHINE Counselors also attend monthly meetings where they receive on-going training, support, and opportunities to share their experiences and concerns with other counselors. SHINE Counselors are expected to work an average of 5-6 hours per week meeting with clients and doing necessary follow-up work. They generally counsel in Senior Centers or other public settings that have a private meeting space. Some computer experience is required.
SHINE Counselors are intelligent and dedicated individuals, who are truly making a difference in many people’s lives. This is a unique and wonderful volunteer opportunity for the right person. Please consider joining our dedicated team. Training will be held this spring and will be held two days a week over a six week period. For more information about becoming a SHINE Counselor call Ed Roth, Central Region SHINE Director, at 508-422-9931. Bilingual, bicultural and minority individuals are encouraged to apply.