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Más de 2 millones de adultos mayores esperan por el Permiso Familiar Pagado

Por Nicolás Peña

NHCOA/MIA/Octubre 2016.-  Para 2018, se estima que más del 10% de los estadounidenses mayores de 75 años estarán trabajando o en búsqueda de empleo.

Esta cifra, difundida por The Wall Street Journal, se traduce en dos millones de personas aproximadamente, para quienes la  aprobación e implementación del  Permiso Familiar Pagado, a nivel nacional, debe ser una prioridad.

La mayoría asocia el Permiso Familiar Pagado con personas de 40 años, asumiendo que los adultos mayores se han retirado. Sin embargo, más del 30% de este grupo permanece en el mercado laboral.

Durante los últimos años, la cifra de adultos mayores con más de 65 años que continúan trabajando ha aumentado de forma alarmante. Y es precisamente esta población la que requiere contar con permisos remunerados para cuidar de su estado físico y mental.

Según datos publicados por BBC Mundo una cuarta parte de los adultos estadounidenses han sido amenazados o despedidos por solicitar permisos para recuperación médica o el cuidado de un familiar.

Con base a la aprobación de leyes federales que prohíben el despido de una persona por solicitar permisos para atender temas de salud, la Asociación Nacional por las Mujeres y la Familia, calificó con una “D” la legislación, que en el estado de Florida, rige sobre esta materia.

Tras una evaluación realizada por esa organización en todo el país, y reseñada por el Nuevo Herald, es muy poco lo hecho por The Sunshine State para mejorar la ley conocida como FMLA. Aunque el informe puntualiza la necesidad del permiso remunerado por maternidad, deja también la interrogante sobre el cuidado a un familiar tras una emergencia médica.

El permiso familiar y/o médico (FMLA) ofrece al trabajador, entre otras garantías, la posibilidad de recuperarse de una condición física grave; cuidar de hijos/as; esposo/a o padres con un estado de salud grave. Sin embargo, no obliga al empleador la continuidad del pago salarial durante la licencia.

Actualmente, se impulsa el proyecto de ley para el Permiso Familiar Pagado, conocido como el PFL por sus siglas en inglés. Su aprobación garantizaría el pago durante la ausencia por motivos médicos o cuidados de un familiar de hasta un máximo de 20 semanas, sin temor a perder el seguro médico ni el puesto de trabajo. Si requiere mayor información comuníquese al 866-488-7379.

Day Two: Take control of your health by getting covered!

Over the next 12 days, we will be sharing daily posts to motivate you to think about your health and well-being during the holiday season. Some posts will focus on handy tips, while others will offer a reflexion. We hope these words will inspire you and we invite you to share them with friends, neighbors and family. 

12 Dias-25

You have heard a lot about the Health Insurance Marketplace and the Affordable Care Act, especially this week as we approach the deadline to sign up or re-enroll for coverage starting January 1, 2015. Therefore, it’s important to make a clear distinction: those who review their options and enroll or re-enroll by tomorrow (December 15) will be covered starting the New Year. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get covered for 2015.

The Open Enrollment Period runs through February 15, 2015. The difference between enrolling before or after December 15 is the month in which your coverage would start. As previously mentioned, if you enroll by tomorrow, December 15, your health care coverage will kick in January 1, 2015. If you enroll after December 15, your coverage would start in February or March, depending on the exact enrollment date.

This means that you could uninsured for several weeks. This is why we recommend reviewing your options and enrolling by tomorrow, December 15. If you live in Miami-Dade County, FL or Dallas County, TX our federal and state-certified NHCOA Navigators can assist you at no cost. While our Navigators specifically conduct outreach to the Spanish-speaking populations within these two counties, they are bilingual and prepared to guide you through the enrollment process.

You can also get the word out by sharing these Spanish language materials with your social media networks:

Recursos Navegadores NHCOA-03

Día Dos: ¡Asegúrese por su salud y la de su familia!

En los próximos 12 días estaremos compartiendo escritos diarios para motivarles a pensar en la salud y el bienestar suyos, de sus padres y abuelos y de toda la familia durante en las fiestas de fin de año. Algunos escritos ofrecerán consejos cortos, mientras que otros llamarán a la reflexión. Esperamos que estas palabras lo inspiren y que las comparta con sus amigos, vecinos y seres queridos.

12 Dias-26

Se habla mucho en la prensa acerca del Mercado de Seguros Médicos y la Ley de Cuidado Asequible, especialmente en estos días que se acerca la fecha límite para extender o comenzar cobertura médica para el primero de enero del 2015. Así que vamos a esclarecer esta información importante: personas aseguradas o buscando cobertura en el Mercado tienen hasta mañana (15 de diciembre) para revisar sus opciones e inscribirse para asegurar tener seguro médico a partir del inicio del año. Pero, esto no quiere decir que si no inscribe mañana no podrá tener cobertura médica en el 2015.

El periodo para inscribirse en el Mercado de Seguros Médico se extiende hasta el 15 de febrero de 2015. La diferencia entre personas que se inscribieron antes y después del 15 de diciembre es el mes en que empieza su cobertura. Como dijimos anteriormente, si se inscribe a más tardar mañana, 15 de diciembre, su cobertura empezará el primero de enero del 2015. Si se inscribe después, su cobertura empezará el febrero o marzo, dependiendo de la fecha que se someta la solicitud.

Esto significa que puede estar varias semanas sin cobertura médica. Por eso recomendamos que aprovechen para revisar sus opciones y tomar una decisión acerca de su cobertura médica a más tardar mañana, 15 de diciembre.

Si vive en el condado de Miami-Dade en la Florida o el condado de Dallas en Texas, puede recibir ayuda de navegadores certificados NHCOA gratis y en su idioma.

También puede pasar la voz con estos materiales para las redes sociales:

Recursos Navegadores NHCOA-03

Stories from the Field: Medicare Fraud in South Florida

This week, the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) is hosting its annual Regional Meeting in Miami, FL. While in Miami, NHCOA team members met with staff from its local affiliate, Abriendo Puertas – a community-based organization that provides resources and services to the Little Havana neighborhood, including anti-Medicare fraud education through the National Hispanic SMP (NHSMP).

This service is particularly important in South Florida since Miami has long been known as ground zero for Medicare fraud, finding itself at the center of major fraud busts that garner national headlines. There are several factors that make Miami a prime location for scammers, including its high population Medicare beneficiaries and Hispanics.  In fact, studies show that scammers target populations that are affected by poverty, lower levels of formal education, cultural and linguistic barriers, and social isolation. As a result, Hispanic older adults are among the most vulnerable to Medicare fraud. Therefore, the work that Abriendo Puertas accomplishes through NHSMP is critical for our community in South Florida.

While the Abriendo Puertas staff has seen many scammers disappear and an increase in victims reporting Medicare fraud, they concede that it is still a serious and wide spread issue that affects our padres y abuelitos (parents and grandparents) on a daily basis. For each fraudulent pharmacy or medical practice that shuts down, another one pops up in its place. In fact, there is a fraudulent health care agency that recently opened near Abriendo Puertas, resulting in an ironic contrast between scammers and those who work to stop them.

The agency’s purpose is to enroll Medicare beneficiaries in their fraudulent health care program, cancelling their current Medicare plans and leaving them without the ability to receive crucial benefits. In order to carry out this scam, the agency takes advantage of the economic insecurity that many Hispanic older adults face. A recent report showed that 70.1% of Hispanic older adults live of the verge of poverty – the highest of any racial/ethnic group in the U.S. Aware of this fact, the scammers offer the beneficiaries much needed money to enroll in fraudulent health care plans. Since many live in poverty and are forced to choose between food, medication or housing, this extra money can be the difference between going to bed hungry and eating a filling dinner. In addition to this “signing bonus,” the agency attracts new clients by offering access to its beauty salon and gym.

Competing with scammers that offer such attractive incentives can be difficult for anti-Medicare fraud advocates, especially because suspicions alone are not sufficient. When reporting Medicare fraud, it’s necessary to provide proof in order for the legal system to address it.

However, one of the best tools we have in the fight against Medicare fraud is our community because we are our own best advocates. Therefore, NHCOA developed the National Hispanic SMP program, which seeks to make Medicare fraud prevention a family affair. The NHMSP works to train volunteers in local communities across the country on how to prevent fraud. Additionally, the program provides education and outreach efforts to Medicare beneficiaries in a linguistically, culturally and age appropriate manner. Overall, the NHSMP exists to educate and empower individuals to detect, protect and report Medicare fraud. For more information about Medicare fraud and the NHSMP, please visit the program’s website.

Hispanic Older Adults Are Among the Most Vulnerable to Fraud

Join NHCOA’s efforts to educate Hispanic older adults and caregivers on how to detect, prevent, and report Medicaid fraud

The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) — the leading national organization working to improve the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families and their caregivers — is working to raise awareness and empower Hispanics to detect, protect, and report any sign of scam or fraud.

Generally, seniors are more likely to be victims of fraud than any other age group.  From phony lotteries to email schemes, fraud against seniors can take many forms and may result in identity theft, false records, and medical errors.  Scammers often take advantage of the fact that many older adults depend on Medicare for their health care needs. Hispanic elders, who are burdened by linguistic and cultural barriers, are particularly at risk.

Undoubtedly, Medicare fraud is one of the biggest scams targeting older adults in the U.S. today, and when our abuelitos are scammed, they are not the only victims. Everyone is affected by the Medicare fraud perpetrated by a few because the stolen money is collected from taxpayer dollars. As a result, each year billions of taxpayer dollars are lost to Medicare fraud.

With the support from the Administration on Aging (AoA), NHCOA is working to protect our Hispanic older adults through the National Hispanic Senior Medicare Patrol (NHSMP) initiative, an offshoot of the federal government’s anti-Medicare fraud program.

As Hispanics grow to be the largest diverse aging group, the NHSMP program is recruiting and training Hispanic older adults, their families and their caregivers to learn about Medicare fraud and spread the word in the community to empower others to prevent, detect, and report Medicare fraud.

Several clients at Abriendo Puertas, one of NHCOA’s local partners that aids low-income residents in Miami, FL, have had experiences with fraud.  “I went to apply for public assistance at a service center, and they used my information to enroll me in a Medicare plan without my consent,” said Fransisco Ferrer, an Abriendo Puertas client.  “Because of this, I ran out of health services for three months. Thanks to the Medicare fraud prevention information that I received from Abriendo Puertas, I was able to resolve the issue and regain my tranquility. The National Hispanic SMP services are appropriate for my needs.”

In order to detect, prevent, and report fraud, it is important to be aware of its common signs.  You or your loved one has been a victim of Medicare fraud when:

  • You are charged for services that have been previously billed, or for services, screenings or medical equipment that were not received.
  • You receive products and services you do not need.
  • Someone has stolen your Medicare number.

Each scenario represents an act of abuse being committed against our seniors that compromises their wellbeing. These acts also lead to the theft of Medicare dollars, which subsequently hurts the taxpayer.

To report Medicare fraud and join the National Hispanic SMP program, call NHCOA’s toll-free hotline, 1-866-488-7379. Also visit www.nhcoa.org/Medicare/ for more information and additional resources. Remember that Medicare fraud prevention is a collaborative effort since it is a problem that affects us all, not just our seniors.

Vacunémonos: Empowering Florida Hispanic Older Adults to Get Vaccinated

Everyone needs to get vaccinated, including older adults.  In an effort to increase the rates of vaccination among Hispanic older adults and their families, NHCOA has expanded its Vacunémonos program to Florida training an additional group of 24 promotores de salud from Abriendo Puertas in South Florida and Latino Leadership, Inc. in Central Florida.
Continue reading “Vacunémonos: Empowering Florida Hispanic Older Adults to Get Vaccinated”