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4 posts from March 2017

March 28, 2017

Thanks to all who helped defeat Trump's so-called healthcare bill!

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Dear Friends,
 

Two weeks ago, SAGE asked you to tell Congress to oppose the so-called American Health Care Act. You spoke up - loudly and clearly. Thanks to you, and to thousands of other outraged Americans, we stopped this dangerous legislation in its tracks.   

Last Friday, we were victorious. But there is so much work ahead.
 
Just last week we learned that the federal government's leading survey about publicly funded elder services - the National Survey of Older Americans Acts Participants - has completely eliminated questions that allowed people to identify as LGBT. SAGE fought for years for LGBT older people to be included in this vital survey that informs $2 billion in spending on critical elder services.
 
We only have until May 12 to tell the administration, that "we refuse to be invisible!"  Click here to make your voice heard, and tell the Trump administration that LGBT elders count.
 
Thank you for your activism!
 
Michael Adams, CEO
 
Invisible
March 20, 2017

The Trump Administration is Erasing LGBT Elders

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Dear Friends,

It's highly unusual for me to send you two messages in two weeks asking you to stand up and advocate for LGBT elders. But these are highly unusual times. We must be prepared to step up to the plate as often as necessary, whether it's denouncing a plan that would rob millions of older Americans of health insurance, or fighting efforts to make LGBT elders invisible in federally-funded senior services.

Just how effective are those services at supporting LGBT elders? Apparently, the Trump Administration doesn't want to know the answer, or even want to acknowledge that LGBT elders exist. In fact, they're proposing to completely erase LGBT elders from the federal government's annual national survey about elder services.

Our community fought for years to get our elders included in this critically important survey, which helps the government decide how to spend billions of dollars on senior services. And now, with one wave of their wand, the new Administration wants to make our elders disappear from the survey, despite the fact that they have been subjected to discrimination their entire lives and still face discrimination today. 

If there's one thing I know in my heart, it's that we must be a community that cares about our elders. We refuse to allow them to be cast aside. We refuse to be made invisible by the Trump Administration or anybody else.

Today, caring means fighting back. Fortunately, the law gives the American people the right to weigh in before the federal government takes a drastic step like erasing an entire community of elders. It's called a "public comment period." If you care about our LGBT elders, now is the time to act. Step up. Make your voices heard. Submit a comment. Say "NO" to the erasure of LGBT elders by the Trump Administration!

Tell Trump that we refuse to be invisible.

Invisible

In solidarity,

MichaelAdams

 



Michael Adams, CEO

 

March 10, 2017

Health of LGBT Elders is Under Attack

We at SAGE have grave concerns about the potential repeal of Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) and its replacement by the so-called American Health Care Act (AHCA). This dangerous legislation hurts those who can least afford it -- low and moderate income people in their 50s and 60s. The AHCA would eliminate most of the help currently provided to older people so they can afford health insurance and specifically lifts restrictions on charging older people more than what younger people pay.

The implications for LGBT elders are severe. LGBT older people are more likely than other older Americans to have serious health problems and more likely to be poor. That's especially true for older lesbians, transgender elders and LGBT elders of color. Simply put, the AHCA would endanger their health.

And that's not all. The AHCA also would weaken Medicare and put Medicaid (which many Americans need for long term care) at risk. The end result would be millions of older Americans -- including many LGBT elders -- with no health care at all. That's not what caring looks like.

At SAGE, we refuse to sit by silently in the face of this clear attack on older people, especially when so many of our LGBT elder pioneers would be so deeply hurt. We're a community that takes care of our own.

We must condemn and oppose the American Health Care Act. If you care about older members of our LGBT community, take a stand today. Click below to easily send a letter to your member of Congress.

Congress

March 2, 2017

Diverse Elders Coalition Q&A About the ACA

The Diverse Elders Coalition has released a informative and incredibly helpful article outlining the Affordable Care Act repeal in the United States. We urge you to take a look and have many of your concerns settled. After reading, don't forget to check out The Diverse Elders Coalition and all their amazing work! 

" With the confirmation of Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), diverse elders may have more questions than ever about the future of the Affordable Care Act. The Diverse Elders Coalition will make protecting healthcare access a priority in the coming months, and as we learn more about the fate of the ACA, we will communicate that on our blogand social media.

In the meantime, here are some questions and answers about the Affordable Care Act and where things stand right now. If you have additional questions, please reach out to the health navigators at www.healthcare.gov or contact us.

 

Q: If I am enrolled in a Healthcare.gov insurance plan for 2017, can I count on that coverage?
A: Yes, your coverage will be valid through 2017. Your insurance plan through the Marketplace is a contract signed with an insurance company that cannot be repealed, and the terms of the contract are valid for the calendar year after you’ve paid your first premium.

Q: Will financial subsidies still be available for 2017 Marketplace coverage?
A: The advanced premium tax credits which are used to lower monthly premiums have already been set for the calendar year 2017. Should the law be repealed, any new tax regulations would potentially be set for calendar year 2018. Your financial subsidies for 2017 will not likely change.

Q: I get my coverage through my state’s website site instead of Healthcare.gov. Do any changes on the Federal level impact my state’s plan?
A: Yes. If you lose the federal subsidy, your health coverage may potentially no longer be affordable.

Q: I get Medicaid through the ACA. Will this coverage be affected?
A: Yes. Medicaid expansion – a key feature of the Affordable Care Act that brought Medicaid to millions of low-income Americans, many of them uninsured – is one component of the ACA that could be repealed. Individual states would stand to lose the federal funding they need to keep their Medicaid expansion.

Q: Can American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) continue to enroll in plans on the Marketplace?
A: Yes, AI/AN individuals who are members of federally-recognized tribes can continue to enroll in a Marketplace plan at any time of year. Visit https://www.healthcare.gov/american-indians-alaska-natives/coverage/for more information or to get started!

Q: How would an ACA repeal impact Medicare and prescription drug costs?
A: The ACA helped people with Medicare by closing the Medicare “donut hole” and providing free preventive services. According to Justice in Aging, a repeal of the ACA would mean that 9 million seniors and people with disabilities would face higher prescription drugs costs. It is so important that we speak up and ask our legislators to Protect Our Care!

Q: Nondiscrimination protections in healthcare are essential to diverse elders. What happens to those protections if the ACA is repealed?
A: The administration is leaning toward keeping those nondiscrimination protections in place, even if other parts of the ACA is repealed. But, for now, the law is still in place. If you experience discrimination while seeking care, you should contact the HHS Office of Civil Rights. You can even contact them anonymously.

Q: If changes are made to the ACA, how will I learn of them? Will there be assistance available to help me work through these changes?
A: If changes happen, HHS will be communicating them to consumers through their website and social media. We want you to know what is happening! If you have questions about Marketplace coverage, contact Healthcare.gov. If you have questions about Medicaid, call your state Medicaid office. Keep your eye on the HHS Twitter and Facebook pages.

The National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA), a Diverse Elders Coalition member, has a Helpline available to provide assistance with Medicare and Social Security in four languages. Learn more here.

And as always, stay tuned to the Diverse Elders Coalition blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages to stay up to date on changes that impact older adults of color, LGBT older adults, and American Indian/Alaska Native older adults! "