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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 10, 2005 / 1 Iyar, 5765

Poor drug prescription coverage for nursing home residents

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: Our mother has been in a nursing home for five years. She lived alone after Dad died in 1989, and when she became unable to care for herself, we spent her assets hiring people to help keep her at home and pay for her medicine. Three years ago, when she could not continue to live at home, we sold our family property and spent the rest of her money paying for her care at the nursing home. During this time, we paid for her prescriptions, which rose in price.

When she finally qualified for Medicaid two years ago, we were relieved because Medicaid at least picked up the cost of her prescriptions. (We made a mistake by not paying for her burial in advance because she has no money left, and all but $30 of her monthly Social Security check goes to the nursing home.)

We have heard a lot about the new Medicare drug plan, but we don't understand what effect it will have on Mom. Will this new drug program supplement what Medicaid is now paying?

A: Because of poor governmental planning, thousands of nursing home residents like your mother may well be at risk and lose coverage for life-sustaining medications come Jan. 1, 2006, when Medicare Part D becomes law.

Due to space limitations, we can give you only a brief overview of the situation facing our institutionalized seniors next January, but if you visit our Web site (www.nextsteps.net), you'll find more in-depth material about this looming crisis.

Like your mother, the majority of nursing home residents receive Medicaid that, in turn, provides their prescription drugs. But because your mother is also a Medicare recipient and is therefore "dually eligible" for Medicare and Medicaid, beginning Jan. 1, 2006, she could well be scheduled to lose her prescription coverage now provided by Medicaid — unlike regular Medicare recipients who have six months to decide whether to move into Part D or opt out.

Here are some of the problems that require immediate solutions:

1) Part D calls for Medicare beneficiaries to compare the available prescription drug plans (PDPs) and choose the one best suited to their needs. (However, a large number of nursing home residents have capacity impairments and won't be able to understand the differences.)

2) Nursing home residents who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid will be randomly assigned a PDP by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Given that each PDP offers different medications and uses different pharmacies, this arbitrary assignment may not offer the prescriptions taken by the resident and may conflict with the pharmacy used by the nursing home. While each nursing home resident has the right to change to another PDP, many of the patients may not understand what they're choosing, as we previously mentioned. Those who may not be identified will lose coverage altogether. Those who are identified may have some prescriptions not available to them.

3) Part D does not cover certain prescriptions, including those used in the majority of nursing facilities for muscle spasms, seizures, anxiety, etc. Since only those states with Medicaid programs that cover prescriptions excluded by Medicare will continue coverage for these medications, it is a good idea to see if your mom's coverage will continue in your state; however, with state budget cuts, it may well be that some states will terminate coverage.

4) Since there will be added administrative duties placed on nursing home personnel and physicians, resident care could be impacted, and, as usual, any additional costs will be shifted onto private pay residents, reducing more quickly the funds available for their care and eroding the long-term care insurance daily rates that insured Americans have purchased.

Sadly, final regulations regarding nursing home drug coverage have already been distributed to the PDPs. Should Congress and the president choose not to address how these regulations overlook some of our most vulnerable relatives before Jan. 1, it's possible that many nursing home residents like your mother, who receive both Medicaid and Medicare, could become even more chronically ill or die prematurely. We suggest that you contact your congressman and senators and let them know that the prescription drug program is not working for your loved one. And, with White House Conference on Aging soliciting ideas about how to make the aging process better (http://www.whcoa.gov/) here is one suggestion to send on.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JAN L. WARNER received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina and earned a Master of Legal Letters (L.L.M.) in Taxation from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a frequent lecturer at legal education and public information programs throughout the United States. His articles have been published in national and state legal publications. Jan Collins began co-authoring Flying SoloŽ in 1989. She has more than 27 years of experience as a journalist, writer, and editor. To comment or ask a question, please click here.

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