hipnews Winter 2012 Edition
 
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Membership in hip for 2012 – Off to a Flying Start
A Call to...
MAKING LIFE A LITTLE BETTER...
A World of Thanks…
Outstanding Generosity Calls...
Find Us on Facebook!
Need a Ride?
Ending Each Month on a High Note
ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) ............
We Mourn. . .
Major Changes in New Jersey’s Medicaid System
MEDICARE’S QUALITY CARE FINDER
The YES! Program Has Expanded in Bergen
Support for Independent Living...
YES! Vocational Preparedness Program
Emergency Preparedness
Shelter Our Sisters Offers
Lookout for Highly Motivated College Students
TECHNOLOGY EQUIPMENT FOR VISION LOSS
SAVE THE DATE!
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- hipnews Winter 2012 Edition Text Version -


  Membership in hip for 2012 – Off to a Flying Start
  
 We welcome the following new and renewing
members of hip for 2012:
Roselyn Altman
Ivis Alvarez
Peter Ambrose
Susan Andrews
Kevin Angelini
An Anonymous Life Member
James Arkills
Paul Aronsohn*
Chandan Bagchi
Barbara Banta
Karen Baron
Linda Barr
Megan Barron
Walter A. Bartolomucci, Jr.
Deborah Baumann-Dasilva
Annie Been
Thomas Bengaff
Gilbert Benson
Joan Bermingham
Darrell & Tamiko Bethea*
Paula Bloom
Jerry Bojko
Lorraine Braden
Barbara Brave
Lilith Bryant
Elaine Buckwald
Scott & Debbie Buckwald
George Bullerdick
Mildred Bullerdick
Mary Ruth Burke
Brenda, Jerry and Daniel Calabrese
Christine & Terri Calautti
Tonielle Cardinalle
Tom & Susan Carney
Trish Carney
Nancy Carr
Susan Carter
Carmen Casavina
Carlos C. Castelblanco
Kay Chase*
Doris R. Cherry
James Cherrey
Armine Chilian
Philip Chirafisi
Ciccone Family
Lillian Ciufo*
David Clark
Rezena Colclough
James Corbett
Sonia Cordova Champitaz
Jim & Jean Csaposs*
Carol Dass*
Mario & Veronica DeAppolonio
Montrose Debrix, III
Joseph DeGuilmo
John-Michael DellaValle
Ralph M. DeSimone
John DeWitt*
Scott DiPatria and Laura Martiens
James Dougherty
Barbara Dublin*
J. Robert Duffy*
Dennis Dusevic
George O. Dyer
Regina Dzamba
Patricia Ebel
Barbara Ecker
Austin Epstein
Lottie Esteban*
Alicia Facchino
Anne Factor
Ed Fedush*
Glenn Feinberg
Nancy J. Fenn
Betty A. Fetzer*
Virginia Flynn
Beverly Frost
Gerardine Galvin
Laurie Galvin
Mr. & Mrs. David Garippa
Melissa Gates
Paul Gaughran
Frances Gawlick
Natalie Glicksman*
Eileen Goff*
Marily and Angelissa Gonzalez-Vazquez
Diana Guerrero
Mary Jo Hackett
Bill Hand
Adam Harries & Family
Bojane Heap
Raymond & Sheryl Heffernan
Raymond Heffernan, Jr.
Ilse Heller
Julie Hobart
Henry Hof
Louis Intorre
Walter T. Jablonski
Jay Janiec
Gerri Kearns
Stefanie L. Keiser
Lorraine Kendel
Timothy Kerr
Merrill King
Joan F. Klug*
John Koch*
Ellen and Gina LaFurn
John and Frank Lampert-Hopkins
Jeanne Laraia
Virginia L. Laughlin
Barbara LeBow
Susan Lee
Eve Levinson
Gloria Lieberstein
Judith Liebman
Richard J. Lillis
Roy Lippin*
Richard Lizzi
Margaret J. Mahoney
Joyce & Leonard Malech*
Eileen R. Martin
William Matthews
Aimee McCarthy
Patrick & Dorothy McCarthy
James McClain, Sr.
Olga Melgarejo
Anne Melone*
Luis M. Mendez
Barbara Meuser
Dr. Frances Meyer*
Amy Meyers
Louise A. Micci
Lisa H. Miller
Nicholas W. Moreth, Jr.
John Mulholland
Martha Nebeling
Bill Negahbani
Hyacinthe Nkurunziza
Clinton & Josephine Oates
Erich & Pilar Odenheim
Jorge Olivares
Mario Olivares
Marian Padilla
Margaret Papageorgiou
Ji Hyeoe (Jennifer) Park
Larry Pasquale
Andrew Pecorella
Ador Peralta
David & Maria Perez
Marianne Pigoncelli*
Dr. Sandra R. Pinkerton
Jonathan Pixley
Anne Marie Prendergast
Noel Prussack
Lillian Rand
Joe Revello
Alyce Ricchiuto
Brandon Rodriguez-Padilla
Rosemarie Rose
Pamela & Eddie Rostoczynski
Christopher T. Russo
Beverly Ryan
Nita Salileng
Mary San Filippo
Maria Santanascio
Marie Sawyer
Sylvia Schwartz*
Stephanie Seid
Lynn Smith
Maria Smith
Michael Smith
Alanna Staton
Joanne & Sal Stolfo
Samy Suqi
Stephanie Thomas
Anthony J. Tobia
Janet R. Tolliver
Joseph Tomasko
Brian Tracey
Joseph Valenti
Ron Vida
Roberta “Bobbi” Wailes*
Paula & Larry Walsh
Warren Williams
John Winer
Peter Wirt
Richard S. Wolfman*
Kathy Wood
Anthony & Mary Yorio*
Maureen Zurlo
Nancy & Barry Zweben & Family

Corporate Members:
Abby Lifts, Inc.
Richard M. Hodgman & Associates
Jerry’s Drug & Surgical
J. S. Perlman and Company
Visiting Homemaker Home Health Aide Service of Bergen County, Inc.

* Life Member
 
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  A Call to...
  
 A Call to Action From the Head of Disability Rights New Jersey
Joseph D. Young Sums Up “The Current State of Affairs”
In a rousing address to a packed house at hip’s 2011 Annual Meeting, Joseph D. Young, executive director of Disability Rights New Jersey, analyzed “the current state of affairs in the disability rights movement.” Citing the recent PATH litigation as a good example, Mr. Young began by praising hip for persistence in fighting a powerful company to ensure accessibility at a new train station in Jersey City.
“There is a law, in this case the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said Mr. Young. “The law is reasonably clear. Yet for some reason, PATH didn’t feel a compelling obligation to ensure that it complied with the law. And now that its obligation is, if anything, even clearer, it still chooses to attempt to avoid its responsibility.
“For the disability rights movement in general, most of the big legislative victories have been won. Children with disabilities are to be included in their schools. Adults with disabilities are to be included in their communities. There are detailed rules for accessible parking and accessible housing and accommodations, and discrimination in employment practices are clearly illegal. Yet, study after study continues to confirm what many of you are already aware of: there has been little progress on the path to full community integration and inclusion.
“The National Council on Disability (NCD), in its recent annual progress report on its view of the current state of people with disabilities in America, reveals vast disparities between people with and without disabilities in the United States. Overall, people with disabilities have lower employment rates, lower annual earnings, lower educational attainment and achievement; lack adequate access to housing, transportation, technology, and health care, and are more likely to live in poverty.
“Just as there is increasing recognition of growing disparity between the richest and poorest Americans, there is a similar, and apparently growing, disparity between people with and without disabilities.”
Mr. Young went on to elaborate on each of the areas of disparity described by the NCD. Although the Council cited better education and increased employment as the major priorities, Mr. Young put quality healthcare as an equally pressing issue.
“While New Jersey is one of the most generous states in the Union in the number of services available through Medicaid, finding service providers has historically been difficult...New Jersey is in the midst of significant changes to the healthcare service delivery system for people who are poor and people with disabilities. Both the move to mandatory HMOs for persons eligible for Medicaid services and the implementation of new Medicaid waivers are touted as moves that will cost the State less money and improve healthcare for Medicaid recipients. It is our responsibility to ensure that the cost savings do not come at the expense of access to services. ...and to monitor the HMOs to ensure that they provide the complete continuum of services they promise and to assist their members to successfully navigate their system.” (Ed.: See related article on changes to NJ Medicaid on page 4.)
THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT OF 2010
The ACA (called by its critics “Obamacare”) seeks to eliminate much of the discrimination against people with disabilities. “Under the ACA,” according to Mr. Young, “insurers are prohibited from denying coverage to children if that denial is based solely on the fact that they were born with disabilities. In 2014, all 129 million Americans with preexisting health conditions will be protected from insurance discrimination because of preexisting conditions or health status. The Affordable Care Act Patient’s Bill of Rights outlaws arbitrary annual and lifetime caps on benefits.” Challenges to the Affordable Care Act are ongoing.
“Under the new law, Medicaid will be made available to everyone with income below 133% of the poverty level (about $14,000 for an individual or $29,000 for a family of four) without also having to prove the existence of a disability. It is estimated that 16 million new people will receive Medicaid coverage by 2019, 15 million of whom would not have been eligible without the change in the law. Although the federal government will be picking up most of the cost for the new Medicaid eligible population, 26 states are challenging Congress’s authority to enact this piece of the healthcare reform act.”
The Administration unfortunately has abandoned support of the CLASS Act, otherwise known as the Community Living Services and Support program, which would have permitted working adults (to make) voluntary contributions, primarily through payroll deductions. Adults who met eligibility criteria would have received a cash benefit...to purchase non-medical services and supports necessary to maintain a community residence, such as home health care and adult day care.
HOUSING
Mr. Young described New Jersey as “one of the most unaffordable states in the nation. According to Legal Services of New Jersey, in 2010, a family needed 3.4 full-time jobs at minimum wage in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent.” In spite of many gains from Mt. Laurel legislation, “the latest official estimate is that 115,000 new affordable units are needed. Housing advocates argue that the real number is much higher, with more than half a million households spending more than 30% of their income on housing costs, while more than 27% of all renters are paying more than 50% of their income toward rent.”
EMPLOYMENT
“The news is not any brighter in the area of employment,” according to Mr. Young. The Workforce Investment Act (1998) has not lived up to its promise “to promote greater physical and programmatic access for people with disabilities and to improve the outcomes for low-income participants and those with barriers to employment.“The disability community itself is divided over provisions in the bill dealing with subminimum wage employment.
“The National Federation of the Blind is adamantly opposed to the continuation of subminimum wage employment and has called for defeat of the reauthorization as now written. Other disability organizations, believing that elimination of subminimum authorization is not currently possible, are willing to go along with the existing language, which permits shelter-workshop outcomes only as a last resort.” Labor and business interests also differ markedly on certain WIA provisions.
EDUCATION
Legislation to change No Child Left Behind is at a stalemate. “In the meantime,” said Mr. Young, “New Jersey’s public schools continue to disproportionately segregate children with disabilities, sending more than twice the percentage of children with disabilities to out-of-district schools than any other state in the nation.”
SOME GOOD NEWS
“The population in our state-operated psychiatric hospitals and developmental centers is declining. . . .
We are confident that both advocates and the State agree that an institution is not a home. ...Again, as a community, we need to ensure that the infrastructure, services, and supports are available in the community to all who need them. We need to ensure that nursing homes do not become a substitute for large state-run institutions and that the number of people admitted to nursing homes does not creep up because of the lack of community supports. And we need to ensure that our communities are welcoming and inclusive.
“Being an advocate for people with disabilities, as we all are, continues to be a difficult task. Laws that promise inclusion and integration have been passed. Litigation breaking down barriers continues to be won. But the promises will not be kept until adequate resources and scrutiny are put into healthcare, housing, employment, transportation, and education.
“That’s why it’s a pleasure for me to be here tonight because I know that the members and staff of hip are determined, effective, and not going away. I congratulate you on another successful year, and I extend my best wishes for the long and difficult road ahead toward full participation, equal opportunity, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency.”
Mr. Young’s talk was followed by a spirited question and answer session.
OTHER ANNUAL MEETING NEWS
A record attendance at the Meadowlands Plaza Hotel contributed to a fine event. CEO Eileen Goff reviewed hip’s year of accomplishments. The election and re-election of members of the Board of Trustees saw Roy Lippin elected to a new first term; Paul Aronsohn and Joan Bermingham re-elected for second terms, and Tom Bengaff completing three full terms. It was announced that Betty A. Fetzer was elected Board 2nd Vice Chair, and Anne Marie Prendergast, Board Secretary. The staff of both Bergen and Hudson CILs were introduced by Eileen Goff and Kathy Wood, Hudson CIL director.
 
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  MAKING LIFE A LITTLE BETTER...
  
 MAKING LIFE A LITTLE BETTER – AND SOMETIMES MORE THAN A LITTLE!
by Eileen Goff, hip CEO
Pictured is George Valavanis, 92, as he prepares to leave his Fort Lee residence for an outing. A progressive physical challenge had made it impossible for him to negotiate the few steps at the entrance to the home where he has resided for 55 years. The platform lift that is making Mr. Valavanis’s access possible was funded through a hip program. He is very pleased to enjoy once again the activities that had been interrupted for some time.
Both Hudson and Bergen hip conduct programs that provide full or partial funding for home modifications and the purchase of assistive technology. The combined programs assisted 244 individuals from both CILs in 2011. In addition to platform lifts, ramps were constructed, stair glides installed, and wheelchairs and scooters repaired. An array of equipment was also funded, including lift chairs, emergency alert systems, generators, a host of kitchen and bathroom items, and so much more. As the result of the extreme temperatures last summer, dozens of air conditioners were made available for people with respiratory difficulties.
The Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) and Modification Access Program (MAP) are administered by the Bergen CIL, and Special Assistance for Independent Living (SAIL), and Senior SAIL are programs of the Hudson CIL. hip is pleased to provide the financing that makes this assistance available to the community.
Additionally, the Bergen CIL administers the Ruprecht Fund on behalf of the Polio Network of New Jersey, which provides grants to polio survivors throughout the state for such needs as braces, canes, special shoes, mobility devices, and home modifications.
 
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  A World of Thanks…
  
 hip receives many contributions from individuals and the community throughout the year. We thank those listed below for their recent exceptional generosity.
Paul Aronsohn, matched by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
Jessica Cioffi • Gaynell Crismale
Robert Donabedian
Lottie Esteban and Family
Edward Fedush • Betty A. Fetzer
First Presbyterian Church of Hackensack
Fund for the New Jersey Blind
Hudson County Central Labor Council
Adam Krass • Lions Club of River Edge
OritaniBank Charitable Foundation
Lillian P. Schenck Fund • Marianne Valls
Special thanks to the staff of the Fort Lee Housing Authority for their generous contribution to Laura’s Legacy in honor of Lillian Ciufo.
We extend a special “Thank You” to the wonderful parishioners of St. Peter the Apostle Church in River Edge, and the many individuals who participated in the Volunteer Center of Bergen County’s “All Wrapped Up Holiday Giving Program.” Due to their outstanding generosity, 78 individuals and family members received an assortment of gifts this holiday season.
 
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  Outstanding Generosity Calls...
  
 Outstanding Generosity Calls for Special Recognition
hip has recently benefited from a generous contribution from the estate of the late Augustine Pisto, through the thoughtful action of Robert Mulligan, Esq., executor of Mr. Pisto’s estate.
Richard Wolfman, a longtime benefactor and friend of hip, has challenged us to place a greater focus on matching gift opportunities. His own recent gift from the Richard S. Wolfman Family Foundation has been matched, and in the spirit of rising to the challenge he has presented, we invite the collaboration of hipNews members and friends in this new venture to continue building our long-term financial future!
 
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  Find Us on Facebook!
  
 hip is now connected to the world of social media. Stay on top of advocacy alerts, upcoming events, exciting opportunities, and much more, by liking* our Facebook page. To do this, search for Heightened Independence and Progress in your Facebook search bar. Help us spread the word by telling all your friends to be our friends too.
(*For our uninitiated readers, “liking” in Facebook lingo means becoming a fan! Who could argue with that wonderful notion?!)
 
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  Need a Ride?
  
 The lack of adequate and appropriate transportation is a major problem for many people with disabilities. It is important to know about all the resources available to us, and that we use them as needed. Here are a few resources for Bergen and Hudson County residents:
• Access Link 1 -800-955-2321
• Transcend (Hudson County Para Transit 201-271-4307
• Bergen County Community Transportation 201-368-5955
• NJ TIP- free “One on One” travel instruction program, designed to teach individuals with disabilities how to use public transportation safely and independently. This service is available to Access Link applicants and Access Link riders. 973-533-1665.
 
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  Ending Each Month on a High Note
  
 Everything you wanted to know about those technology gadgets
– but were afraid to ask!
If you are a person with a disability, did you ever wonder if there was a product available, or some form of technology, which could be helpful to you? So many items now on the market are making everyday tasks simpler.
Adam Krass, assistive technology consultant, will be at hip’s Hackensack office on the last Monday of each month. Adam will introduce a myriad of gizmos, gadgets, computer applications, and other technology to everyone who would like to enhance life at home, at work, and everywhere else. Upcoming dates are February 27 and March 26. To join in, just call the Bergen CIL and ask for Paula Walsh.
 
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  ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) ............
  
 How the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) Impacts Claims of Discrimination in the Workplace
WHY WAS THE ADA AMENDED?
The ADA was intended to provide broad protection for persons with disabilities who faced discrimination in different aspects of their lives. The means for determining whether someone was a qualified person with a disability (as defined by the ADA) was thought to be adequate at the time. Over the past few years, however, a number of lower court and Supreme Court decisions proved that the definition was vague enough to lead the courts to focus mainly on whether the plaintiff truly had a disability as specified in the ADA, and not on whether discrimination had actually taken place.
The Supreme Court decided in one case that people with certain impairments (such as epilepsy, diabetes, or multiple sclerosis) might not fit the ADA’s definition of disability because their symptoms could be mitigated through treatment. In some reports, a person with epilepsy who took medication that prevented seizures was likened to someone with vision problems who wears corrective glasses and thus does not have a vision problem any more. Agreeing with this premise, some courts held that while under treatment and symptom-free, these individuals should not be considered persons with disabilities, and thus could not have been targets of discrimination. By this reasoning, they would not have been entitled to reasonable accommodations at their workplace nor the protection of the ADA.
This trend disturbed the public and many in Congress and was certainly of critical concern to those with disabilities. It was well known that Congress in 1990 intended to protect people with disabilities in a broader context. Unfortunately, legislators failed to predict the narrow view the courts would take, so Congress passed amendments to the ADA in 2008 to ensure the broader protection they originally intended. The ADAAA, they hoped, would make it possible for the more expansive protection to survive legal arguments.
HOW HAS THE DEFINITION OF DISABILITY ACTUALLY CHANGED?
The expanded definition of disability, the key part of the ADAAA, is now comprised of three facets, called “prongs” in most of the ADAAA and EEOC literature:
The first prong, from the original ADA, defines a person with a disability as someone who has a substantial limitation of a major life activity. The ADAAA adds life activities not included before, such as major bodily functions (of the bowel and bladder; the immune system; musculoskeletal, lymphatic, and endocrine systems; individual organ function, and others). With this expansion of qualifying major life activities, it should be easier for individuals with certain types of impairments to establish that they have a disability when they might not have qualified before.
The second prong of the definition was constructed so that those who “have a record” of having a substantial limitation of a major life activity but might not be experiencing disability currently would still qualify. It could also apply to someone who has cancer, which when active, substantially limited one or more major life activities but is presently in remission. This person is now considered a person with a disability. Another important outcome of the new definition is that use of medications, assistive devices, hearing aids etc. would not prevent someone from being qualified as a person with a disability under the ADAAA. Episodic impairments are also considered disabilities if they would be substantially limiting when active. This could apply to asthma, depressive disorders, diabetes, etc. A person bringing a claim to the court must qualify as a person with a disability by fitting into the definition of either Prong 1 or Prong 2, or both.
The third and last prong of the new definition includes someone who is “regarded as” having a substantial limitation of a major life activity. As mentioned earlier, the ADAAA expanded the list of major life activities that qualify. Broader terminology and an extended list is expected to offer the kind of protection that should survive many of the legal challenges. With this expanded list, it is hoped that more people will be able to seek redress for discrimination. Persons who fit only this third prong of the new definition would not qualify as persons with a disability under the ADAAA unless they also fit the definition in Prong 1, Prong 2, or both.
Most importantly, the ADAAA is now primarily focused on the essential question of whether or not discrimination has occurred, instead of whether the person has a disability. Since the definition has been expanded and better defined, it will be easier to qualify. In fact, even a short term impairment can qualify, providing the impairment is substantially limiting. If the ADAAA had been in place earlier, it is believed that many employers would have been unable to disqualify so many individuals who claimed discrimination, and the courts would have been less likely to rule in favor of the employers.
The ADAAA will apply only to discriminatory acts occurring on or after January 1, 2009. Earlier occurrences are still subject to the original law. It will be interesting to observe over time what effect the ADAAA will have on court decisions in cases of disability discrimination in the workplace. We are optimistic that the redefined qualifications for establishing disability will bring far better results than in the past.
 
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  We Mourn. . .
  
 the loss of the mothers of two members of the hip Board of Trustees, after long illnesses: Paula Lippin, mother of Roy Lippin, and Helen Tomasko, mother of Joseph Tomasko.
 
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  Major Changes in New Jersey’s Medicaid System
  
 Readers of hipNews who are covered by Medicaid will want to be fully informed about the changes in New Jersey’s Medicaid system. The information below comes directly from “Healthy Times,” published by the ARC of New Jersey. Space limitations prevent us from publishing the ARC’s entire summary, but copies of the full report can be obtained from both Bergen and Hudson CILs, either as hard copies or via e-mail. In Bergen, contact Paula Walsh (pwalsh.ber@hipcil.org). In Hudson, contact Kathy Wood (kwood.hud@hipcil.org).
“NJ Medicaid is requiring that everyone who has Medicaid – including people who also have Medicare or private health insurance – must enroll in a Medicaid HMO. A summary of NJ’s Medicaid managed care requirements and safeguards are discussed below, with more detailed information and the latest updates available on the Mainstreaming Medical Care Program’s webpage: www.mainstreamingmedicalcare.org. Our (ARC’s) webpage can also be accessed from The Arc of NJ’s website: www.arcnj.org. It is important for everyone to know that all of the health care benefits that were covered under the previous Medicaid system (known as fee-for-service) will continue to be covered.
“NJ’s Medicaid managed care enrollment occurred in two phases:
Phase 1 Enrollment: Most people who have Medicaid only or who have private health insurance in addition to Medicaid were required to be in a Medicaid HMO as of August 1, 2011. If they did not choose an HMO, they were randomly auto-assigned.
Phase 2 Enrollment: The dual eligibles (people who have both Medicare and Medicaid) were required to enroll in a Medicaid HMO in Phase 2. Medicaid
beneficiaries who have certain Medicaid waivers were enrolled during Phase 2. These waivers are:
1. AIDS Community Care Alternatives Program (ACCAP)
2. Community Resources for People with Disabilities (CRPD)
3. Global Options for Long-Term Care (GO)
4. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
The deadline for Phase 2 individuals to choose a Medicaid HMO was September 15, 2011. The number for the Medicaid/FamilyCare Health Benefits Coordinator is 1-866-472-5338 (TTY 1-800-701-0720).
“Anyone who was required to enroll in a Medicaid HMO and did not choose was randomly auto-assigned. The Phase 2 HMO enrollments were effective on October 1, 2011. Previously, NJ Medicaid had a process to obtain an exemption, allowing individuals with complex medical needs to stay in the Medicaid fee-for-service system. But that policy ended, and currently no exemptions are allowed.
SWITCHING TO ANOTHER MEDICAID HMO
“Anyone who is newly enrolled in a Medicaid HMO and wants to change is allowed a period of 90 days from the date of enrollment to switch. After that time, enrollees can change HMOs once a year, during the Open Enrollment Period, which is from October 1 to November 15. The new HMO enrollment (took) effect on January 1. However, enrollees have the option of changing HMOs at any time, if there is a “good cause” reason, by calling NJ Medicaid/FamilyCare at 1-800-701-0710 (TTY 1800-701-0720).
CARVED-IN VS. CARVED-OUT
“Many types of health services that were previously covered under Medicaid fee-for-service (“carved-out” from the Medicaid HMO system) are now provided by the Medicaid HMOs (“carved-in”). In some cases, the provider of the services (e.g., the supplier of incontinence products) may change, but the services have not been eliminated. These are the health services for people with disabilities that are now covered by the Medicaid HMOs:
• The Pharmacy benefit
• Home health care
• Physical therapy, occupational
therapy, and speech therapy
• Personal Care Assistance. Note: The Personal Preference Program (PPP) will still be covered by Medicaid fee-for-service.
• Adult and Pediatric Medical Day Care
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
“Mental health services for individuals who are registered with the NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) are carved-in to the Medicaid HMO system, i.e., provided by the HMO. Mental health services for non-DDD individuals are carved-out, i.e., provided by the Medicaid fee-for-service system. However, partial care and partial hospital services are carved out for all Medicaid beneficiaries. This is the same as the previous Medicaid policy.”
Additional Topics Covered in the ARC Summary
Regrettably, space limitations prevent going further into the Medicaid Summary, but it is important to note that details on the following topics are included in the full report: HMO Care Management Services, Continuity of Care, Dental Care, Durable Medical Equipment (DME) and Supplies, The Pharmacy Benefit (Prescription Drugs), Medications for Mental Health Disorders, and People with Disabilities Who Have Both Private Health Insurance and Medicaid.
Also discussed are the following issues: What if the Medicaid HMO terminates, denies, or reduces a particular health care service? What are the consumer’s rights? and Fair Hearings related to consumer complaints. Information is also included on people who have both Medicare and Medicaid (Dual Eligibles).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Medicaid Managed Care
were prepared by NJ Medicaid and are available online at: http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/dmahs/home/Medicaid_Client
 
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  MEDICARE’S QUALITY CARE FINDER
  
 Medicare has a new online resource available at: www.medicare.gov/qualitycarefinder. The Quality Care Finder is a helpful resource for consumers and their loved ones. It is a collection of current Medicare.gov and HHS.gov tools that make it easy to find health care providers, facilities, suppliers and more in specific geographic areas, and then make “apples-to-apples” comparisons of their quality. You can access the information online or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to find and compare health care providers. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
 
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  The YES! Program Has Expanded in Bergen
  
 by Alanna Staton, Independent Living Transition Coordinator
There are so many great things about what I do, but my favorite is that I get to help high school students reach their goals. Everyone defines success differently, and it is my job to assist students in defining what success looks like to them, then finding all of the resources out there to get the students to succeed. Twenty-nine workshops were presented during the final three months of 2011 to 186 students across Bergen County. The focus of the YES! program has expanded to include a strong emphasis on vocational skills. Students participating in the program this year are those who qualify for services from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
DVRS provides vocational counseling and guidance, placement services, job- seeking skills, supported employment, and much more, for consumers who have disabilities that would cause an impediment to finding a job. The mission of DVRS is to enable eligible individuals with disabilities to achieve employment outcomes consistent with their strengths, priorities, needs, abilities, and capabilities. With this in mind, the workshops offered have pinpointed the skills necessary for DVRS counselors to successfully place students in a workplace environment. Some of the exciting workshops we offer include mock interviews, networking skills, accommodations in the workplace, and resume writing. If you would like to find out if you qualify for DVRS, or if you would like more information about having the YES! program come to your school, give me a call!
 
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  Support for Independent Living...
  
 Support for Independent Living Flourishing in Bergen
by Jessica Marchione, Care Manager
The SIL (Support for Independent Living Program) continues to provide care management services in the community to individuals with disabilities between the ages of 18 and 59. The SIL program provides information and linkage to resources and supports in the community to promote independence. Recently one of hip’s care managers worked with a consumer in Garfield who was having much difficulty getting around her apartment, particularly in navigating the stairs to the second floor. The care manager worked closely with the MAP program at hip, to obtain a stair lift for this lady. She is now able to be more independent and mobile in her home and reports being “thrilled” with her new access. She is one of 63 SIL consumers who received care management services during 2011 through the Bergen CIL.
 
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  YES! Vocational Preparedness Program
  
 YES! Vocational Preparedness Program Growing in Hudson
by Marian Padilla, Independent Living Transition Coordinator
Hudson’s Youth Envisioning Success (YES!) program continues to develop and grow. While participating students will continue to receive self-advocacy and transition services, those age 16 and older, whose graduation is anticipated within two years, will participate in an enhanced vocational readiness curriculum with a focus on preparing them for life after high school, including post-secondary education and/or vocational transition.
The program comes on the heels of a successful summer program which emphasized job-readiness and career preparation and was highlighted by several job-shadowing experiences. As part of the new program, students will complete an assessment of their interests and skills using the NJCAN (NJ Career Assistance Navigator) operated by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. They will research their anticipated careers, develop individual Chronological Resumes which will list their education and employment history, volunteer activities, extra-curricular activities, honors and awards, as well as a summary of skills.
Finally, students will create their High School Portfolio, an essential tool when applying for employment, or for college, vocational school or trade school. It will contain all the information developed during their participation in the YES! Vocational Preparedness Program. Students will learn about the services available through the New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (NJDVRS). They will also have the opportunity to ask questions when their VR counselor is invited to meet with them at their school. For more information about YES!, call Hudson hip’s Transition Coordinator or e-mail (mpadilla.hud@hipcil.org).
 
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  Emergency Preparedness
  
 Emergency Preparedness:
A Subject on Everyone’s Mind
Upheavals in our weather patterns and the underlying threat of terrorist activity have sharpened our awareness of the need for all individuals and families to make preparations in their homes for dealing with unforeseen emergencies. Preparedness is also important in situations of personal and family emergency.
For hip, this concern is not new: as long ago as 1993, hip and the Community Health Law Project joined forces to advocate for telecommunications devices for the deaf in the emergency dispatching systems of Bergen and Hudson County communities, a requirement of Title II of the ADA.
An article in The Record highlighted the need. CEO Eileen Goff said at the time, “We feel people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing should have the same access to emergency services as everyone else, and they should not be put in the position of having to have a neighbor call the Fire Department for them.”
Much progress has been made in the 19 years since early efforts like this partnership, to bring the need for emergency preparedness to the attention not only of police and fire officials, but to the entire community, and especially to people with disabilities. In 2008, hip members participated in the first known CERT* training program for people with disabilities under the direction of Bergen County Police, Fire, and EMS Academies personnel.
Many municipalities are now keeping voluntary information on residents who have special needs to consider in times of emergency. Working with one’s hometown police department can pay dividends in peace of mind and efficient handling of a bad situation. EM officials are beginning to learn that asking individuals with disabilities and the organizations that advocate for them how best they can be of service breaks down barriers and encourages the sharing of responsibility in times of crisis.
Only recently, however, has the need been “brought home” that an essential component in any Emergency Management planning process is the involvement from the “get-go” of people with disabilities. Clearly, information sharing about this issue is a two-way street. With that in mind, hip’s Advocacy Committee recently invited Lt. Wayne R. Razzetti, Coordinator, Bergen County Office of Emergency Management, to send a representative to speak to hip consumers and friends. The seminar took place on October 19th at the Ciarco Learning Center in Hackensack, when Officer Gidget Petry of the CERT training program at the Paramus OEM made a presentation to a large and appreciative audience.
Officer Petry spoke of the need to plan ahead for the possibility of having to leave one’s home in a hurry. It is now well known that a packed kit or bag of essentials is a “must” item. If evacuation becomes necessary, it helps to know where the power sources are located, so that gas, electric, and water can be turned off, provided these services are within one’s power to control. Essential contact information should be carried by individuals: important names, addresses, and phone numbers.
A small supply of any essential medications is a must, and plans should be made ahead of time for the care of pets if they won’t be able to stay with their owners. Keeping cell phones charged makes basic good sense. Many other useful tips were provided in Officer Petry’s power-point presentation.
But in the end, as our speaker pointed out, if one is confronted with a threat to life itself, the most careful preparations in the world may not help. In this situation, the best advice is “Get out fast!!” One participant described facing just such a crisis when two trees fell on her home during the storm of March 13, 2010. No one forgets a date like that!
Thanks to Gloria Lieberstein, Ed Fedush, and Leila Laufer, who contributed information to this article.
*Community Emergency Response Teams
 
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  Shelter Our Sisters Offers
  
 Shelter Our Sisters Offers Expanded Services to People with Disabilities
Did you know that:
• Women with disabilities have a 40% greater chance of being abused than non-disabled peers?
• 80% of women with disabilities will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime?
• Cases of abuse against people with disabilities goes unreported at a rate of 85%?
• Studies suggest that women with disabilities experience abuse for longer periods of time and by more perpetrators?
Domestic violence continues to be a secret in so many communities and it’s often not spoken about in the disability community. Domestic violence is intimidation and control over a partner, spouse, family or household member. Abuse may take many forms, including verbal, physical, sexual, financial, and emotional.
Individuals with disabilities may find themselves isolated due to lack of mobility, transportation, or social opportunity. In addition, they may have few or no resources to assist them due to limited physical access and attitudinal barriers. It is a fact that individuals who are less mobile and more socially isolated have a higher likelihood of experiencing abuse.
In Bergen County, Shelter Our Sisters has provided life-saving services for 36 years to individuals affected by domestic violence. Thanks to a grant opportunity from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Shelter Our Sisters is now able to extend its services to victims of domestic violence who have disabilities as well as to the elderly.
“Abuse of people with disabilities and the elderly is pervasive, victimizing individuals who must depend upon others to live safely,” stated Elaine K. Meyerson, executive director of Shelter Our Sisters. “Because of their reliance on others, they can easily be targets of manipulation.” Under its new Assistance for the Elderly and Disabled Project (AED), SOS has created a more tailored response for physically disabled adults and the frail elderly who have experienced abuse and/or neglect by a household member, family member, partner, or caregiver.
This program is for adults who may not be able to be accommodated at the Emergency Shelter. In addition to safety planning and case management, these individuals may be in need of home health aides, companion services, and/or residential placement. New clients will be referred and screened through the SOS 24-hour hotline, 201-944-9600. Shelter Our Sisters prides itself on providing life-changing services to women and children seeking peaceful and non-violent lifestyles.
 
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  Lookout for Highly Motivated College Students
  
 On the Lookout for Highly Motivated College Students
The Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities (WRP) is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private sector employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Diversity Management & Equal Opportunity (ODMEO) manage the program, which continues to be successful with the participation of many other federal agencies and sub-agencies.
The Workforce Recruitment Program is implementing a new notification system of “available” federal government internships and job opportunities that started on January 12th.
This information will be shared with the college and university campus coordinators who have opted in to receive WRP communications. Job listings from various federal agencies will be compiled frequently and posted in a concise, clear and comprehensive manner under the heading “WRP Jobs.” For further information visit: http://www.dol.gov/odep/wrp/form.htm
 
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  TECHNOLOGY EQUIPMENT FOR VISION LOSS
  
 HIGH TECHNOLOGY EQUIPMENT FOR USE BY PEOPLE WITH VISION LOSS
Both hip offices in Bergen and Hudson have an array of technology for people with vision loss. Computers and scanners are equipped with voice, and large print applications are also available. Closed circuit TV enables people with limited vision to view everything from checkbooks, photos, and correspondence, to bills, newspapers, and more. Simply call either office for demonstrations, and/or an opportunity to just come in and use the equipment.
 
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  SAVE THE DATE!
  
 On Saturday, May 12, 2012, hip party-goers will fly

Join us for
AN EVENING BEYOND THE STARS
a gala dinner dance at the Fort Lee Recreation Center, our “inter-galactic” fund-raiser.

Trekkies can wear costumes to fit in
with the “outer space” theme.

Get ready to be “beamed up” for a fun-filled night of dining, dancing, and entertainment
with DJ Gary Morton transporting us to the moon and back.

Watch for details on the hip website. Invitations will go out in March.
 
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