Web News – April 2019

Empire Justice Center April 30, 2019

Oh Beautiful for Spacious Skies: ACCESS PASS Opens National Parks

Lifetime passes are available from the U.S. Park Service for citizens and permanent residents who are permanently disabled. The pass is good at over 2000 sites and admits the owner and travel companions for free with additional discounts on amenities, such as camping. To obtain a free pass at a federal recreation site, present proof of citizenship or permanent residency with documentation of your eligibility for VA, SSI or SSDI benefits. A physician’s statement or a statement from a state agency is also acceptable. Passes are also available through the mail by completing an application and submitting a $10 processing fee. https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm.


New Resource Clarifies State Medicaid Program Documents

A new overview from Commonwealth Medicine, a division of UMass Medical School, will help researchers, law and aging, and disability network professionals understand the details of a state’s Medicaid program. It can be difficult to understand the complexity of a state’s Medicaid program—programs vary substantially from state to state.

When running their Medicaid programs, states must follow federal Medicaid law and other requirements.  Federal Medicaid law is quite detailed and prescriptive, but also offers states paths toward greater flexibility.  The Medicaid overview is a blog post that compiles a set of documents that can be helpful in finding the details of a state’s Medicaid program.  The resource provides an introduction to and examples of: Medicaid State plans, Medicaid State Plan Amendments, Waiver Documents, and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation guidance. https://commed.umassmed.edu/blog/2019/01/08/deciphering-state-medicaid-programs?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=ec4003f9-4336-4a4c-b460-6911920c7dfe


Medicare “Extra Help” Chart Updated for 2019

With HHS’s release of the new federal poverty levels, the Medicare Rights Center (MRC) has updated its Extra Help Chart.  Please remember that Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in Medicaid or a Medicare Savings Program can be deemed into Extra Help even if they do not otherwise meet the eligibility criteria.  As of right now, the state has not released the updated levels for MSPs, but MRC will update its MSP chart as soon as it does.  http://www.medicarerights.org/fliers/Help-With-Drug-Costs/Extra-Help-Chart.pdf http://www.wnylc.com/health/entry/61/


Electronic Financial Toolkit Available

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “Your Money, Your Goals,” a set of financial empowerment materials designed for organizations that serve low-income individuals, is now available electronically.

You can access the toolkit, interactive booklets, companion guides, and training materials online at the link below. The electronic materials have auto-fill and auto-calculating functionalities. You can also order printed versions of the materials in English and Spanish free of charge.  https://www.consumerfinance.gov/practitioner-resources/your-money-your-goals/