If you are uninsured or looking for affordable health insurance, now is the time for you to look! During “open enrollment” you can purchase private health insurance through the marketplace in each state. Depending on your income, you may be eligible for assistance with your health insurance costs.
If you currently have insurance through the marketplace, you should look at your current plan and determine if it will continue to meet your needs, or select a better plan. If you do not take action, you will be automatically re-enrolled in your current plan. Re-enrollment provides an important opportunity to report any changes to your income.
2015 Open Enrollment
November 15, 2014
Open enrollment begins
December 15, 2014
Enroll before this date to have coverage January 1, 2015
February 15, 2015
Open enrollment ends
Why you should check your coverage:
If you have a disability or a health condition, pay attention to possible changes:
Health insurance can be complicated. If you or your family member needs assistance with understanding the options, healthcare.gov can help. This website has information about seeking assistance in local communities, explanations of health insurance terms, enrollment information and much more. There is also a 24-hour phone line for consumer assistance at 1-800-318-2596 to call for help.
Reposted from The Arc
Monthly Social Security payments — including those for Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries — will go up next year.
Benefits will rise 1.7 percent in 2015, the Social Security Administration said Wednesday.
The increase is triggered by law through an automatic cost-of-living adjustment known as COLA, which is based on inflation.
The change will affect 58 million people on Social Security starting in January and eight million SSI recipients beginning Dec. 31, officials said.
SSI benefits for individuals will increase to a federal maximum of $733 per month, up from $721 per month during 2014.
For couples receiving SSI, the top federal payment will grow to $1,100 per month from $1,082 currently.
Many states add to SSI benefits for their residents meaning that actual payments could be higher.
Reposted from Disability Scoop
The Arc of Pennsylvania, along with partners, Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association (RCPA), United Cerebral Palsy of Pennsylvania, Inc., (UCP), and Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability (PAR), announced that after lengthy and candid discussions with the Office of the Governor and the Department of Public Welfare relating to the Chapter 51 (Home and Community-Based) Regulations, they reached agreement on important changes to the Department’s policies regarding the vacancy factor and the retention factor. The agreement also provides relief from the potential application of a rate adjustment factor (RAF) through FY 16-17. (A RAF allows the Commonwealth to cut rates midyear.)
Obtaining these changes in the Department’s policies are part of their joint efforts to secure access by individuals with disabilities and their families to high-quality supports and services throughout Pennsylvania. The agreement will better enable providers to maintain and sustain services and supports that meet the needs of each individual consumer.
An improved vacancy factor better recognizes the continuing costs that providers must incur whenever a consumer is absent from his/her residence due to medical or therapeutic reasons. A retention factor affords the ability to retain much-needed savings up to 2% without cuts to their future payment rates.
Funding for the proposals identified in this agreement will not reduce the Commonwealth’s and the Department’s current financial commitment to reducing the waiting list for accessible and high quality person centered services for Individuals with an intellectual disability and their families in state fiscal year 2014-2015. As evidenced by recent budgets, the Department believes that addressing the waiting list is important, and, in future fiscal years, the Department will follow the normal budget process to consider opportunities for new waiting list initiatives.
We recognize and appreciate the support and assistance of Governor Corbett in reaching this resolution. The agreement also reflects that our work is not done. Included in the agreement are provisions to continue discussions with the Commonwealth on the remaining challenges that Chapter 51 poses for supporting individuals and their families.
Source: The Arc of Pennsylvania
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary has received a $188,000 state grant to create a family-friendly trail that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The sanctuary, which sits in Albany Township, Berks County, and East Brunswick Township, Schuylkill County, is one of the region's most popular recreational and wildlife education areas.
It's open year-round and is a scientific research center as well as the world's largest member-supported raptor conservation organization. The sanctuary is recognized as one of the best places in northeastern North America to see the annual autumn raptor migrations. "The goal is to allow more visitors to enjoy Hawk Mountain's beauty and world-class facilities for research," says state Sen. David Argall, R-Schuylkill. "These upgrades allow visitors with disabilities or small children to experience more of what Hawk Mountain has to offer."
Read More at Pocono Record.