You can generally buy health insurance only during the annual open
enrollment period. Upcoming dates to know:
March 31, 2014: 2014 open enrollment ends
November 15, 2014: Proposed date for 2015 open
enrollment to start
January 15, 2015: Proposed date for 2015 open
enrollment to end
To buy insurance outside open enrollment, you must qualify for a special enrollment period due to a qualifying life event, such as marriage,
divorce, birth or adoption of a child, or loss of a job.
find assistance, you may contact the Bureau of Senior Services to locate an In
Person Assister in your county, or call the National Call Center for assistance
The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP) runs from January 1
through February 14, 2014. During that
time, people enrolled in Medicare Advantage have the opportunity to cancel
their Medicare Advantage plan if they find it's not fitting their needs. Those
who elect to drop a Medicare Advantage plan will be placed back on
"Original Medicare" and have the option to enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP), so that they don't have a lapse in drug coverage.
Call the WV State Health Insurance Assistance program for assistance,
Silver Alert is a program you hope you never
need, but if you do, here’s what it is and how it works. The Silver Alert Program allows law
enforcement to issue alerts for adults with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive
disorders. Silver Alert is similar to
what most states
already have for children called Amber Alert. It is a system
that uses the broadcast media to notify the general public and law enforcement
when an adult with cognitive impairment (memory, thinking and reasoning
problems) is missing. The Alert will
include a description of the person, anything you know about the circumstances
of the person’s disappearance, and other information that the State Police may think
is important and appropriate. If a loved
one with cognitive impairment wanders and becomes lost, call the State Police
or local law enforcement to submit a missing person's report and ask them to
activate Silver Alert. (If the missing
person’s report is filed with local law enforcement, ask them to forward the
information to the State Police. Silver Alert must be activated by the State
In addition to the broadcast media, the State Police will also notify
the Department of Transportation, Division of Highways and West Virginia
Turnpike Commission. If possible,
through the use of their electronic signs, they can let motorists know that a
Silver Alert is in progress. They can
provide information relating to the missing person and let motorists know how
they may report any information they have to the State Police or other
appropriate law enforcement agency.
For more information
about Silver Alert or other tracking systems that help locate individuals with
cognitive impairment, contact the Bureau of Senior Services, 1-877-987-3646.
Dementia is not a specific
disease. It's a generic term that describes a wide range of symptoms – memory loss, confusion, behavior changes,
personality changes – severe enough to affect everyday
disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular
dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most
common dementia type. There are many other conditions that can cause symptoms
of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and
vitamin deficiencies. Dementia is often
incorrectly referred to as "senility" or "senile dementia,"
which reflects the incorrect belief that serious mental decline is a normal
part of aging. It is not.
While symptoms of dementia can vary greatly, at least two of the
following mental functions must be significantly impaired to be considered
- Communication and language
- Ability to focus and pay attention
- Reasoning and judgment
- Visual perception
People with dementia may have problems with
short-term memory – keeping track of a purse or wallet, paying bills, planning
and preparing meals, remembering appointments or traveling out of the
Many dementias start out slowly and gradually get
worse. If you or a loved one is having memory difficulties or other changes in
thinking skills, don't ignore them. Call your doctor; get an evaluation
soon. The doctor may find a treatable
condition. Even if symptoms suggest dementia, early diagnosis allows a person
to get the maximum benefit from available treatments. It also provides time to plan for the future.
If you have questions about dementia or Alzheimer’s
disease, you can call the WV Bureau of Senior Services, 1-877-987-3646, or the
Alzheimer’s Association, 1-800-372-3900.
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today warned consumers about a sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, throughout the country.
Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.
“This scam has hit taxpayers in nearly every state in the country. We want to educate taxpayers so they can help protect themselves. Rest assured, we do not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer,” says IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel. “If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police arrest, deportation or license revocation if you don’t pay immediately, that is a sign that it really isn’t the IRS calling.” Werfel noted that the first IRS contact with taxpayers on a tax issue is likely to occur via mail
Other characteristics of this scam include:
- Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
- Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
- Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
- Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
- Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
- After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:
- If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.
- If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administrationat 800-366-4484.
- If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.
Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.
The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on how to report phishing scams involving the IRS is available on the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov.
You can reblog the IRS tax scam alert via Tumblr.
When asked about their lives, 98% of 100 people at age 100 said
staying mentally active was a secret to healthy aging, along with staying mobile
and +exercising (96%). More than half walk every week. The centenarians also
reported eating nutritiously balanced meals regularly (86%), getting more than
eight hours of sleep each night (66%), and attending a social event every day (37%).
A questionnaire was completed by 71,706 women and men, ages 45-83
years, who reported how many servings of fruits and vegetables they ate every
day. After 13 years, people who never ate fruits and vegetables had a 53% higher
mortality rate compared to those who ate five servings a day, with lives
shortened by an average of three years. People who ate three servings a day of
vegetables lived 32 months longer than individuals who ate no vegetables;
participants who ate no fruit died 19 months sooner than those who ate one piece
of fruit a day.
SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, in press,
doi:10.3945/?ajcn.112.056119 (June 26, 2013)
In Australia, the Watermemories Swimming Club
was formed to provide a safe and fun exercise program for people with dementia. Ten people with moderate to severe dementia living in two care facilities engaged in water exercises for strength, balance, agility and flexibility over 12 weeks. Evaluations were performed by a registered nurse. Scores showed that participation in the intervention reduced behavior problems and improved psychological well-being.
SOURCE: Australasian Journal on Ageing, early view, doi:10.1111/ajag.12076 (July 3, 2013)
For the abstract, click here
Alzheimer's disease causes millions of Americans
to lose their ability to recognize familiar places and faces. Six in ten people
with Alzheimer's disease will wander. They may become disoriented and lost,
even in their own neighborhoods. Although common, wandering behavior can be
dangerous; if not found within 24 hours, up to half of those who wander risk
serious injury or death.
Wandering is among the biggest challenges
caregivers face. Following are tips from
the Alzheimer’s Association to help you prepare for or
prevent wandering behavior in loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease or a related
Who's at risk to wander? Anyone who:
Returns from a regular walk or drive later than
Tries to fulfill former obligations, such as
going to work.
Tries to “go home” even when at home.
Is restless, paces or makes repetitive movements.
Has difficulty locating familiar places like the
bathroom, bedroom or dining room.
Checks the whereabouts of familiar people.
Acts as if doing a hobby or chore, but nothing
gets done (e.g. moves around pots and dirt without planting anything).
Feels lost in a new or changed environment.
Be aware of who is at risk for wandering.
Identify the most likely times of day that
wandering may occur; plan activities at that time.
Provide opportunities for activities and
When night wandering is a problem, make sure the
person has restricted fluids two hours before bedtime and has gone to the
bathroom just before bed. Limit daytime naps, if possible.
Monitor reaction to medications. Consult a
physician, if necessary.
Use communication focused on validating feelings
(not correcting) when the individual says that he or she wants to leave to go
home or to work.
wandering is in progress, use distraction to re-direct the individual's focus.
couldn’t make medical decisions for yourself, is there someone who knows what
you would want and what you wouldn’t want?
Do you have written directions (a living will) that explain the kind of
care you want? Have you appointed a
medical power of attorney to carry out your wishes? If you have, please make sure your doctor and
any hospital you are admitted to have a copy.
If not, you can get more information about advance directives (medical
power of attorney, living will, healthcare surrogate, POST form and more) at
the following website, http://www.wvendoflife.org,
or by calling 1-877-209-8086.
Even people in very good health should have written advance
directives. These written directions do not take effect until you are medically
unable to make decisions for yourself.
You make your own decisions until the point that you are unable to do
so. Then the person you appoint makes
decisions for you based on your preferences and what you’ve stated in your
medical power of attorney.