What is the Senior Farmers’ Market
Nutrition Program (SFMNP)? The SFMNP offers eligible low-income seniors the opportunity to purchase fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs from certified farmers. The goals of the SFMNP are:
Native American age 55 years or older), and meets the income requirements – individual
$1986/month; couple $2686/month. Applicants may be required to provide proof of age and
How Does the Program Work? Enrolled seniors will receive vouchers worth $25 per
household. These vouchers may be used to purchase locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables
and herbs at approved farmers’ markets or roadside stands. These vouchers are good until
October 31, 2021.
How Do I Get These Vouchers? Due to COVID, vouchers can be distributed via phone
and mail or face-to-face following COVID safety protocol and by appointment only. There is a
limited number of vouchers for each County. Vouchers will be distributed on a first come, first
served basis. You can pre-register for vouchers by calling Tanya at (608) 649-5937.
How Do I Get Vouchers If I Can’t Come to pick them up? If you are homebound, or unable
to get to a distribution site due to a disability, you may assign an Authorized Representative
(or Proxy) on your behalf. Contact Richland County Health & Human Services at 608-647-
8821 and ask to speak with Tanya.
How Do I Get More Information? Contact Tanya at Richland County Health & Human
Services at 608-649-5937 or by email email@example.com with Senior Farmer’s
Market in the subject line.
Richland County HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES ANDTHE COMMUNITY SERVICES BUILDING WILL REOPEN TO THE PUBLIC ON MAY 3rd
By the GWAAR Medicare Outreach Team — for reprint
After a long winter, the signs of spring are sprouting up all around us. Now is a good time to focus on your health so you can enjoy all that this season has to offer. Taking advantage of Medicare preventive benefits is the perfect way to spring into better health!
Preventive services can help you prevent illnesses and detect health problems early, when treatment works best. People with Medicare have access to a wide range of preventive tests and screenings, most at no extra cost. If you’re new to Medicare, a “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit is covered during the first 12 months you are enrolled in Part B. The visit includes a review of your medical and social history as well as education and counseling about preventive services, including certain screenings, shots and referrals for other care, if needed. Once you’ve had Part B for longer than 12 months, you can get a yearly “Wellness” visit to develop or update a personalized prevention plan based on your current health and risk factors. Note: The Wellness visit is not the same as an annual physical exam.
You pay nothing for the “Welcome to Medicare” visit or yearly “Wellness” visit if your doctor or other health
care provider accepts Medicare assignment. If additional tests or services are performed during the same visit that aren’t covered under the preventive benefit, you may have to pay coinsurance, and the Part B deductible may apply.
Medicare also covers screening tests for breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity management, and osteoporosis, just to name a few. You can find a complete list of Medicare-covered preventive services in your Medicare and You 2021 handbook or on the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov. Talk to your doctor about what screenings and shots are right for you.
For local assistance with Medicare questions or other health insurance counseling, contact the ADRC of Eagle Country, Richland Center office at 608-647-4616
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT REACHING SOCIAL SECURITY DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC During the coronavirus pandemic, SSA continues to provide help to you and other people in your communities. While offices are not providing service to walk-in visitors, they remain ready and able to help you by phone with most Social Security business. You can speak with a representative by calling your local Social Security office or the National 800 Number. You can find local office phone numbers online by using the Social Security Office Locator at www.ssa.gov/locator. The La Crosse office serves most of Richland County and can be reached at 1-866-770-2345. SSA offers many secure and convenient online services at www.ssa.gov/ onlineservices, where you can:
Apply for Retirement, Disability, and Medicare benefits; Check the status of an application or appeal; Request a replacement Social Security card (in most areas);
Print a benefit verification letter and much more.
Although you can do most of your business with us online, we know that service channel isn’t right for everyone. You can still count on us by phone. If you have a critical situation and we cannot help you with by phone or online, we may be able to schedule an appointment for you. If you need help, please don’t wait until you can be seen in person. Call them now and get the help you need. SSA also understands that getting medical and other documentation can be difficult due to the pandemic, so they are continuing to extend certain deadlines wherever possible
Talk to someone who provides care for their aging loved one and they will tell you what a stressful job caregiving can be. The American Medical Association states that the role of caregiving places demands on the caregiver which leaves them at risk for health problems including serious illness and depression. And according to the American Journal of Public Health, middle-aged and older women caring for their spouses are six times more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety disorders than their non-caregiving counterparts. The result of this decline in health by the caregiver not only affects the person giving the care, but it may also compromise the care they are providing their loved one.
Reading information like this can make caregiving sound very bleak and discouraging. But we also know that caregiving can be a very rewarding job. The key difference between a caregiver who is barely hanging on and one who is managing successfully is having proper support in their role as a caregiver. Healthy and content caregivers not only receive help with the ongoing responsibilities of providing care but they also have found an emotional support network.
The American Medical Association suggests to physicians that “a referral to a support group should be recommended for all caregivers.” Oftentimes, people hear the words “support group” and immediately tune out. They are uncomfortable with the idea of sharing their feelings. Or they think of a support group as a pity party or place to complain about their lives. But support groups are much more than that and the benefits they offer are valuable. Even amidst the pandemic, these groups continue to meet by phone or online.
The definition of a support group is a gathering (in person, by phone or video-conference) of people in similar situations who provide each other moral support, practical information, and coping tips. Here are some of the benefits of attending support group meetings. They provide valuable information that will increase your knowledge of caregiving. One of the best resources for caregivers is other caregivers! They teach coping skills. The information and
advice that the group provides can assist in problem solving the many different challenging situations you may be experiencing. They are a place to share common concerns and joys. Others in similar situations can then offer encouragement and support. They are a safe place to identify and express stressful feelings with people who will understand and offer emotional support. Having this support can improve your mood and decrease feelings of distress. They provide affirmation and advocacy. The group serves as a source of validation and can offer avenues to local resources.
The benefits of attending support group meetings can help you feel less alone, give you new strategies to cope with day-to-day stressors and help you feel affirmed in your work as a caregiver. The result will be a healthier, happier you which in turn means better care for your loved one. By taking time to care for your physical and emotional needs, you will discover you can feel more joy and contentment in your caregiving role.
Currently there are dozens of support groups meeting virtually - by phone or video conference. You can find a list of them by visiting http://wisconsincaregiver.org/ virtual-events-for-caregivers or contact the ADRC of Eagle Country’s Richland Center office at 608-6474616.
If you have never attended a support group, give it a try. You might find it to be just the thing you needed to help you through another day or week of caregiving. If you are in need of other caregiver support or resources, please contact the ADRC at 608-647-4616.
Jane Mahoney Older American’s Act Consultant Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources
This article and more can be found in the Richland Center Office Family and Friends Newsletter.
The pandemic is still taking a toll on every kind of wellbeing we have. The new American Rescue Plan, just signed into law, gets the ball rolling to help out on many people’s financial well-being. Payments will soon be coming by direct deposit, checks, or a debit card to people eligible for the payment. You can learn more about who’s eligible, and the timing, at IRS.gov/ coronavirus. But let me tell you what will NOT happen, so you can spot and avoid the scammers who are right now crawling out from under their rocks.
1. The government will never ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. That’s a scam. Every time.
2. The government will not call/text/email/DM you to ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.
3. Nobody legit will ever — EVER — tell you to pay by gift card, cryptocurrency, or wire transfer through companies like Western Union or MoneyGram. You know who will tell you to pay like that? A scammer.
The new law also has some language about health insurance, temporarily increasing subsidies for newly laid -off people and many people buying their own health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Please re-read #1-3, above, because they apply here, too. Nobody legitimate will ever call, text, email, or message you out of the blue about getting or keeping health insurance coverage, or to demand payment or your account numbers. That will always be a scam.
If you spot one of these scams, please tell the Federal Trade Commission at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. We’re doing our best to stop these scammers in their tracks, and your report will help.
The Drug Enforcement Administration isn’t calling
We’re getting reports about scammers pretending to be Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents. They’re trying to get your money and personal information, and using alarming phone calls to do it.
The DEA is alerting people to the scam. Their message: It’s not the DEA calling.
The scammers use fake names and badge numbers. Sometimes they use the names of real DEA agents and may even text photos of what look like legitimate law enforcement credentials. They may have information about you, like part or all of your Social Security number (SSN). When they target medical practitioners, like doctors and pharmacists, they may have their National Provider Identifier number or state license number.
The scammers’ stories vary, but usually go something like this: They’ve seized a car packed with illegal drugs. It was rented in your name. Or, they found identifying papers with your name in the car, at some drug-linked location, or on a bank account used for money laundering. You’re going to be arrested for drug trafficking and money laundering.
The fake agent comes up with a reason for you to transfer money to him — maybe for safekeeping, to pay a fine, or to prove you’re willing to cooperate. They’ll tell you how to send the money, often by wire transfer or by buying gift cards and telling them the numbers on the back of the cards.
Here’s what you need to know:
• The DEA will never call and ask for your SSN or other personal information. It won’t ask you to pay anything. And it won’t call to say you’re under investigation or threaten you with arrest. • Your caller ID might show a real DEA phone number, but that’s not the real DEA calling. Computers make it easy to show any number on caller ID. Don’t trust what you see there. • Never give your SSN to anyone who contacts you. Don’t confirm the last 4 digits. And don’t give a bank account or credit card number — ever — to anybody who contacts you asking for it. • Anyone who tells you to wire money, pay with a gift card, or send cash or cryptocurrency is a scammer. Always. No matter who they say they are. If you get a call like this, hang up. Tell friends and family members about it. Then, tell us about it too, at ReportFraud.ftc.gov
This article and more can be found on our Prairie du Chien office April Newsletter.
What is a divestment?
A divestment is a gift, sale, or transfer for less than fair market value. A divestment can take many different forms: a cash gift, a sale of a home for less than its current value, adding someone’s name to a property deed, disclaiming an inheritance, or paying on debt the person is not legally obligated to pay for.
Why is it important to know about divestments?
People applying for long-term care Medicaid benefits such as FamilyCare, IRIS, Partnership, Pace, and Institutional Medicaid will be screened to determine if any divestments were made in the five years prior to their application. Note: Divestments are also relevant for eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), but the penalty is calculated differently.
How does a divestment impact eligibility for long-term care Medicaid?
The agency that processes Medicaid applications will calculate a divestment penalty that will render the applicant ineligible for long-term Medicaid for a specific period of time. The current divestment divisor is $303.38 per day (according to Operations Memo 20-27, effective January 1, 2021). To calculate a person’s divestment penalty, take the total amount divested and divide it by $303.38. The result is the number of days that a person will be ineligible for long-term care Medicaid programs.
For example, if a person gave away $100,000, then take 100,000 and divide it by 303.38. The answer is 329.62, which is rounded down to 329. That means this person would be ineligible for long-term care Medicaid for 329 days (approximately 11 months).
What else is important to know about divestments?
Medicaid presumes that family members perform work and provide care to other family members gratuitously. Said another way, Medicaid assumes that the person who is performing the services or providing the care is not expecting to be paid. However, sometimes payment is expected and appropriate. In that case, there must be a signed and notarized contract in place between the two parties prior to the services being rendered and payment made. Otherwise, Medicaid will count those payments to family members as divestments. For more information, read the Medicaid Eligibility Handbook section 17.8.
It is also important to note that sometimes a transaction may appear to be a divestment, but upon further investigation, may not be a divestment at all. For example, someone may sell their home for less than the fair market value, which would seem to be a divestment. However, if there was a fire in the home and it was no longer structurally sound and needed a lot of repairs, it could be sold in “as is” condition for much less than it was previously worth. In those cases, pictures, insurance claim forms, and statements from a realtor can provide verification that the transaction was not a divestment.
Finally, remember that transactions between family members are always highly scrutinized. Keep good records, save receipts, take pictures, and create written agreements to substantiate the understanding of both parties.
This article and more can be found in Our Prairie du Chien Office February Newsletter.