Budget uncertainty could make it harder for the elderly to access medical care

In case you’ve not yet seen a desired destination, such as parts of Alaska, it’s worthwhile taking some time to go through whatever you can find from accounts written by local authors. Alaska is recognized as a travel destination that the issue of sustainable travel does matter. Articles looking at the state of Alaska deserve reading. Vacationers are considering Alaskan summer vacations due to its repute as an alluring place. Is there a best vacation location?

a trip to the state of Alaska

A Vacation In Alaska, the 49th State

It’s no surprise that reading area coverage is far more practical than detailed brochure summaries. An alternate helpful entry is getting noticed following that all of us calculated you might be interested in it. By my count there are not enough unique stories that cover all the questions people have. This tip is related to things to keep in mind for travelers checking an Alaskan holiday.

Budget uncertainty could make it harder for the elderly to access medical care

was written by Nina Sparling, KCAW – Sitka , 2019-08-02 23:27:30

be sure to visit their website, source link is at the end of the article

Cecilia Borbridge used a Miller Trust to afford the medical care she needed at the end of her life. (Photo/Borbridge Family)

Alan Borbridge and his sister cared for their mother at home for as long as possible. Cecilia Borbridge wanted to age at home. She came to Baranof Island as a teenager to attend Sheldon Jackson when it was still a high school. And she never left.

For the past ten-odd years, home and family care worked for the Borbridge family. But after a minor stroke earlier this year, Cecilia’s needs began to exceed Alan’s capacity.

“It was enough to where it became too much for me and my sister to manage on our own,” Borbridge said. “It was pretty obvious she needed 24/7 care.”

That meant finding a long-term care option for Cecilia, which wasn’t easy. That many elderly people struggle to secure and afford long-term care is nothing new. Governor Mike Dunleavy’s extensive budget vetoes threaten to make matters worse. Potential cuts to senior benefits and Medicaid have many concerned. But the elder community faces another potential setback – this one tied to cuts to the Alaska Legal Services Corporation.

The fate of the vetoes is currently uncertain: HB2001 restores much of the funding eliminated in Gov. Dunleavy’s line-item vetoes. That bill passed the House and Senate, but awaits the governor’s signature — or a second round of vetoes.

When Cecilia needed full-time, professional help. Alan and his sister turned to Sitka Pioneer Home in town. His mother required Tier III care at a cost of some $7,000 a month, Borbridge said. Despite being on a fixed income, Cecilia still made too much money each month to qualify for a Medicaid waiver that would defray the costs of care

Monthly payouts from her retirement fund put her “way over income” to qualify for that waiver Borbridge said. That’s because, depending on the specifics, Medicaid waivers or Medicaid is often the only way for low-income seniors to get support for long-term care, said Catherine Rogers, a member attorney at the Alaska Legal Services corporation.

Alongside other legal advice for low-income people, she spends a lot of her time helping elderly people afford medical care through something called a Miller Trust, or Qualified Income Trust. That’s what Rogers helped Alan set up for Cecilia. She also helped the Borbridge family manage their assets – another necessary step to qualify. The cuts to Alaska Legal Services could mean fewer people will have access to that support.

Without insurance through a Medicaid waiver, there was no way the Borbridge family could have afforded the Pioneer Home long-term. A Miller Trust changed that. They could funnel the quote-on-quote “extra” money that pushed Cecilia over the Medicaid limit into a special account. It’s a complicated, but essential, tool for the elderly community, Rogers says.

“Otherwise they cannot afford the healthcare that they need,” Rogers said.

But it isn’t a trust like any other: After a person passes, the state can tap the Miller Trust to reimburse itself for whatever it paid out for that person’s care through Medicaid. Rogers advised Alan to set up a Miller Trust for his mother. And it worked. She got into the Pioneer Home, where she lived for three months before passing.

“The way I look at it, it was a help-help for us and the state,” Borbridge said. “Everybody’s happy, everybody gets their money.”

A Miller Trust isn’t something that just anyone can walk into a bank to set up. It requires careful legal advice. Alan didn’t even know a Miller Trust was an option before he talked to Alaska Legal Services.

That legal advice might get harder to come by in Southeast Alaska, depending on whether or not Gov. Dunleavy signs HB2001. His vetoes from earlier this summer eliminated state funding for Alaska Legal Services. The House voted to restore that funding, but until the bill is signed into law, the future of legal aid remains in limbo.

Alaska Legal Services faces a loss of about $759,000, or a fifteen-percent of its budget. It might not sound catastrophic, but that money helps Alaska Legal Services operate in rural communities like Sitka, said Nikole Nelson, executive director of the organization.

Without the legal aid the organization provides, people might struggled to afford or access help with things like setting up trusts.

“People can lose their house, protections, or ability to access healthcare,” Nelson said.

Nelson says Alaska Legal Services expects to serve 1,393 fewer people statewide without state funding. Three offices will close. She doesn’t know yet which ones. And this elimination of funding is unprecedented. In the Alaska Legal Corporation’s 52-year life, it has always received a state appropriation.

“Since we’ve opened our doors,” Nelson said. “So this would be the first time.”

Rogers, the attorney in Sitka, says the threat of fewer services thanks to budget cuts leaves people like Borbridge at risk.

“These are people that are already on [the] cusp of not being able to afford things,” Rogers said. “Without someone doing this kind of work you leave vulnerable people unprotected.”

For the Borbridge family, the Miller Trust was make or break. Cecilia had savings, Alan says, but far from enough to consider a stay in the Pioneers Home without Medicaid and the Miller TrustAnd there’s no way Alan could have figured it all out on his own. 

“Minimum $150 or $200 an hour for an attorney, that’s really out of the question for a lot of people,” he said. “You don’t wake up in the morning and say ‘you know, I need to spend a few thousand on attorneys.’”

Alan lives on a fixed income. So without legal advice to help navigate the aging process, he, and many of the people in his community, are wondering where they’ll turn next. 

Read Original Budget uncertainty could make it harder for the elderly to access medical care Article Here

a trip to Alaska, the 49th State

A Trip To Alaska, the Last Frontier

Often the most explanatory material are not all encompassing educational research studies but detailed viewpoints showing individuals and small communities. But, surprisingly it is sometimes the biggest institutions offering the more entertaining and helpful content. Needless to say there is also a role for travel statistical statements or policy analysis. Posts about going to Alaska like Budget uncertainty could make it harder for the elderly to access medical care support us to study the broad topics of sustainable tourism.

Alaska is a destination in which sustainable tourism is essential.

Travel consultant recommended excursions for absolutely everyone touring Alaska is

Tongass National Forest. The Tongass is the largest national forest in the United States. It obtained it’s name from the Tongass Clan of the Tlingit native people and dates back to 1902 when President Theodore Roosevelt established the Alexander Archipelago Forest Reserve. In 1908 the forest was re-named and expanded and at present the 16.9 million-acre Tongass National Forest stretches from the Pacific ocean to the large inland ice fields that border British Columbia and from the southern tip of Prince of Wales Island to Malaspina Glacier five hundred miles to the north. More than 80 % of Southeast Alaska is in Tongass and with it’s thousands of islands, fjords and bays the national forest offers 11,000 miles of coastline. Tongass’ sizable coastal rain forest includes towering hemlock, spruce and red and yellow cedar. The undergrowth underneath thehuge conifers is made up of young evergreens and shrubs such as devil’s club, blueberry and huckleberry. Moss and ferns cover the ground, and lichens hang many trees and rocks.

Wildlife is abundant throughout Tongass. Sitka blacktail deer and it’s 2 main predators, wolf and brown bear, are observed here. Black bear are common as well as mountain goats and some moose. Marine mammals encountered along the coast line consist of Dall and harbor porpoises, seals and humpback, minke and orca whales and a thriving population of sea otters. The water teem with fish such as halibut and all five species of Pacific salmon. More bald eagles stay in this area than in any other location in the world. While home to the world’s biggest temperate rain forest, nearly fifty percent of Tongass is covered by ice, water, wetlands and rock. It’s most prominent ice floe is the Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska’s “Drive-in glacier” because it is no more than thirteen miles from down-town Juneau along a paved road. A boat trip from Petersburg or Wrangell brings everyone near the face of LeConte Glacier, the southernmost tidewater glacier on the continent. Only thirty miles north of Yakutat is Hubbard Glacier, the longest tidewater glacier in the world and easily Alaska’s most active. The 76-mile-long glacier has crossed Russell Fjord several times, lately in 2008. The rip tides and currents that flow in front of the 8-mile-wide glacier are so strong they induce Hubbard to calve almost constantly. The Tongass includes nineteen wilderness areas, including the 545-sq-mile Russell Fjord Wilderness, in addition to Admiralty Island National Monument and Misty Fiords National Monument. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and the general area surrounding Haines and Skagway are not part of the national forest.

a trip to Tongass National Forest in the state of Alaska

A Trip To Tongass National Forest in Alaska