Alternative Offered To Nursing Homes

Senior briefs

January 10, 1991

Applications are now being taken by Bowie Ambulatory Care, a non-profit group, to provide an alternative to nursing homes. Residents share a private home with three other senior citizens. Each resident has his or her own room. Nursing assistants provide 24-hour care. All meals are prepared to each resident's needs. Transportation and community activities are also available.

Information: 464-0242 (Susan Masters).

COURSE ON PAINTING MEETS ON THURSDAYS

A free 10-week painting class for anyone 60 years or older will begin Thursday, Jan. 10, at Brooklyn Park Library, 1 E. Eleventh Ave.

The class will meet each Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m. Beginners through advanced students are encouraged to attend. This course is sponsored by the Anne Arundel CountyDepartment of Aging and the Senior Adult Program of the Anne ArundelCommunity College.

Information: 222-6707.

BLUE CROSS/SHIELD GETS RATE INCREASES

Maryland Insurance Commissioner John A. Donaho approved new rates for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland Over-65 programs. The approved rates represent an average decrease of 60 percent of the amount Blue Cross requested.

The rates are for individual Medicare supplement (Medigap) plans and Over-65 policies designed for senior citizens who have Medicare. The programs involved are the Choice, the Premium, the Standard and the Basic plans.

At an Insurance Division hearing on Dec. 11, the rate increase requested would have amounted to about $11 million annually. The increase granted allows $4.3 million a year. The weighted average increase approved forall the plans is about 5 percent, rather than the 13 percent requested by the company.

The increased rates reflect additional benefitsas well as trends in charges for medical care.

The policies will be amended to provide additional benefits required as a result of higher deductibles in federal Medicare benefits. The most important of these are:

* Hospital initial deductible goes from $592 to $628 foreach admission.

* Initial deductible for Part B Medicare coveringmedical surgical benefits increases from $75 to $100 a year.

Information: 333-4965.

SENIORS TO PRESENT AGENDA TO LEGISLATURE

Hundreds of Maryland senior citizens will converge on Annapolis Jan. 15 to present their 1991 agenda to Maryland state legislative and executive leaders.

The all-day rally, sponsored by United Seniors of Maryland, will begin at 9 a.m at Maryland Hall for Creative Arts, at Constitution Avenue and Greenfield Street in Annapolis. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m.

Health policy at both national and state levels -- the principle theme of the rally -- will be addressed by a series of state and federal speakers.

The United Seniors of Maryland is an umbrella coalition of 32 organizations with an aggregate membership ofmore than a half million senior citizens. Its legislative agenda, representing a consensus of member organizations, calls for expanded community-based health care facilities as well as action on tax, transportation and housing issues.

U.S. Representative Benjamin Cardin, former speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, will be the keynote speaker.

The 600 to 800 seniors expected to attend will also hear from Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Miller Jr., House of Delegates speaker Clayton Mitchell, and Rosalie Abrams, director of the State's Office on Aging.

A panel discussion on health issues will bepresented by Judy Fefer, former executive director of the Pepper Commission and currently co-director of Consumer Union, and John Donaho,Maryland Insurance Commissioner.

Moderator for the morning panel will be Arthur S. Flemming, who served as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare in the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

This afternoon will be devoted to caucus sessions with individual county legislative delegations. Bus transportation will be provided from the hall to the Lowe House Office Building.

Rally ticketsare $7.

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