non-profit hospitals offer financial assistance…???

Learned something new while watching ABC World News tonight with Diane Sawyer.

Seems a woman who owed a hospital $27,000 was on the verge of losing her house. With the help of an ABC investigative reporter, the woman’s bill was lowered to $7,000…allowing her to keep her home.

Non-profit hospitals (I never heard of the concept…Have you?) are required by law to publicize the fact that financial assistance is available to those in need…even folks with health insurance.

How is that possible? Government money.

Non-profits get our money. It’s only fair…they give back.

So next time you’re in a hospital, check if it’s non-profit.

Felicia Willems: Thank You Affordable Care Act

If it is…look for some kind of public notification which indicates the hospital is in compliance with the Affordable Care Act‘s financial assistance requirements.

The ACA directs the IRS to establish Section 501 ( r ) of the Internal Revenue Code to implement new community benefit rules for hospitals that are subsidized through the federal tax exemption. These new rules are currently in effect and require that hospitals do the following:

1. Establish written financial assistance policies describing who is eligible for free or reduced cost care and publicize them to patients and the community.

2. Refrain from extraordinary collections actions against patients before screening them to determine whether they qualify for financial assistance.

3. Limit fees charged to patients eligible for financial assistance to rates paid by Medicare or the lowest amounts paid by insured patients.

4. Conduct a regular community health needs assessment and implement a plan to address selected needs.

(An excerpt from   http://blog.credit.com/2012/05/how-obamacare-keeps-debt-collectors-out-of-hospitals/  )

trivia…not so trivial

Saw my hairdresser, Zorianna, today. Thankfully she brought me back from the brink. I was beginning to look like a skunk, a white strip growing ever wider at the top of my scalp. I know it’s love, when my husband, a few heads taller, hugs me without asking “When’s your next hair appointment?”

As any woman will tell you, hairdressers are as important to our mental well-being, as a doctor is to our physical well-being. Walking around with our crowning glory at its most glorious, is worth a million bucks! Thank goodness it doesn’t cost that much, but beauty does come at a price. In my case, it’s not so much that, as it is not wanting to look like my husband’s escorting his granny everywhere. And I don’t think it’s just my imagination, because he’s the one who keeps telling me it’s alright to visit Zorianna monthly.

One of the things Zorianna mentioned which I’d not seen, was a Chase commercial explaining that a customer can send pictures, front and back, of a check for deposit into his or her account. I immediately queried “How safe is that?” While it is a deposit, there’s no telling what spammers and hackers, some of them geniuses, will try to do to steal the depositor’s identity, bank account info, or money. I wouldn’t want to find out. But then again I’m still a fraidy cat gingerly tip-toeing around the internet’s universe. So don’t go looking for pictures of my check bouncing around out there in Google-land. They’re safe and sound in cash drawers at Target and Trader Joe’s and Costco and…

ABC World News

Image via Wikipedia

This evening while I was preparing dinner, Diane Sawyer and ABC World News Tonight was on as background noise. I did stop to watch 2 news items.

Alzheimer’s it seems can be prevented, according to recent studies, by avoiding the following 7 items:

 Evidently eliminating these 7 factors can lead to a 25% reduction in the risk of getting the disease. Researchers project that would prevent half-a-million new cases of Alzheimer’s. Something to seriously think about.

Gibraltar Senior Citizens Social Club, Town Ra...

Image via Wikipedia

It seems more and more retired couples have taken to living apart. Doesn’t this sound like an oxymoron?!? Why would married people not want to realize their dream of togetherness in old age? Well it’s not actually as unbelievable as it may seem.

One couple interviewed by the ABC reporter had planned to move to Maine when the husband retired. After trying it for one year, the wife decided she didn’t care to live there year round. So she ended up taking an apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts during the winter months. She loved the vibrancy of city life and being surrounded by people younger than herself. And while her husband missed her terribly at the beginning, she felt she was less wimpy. Turning to her husband she laughingly exclaimed “I can beat you up.”

One of my daughter’s friends’ parents have a similar arrangement. They reside in Conncecticut where the father has his business. During the winter, the mom heads south to warm, sunny Florida. When he’s able, the husband flies south for a few days. Sounds like a reasonable solution, if the couple is willing and able.

I don’t think my husband and I would enjoy living apart. We already endure separations when he’s away on business. Something of a regular occurrence, moreso in the past than now. Moreover I lived with my daughter for 2 1/2 years while she was beginning to train for her career as a ballerina, while my husband remained behind….earning our living. 

I’m looking forward to doing things with my husband…like gardening, going for long walks, taking road trips. And doing them whenever we have an inkling. Doing them…

at our whim…not someone else’s…hugmamma.