Disability Help Center - San Diego - September 2019



September 2019


In 1965, the first federal health insurance program, Medicare, was created to help people ages 65 and over regardless of income, health status, or medical history. Then in 1972, the program expanded to provide coverage to selected people under 65 who have a long-term disability. Now, 60 million Americans utilize Medicare in order to receive health and financial security for many medical care services, including hospitalizations, physician visits, prescription drugs, preventive services, skilled nursing facility and home health care, and hospice care.

People eligible for Medicare can get their health coverage through either original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan. Here’s a look at the differences between these two options: Original Medicare includes Part A (inpatient/hospital coverage) and Part B (outpatient/medical coverage). You will receive a red, white, and blue card to show your providers when receiving care. Most doctors in the country take your insurance. Additionally, Medicare limits how much you can be charged if you visit participating or nonparticipating providers. Medicare Advantage plans are also known as Medicare Private Health plans or Part C. Some of the most common types of plans are the following: • Health maintenance organization (HMO) plans • Preferred provider organization (PPO) plans • Private fee-for-service (PFFS) plans If you join a Medicare Advantage plan, you will not use the red, white, and blue card when you go to the doctor or hospital. Instead, you will use the membership card your plan sends you to get health services covered. Plans must provide the same benefits offered by original Medicare, but they may apply different rules, costs, and restrictions. They also may offer certain benefits that original Medicare does not cover. Remember that there are several different kinds of Medicare Advantage plans. If you are interested in joining a plan, speak to a qualified representative for more information.

and later decide you would like to try a Medicare Advantage plan (or vice versa), be aware that there are certain enrollment periods when you are allowed to make changes. Consult a licensed broker for specific enrollment-period guidelines. While there are several more differences between original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans — too many to reference in one article, in fact — you can reach out to Medicare Help USA to see what type of plan you’re eligible for, get advice about which plans suits your needs best, and have them walk you through the application steps. Don’t wait another minute! Give them a call at 1-855- 872-4550 or go to MedicareHelpUSA.com/contact-us to fill out a brief enrollment form!

Because Medicare Help USA has open enrollment in October, they want to provide some helpful information to help you understand some of the differences plans offered.

For these reasons, our team is happy to announce that we have recently partnered with Medicare Help USA, a great organization that can assist you in finding coverage that meets your personal needs. From parts and plans to cost-sharing and formularies, tiers, and coverage gaps, they break Medicare down into bite-sized chunks everyone can understand. Because Medicare Help USA has open enrollment in October, they want to provide some helpful information to help you understand some of the differences plans offered.

Additionally, if you sign up for original Medicare

–Elizabeth Packard

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School is back in session, but your child may be bringing home more than just random facts. Germs and bacteria that spread the common cold and flu are most prevalent in schools, but while these illnesses are strong, prevention is simple. Teach your kids how to prevent the spread of bacteria this season with these helpful tips.

research, sneezes can travel anywhere from 19–26 feet at 100 miles per hour!) For crafty kids, let them decorate tissue boxes or hand sanitizer containers to give hygiene some flair. Soon enough, you’ll find them being smarter about their health. As kids pack into classrooms this fall, germs will fly faster than this past summer did. Prevent the spread of the common cold and flu by learning more tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention online at CDC.gov.


Kids learn more by watching what you do rather than listening to what you tell them to do. Get in the habit of covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, and then wash your hands. Make hand sanitizer and facial tissues readily available in your home and be sure to wash your hands before every meal. In addition, stick to healthy habits when you do feel sick. Drink fluids, get plenty of rest, and seek medical attention when it’s warranted. If your children see you taking care of yourself, they will be more likely to do the same for themselves in the future.

AHH ... AHH ... ACHOO!

Hand washing and nose blowing are about as fun as … well, just that. It’s no wonder children don’t want to take time out of their busy play schedules to combat nasty germs. Instead of making these important steps a chore, make basic hygiene fun. Use fun songs to teach the proper way to cover a sneeze, or do a science experiment to teach your children about the germs spread through just one sneeze. (According to



While we officially transition from summer to fall this month, the scorching temperatures outside refuse to waiver, and, if you don’t have access to air conditioning or a nice cool body of water to jump into, you can feel quite miserable. Even if you’ve

If you don’t have time to give your toes a good soak, you can take a water bottle, fill it up halfway, and put it in a freezer. Take it out a few hours later, and you have your own ice pack you can take on the go. If you’re

spent the entire summer brainstorming ways to effectively battle the unstoppable heat waves, there’s no reason you should have to sweat it out on your own during these last couple months. Here are some innovative, useful, and inexpensive options for keeping cool.

worried about the mess the melting water might make, consider another option. Take a sock or small pillowcase, fill it with rice, and freeze it. You can place these DIY packs on your pressure points to cool yourself down quickly.



Years of anecdotal evidence suggests the quickest way to cool down is to dunk your toes in freezing-cold water. The process allegedly cools down the pressure points in your feet, which helps bring down your core temperature as well. If you’re looking for more pressure points, try running some cold water over your wrists, forehead, and the back of your neck.

Many people have had great success (and saved a lot of money) by building their own air conditioning. Start by taking a shallow bowl or a

roasting pan and fill it with ice. Then place it in front of a box fan. The effect won’t be a strong as a commercial air conditioner, but, when those heat waves come streaming in, every little bit helps!


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With the onslaught of all our amazing new resource partners, we at the Disability Help Center can’t contain our excitement. You already saw from the cover article of this newsletter edition that we can get you important assistance through Medicare Help USA in the upcoming months. But, in addition to this helpful resource, we would like to introduce you to three other partners that can be of great benefit to you and hundreds of others in the San Diego area.

by Huntington’s disease and their families through support and services. They do so by educating both the public and health care professionals about Huntington’s disease and promoting and supporting research directed at discovering a treatment and ultimately a cure for Huntington’s disease. They have several support groups to join, awareness walks, and information on new drug trials being conducted.

Address: P.O. Box 10368 Burbank, CA 91510-0368 Email: Nan Pace at hdsa_nan.pace@yahoo.com Website: San-Diego.HDSA.org

URBAN STREET ANGELS This innovative local group helps homeless youth (ages 18–25) get job training and find supportive housing. A valued leader at Urban Street Angels is Sunny, a caring and hardworking woman who knows how to help because she’s been there. Born into homelessness, Sunny was raised in foster care and transitioned into adoption. At the

SOUTHERN CAREGIVER RESOURCE CENTER Serving over 80,000 people annually, Southern Caregiver Resource Center (SCRC) is the leading provider of FREE caregiver-support services for families or individuals who are caring for frail older adults, adults living with Alzheimer’s disease, and/or related disorders in San Diego County. SCRC also offers a wide variety of support services that include education, counseling, respite care, case management, and support groups.

age of 18, Sunny started working as a job coach for disabled adults. Since then, Sunny has used her survival, coping, and resourcefulness skills to pass along to the youth of Urban Street Angels.

Address: 1404 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 Phone: (619) 415-6616 Website: UrbanStreetAngels.org

Address: 3675 Ruffin Rd., Ste. 230, San Diego, CA 92123 Phone: (858) 268-4432 or (800) 827-1008 Website: CaregiverCenter.org

HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE SOCIETY OF AMERICA The San Diego chapter of Huntington’s Disease Society of America aims to help individuals affected

All of these resources can provide great help to those in need. If you’d like assistance getting in contact with them, reach out to our advocates at Disability Help Center!



On Sept. 7–8, stand united with the San Diego Rescue Mission to change the state of homelessness in our city through their Sleepless 2019 event! With over 8,000 people experiencing homelessness in San Diego, people in the community must join hands to make an effective impact and help those who desperately need it. Sleepless 2019 features live music, family-fun activities, service opportunities (like making hygiene kits and pet packs for people living on the street), food, and, of course, the optional overnight sleep-out in the Liberty Station NTC Park, where the event is being held. Gates open at 4 p.m. and the events go from 5–10 p.m. before the sleepout commences. There is something for everyone at Sleepless, so gather your family and friends and come for the evening or stay out all night. Go to SleeplessSanDiego.org for FAQs and ticket prices!




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Disability Help Center 1833 Fourth Ave. San Diego, CA 92101 888-418-8860 DisabilityHelpCenter.org



Medicare 101


Teach Your Kids Flu Prevention How to Battle These End-of-Summer Heat Waves


3 New Resources Everyone Needs to Know About! San Diego Rescue Mission Invites You to Sleepless 2019!


Honoring the Canines of 9/11



In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service. Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris. Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16-hour days, searching for survivors and victims. They worked through dangerous conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was both physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs during their shifts. Some dogs that found deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without any results, mirroring their handlers. It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up.

Fortunately, the sacrifices these dogs and their handlers made did not go unnoticed. Many dog owners were inspired to earn their search and rescue certifications after the

events of 9/11, promising to aid in future disasters and hopefully lessen the impact of such catastrophes.

After 9/11, various researchers conducted many studies examining the effect this kind of work has on

animals, both physically and mentally. Many of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the AKC Canine Health Foundation, so if you’re looking to give back this September, visit them at their website to see how you can help: AKCCHF.org


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