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16th Annual National Lifespan Respite Conference

The Tennessee Respite Coalition is hosting the 2014 National Lifespan Respite Conference in Nashville, TN from October 7-9, 2014. The theme, "Get in Tune with Respite," reflects Nashville's musical nature and encourages learning and sharing how respite can promote harmony for families in caregiving situations. More details are available on the ARCH (Access to Respite Care and Help) web site, and a printable flyer has also been created for the event.

New Program For Victims of Car Accidents

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 is the kick-off date for the Tennessee Department of Transportation's new Yellow DOT Program. Other states already have the program in place, but it's new to Tennessee.

Participants receive both a yellow decal and yellow folder. The decal goes on your car and the folder is kept in the glove box. Inside the folder are details about any special medical conditions that the driver (or passengers) may have. In the event of an accident, emergency responders will see the decal on the outside of the car and then know to look inside the car for special instructions and important medical information.

The link above offers more details about the program. There is also a list of enrollment sites.

Don't Be Penalized For Retiring!

A message from TN SHIP Director Shannon Jones:

If you plan on retiring soon, you need to understand how your Medicare benefits work. If you make an enrollment mistake, you may be financially penalized for your entire benefit period. Medicare Parts A, B and D have late penalty charges if you do not enroll in a timely manner. Most consumers receive Medicare Part A without a monthly premium, and penalties are not common because they have worked 40 or more quarters of Medicare-covered employment. However, this is not the case for Part B and Part D.

Part B has a monthly premium of $104.90 in 2014 unless you have an income-related adjustment. If you do not enroll when you should, your monthly premium for Part B may go up 10% for each full 12-month period that you could have had Part B but didn’t sign up for it. Read more . . .

Outreach to the Homeless in Knoxville

TN SHIP/SMP staff and volunteers are reaching out to the homeless to help them with their Medicare and Medicaid benefits by working with Lost Sheep Ministries to provide services at a homeless camp underneath the I-40 Bridge in Knoxville. TN SHIP/SMP sets up a table filled with educational handouts that include applications for Medicaid and food stamp eligibility, a Veterans benefits list, and resource books with a listing of available services through the East TN Development District and the Area Agency on Aging & Disability.

Through a partnership with the local Department of Human Services (DHS), SHIP representatives fax applications from homeless applicants. Since most of the people needing help do not have an address, it has also been arranged through local missions, the Social Security Administration, or DHS to use their various business addresses.

TN SHIP/SMP regularly sets up on Wednesday nights when Lost Sheep Ministries provides hot meals beneath the bridge. On average, 250-700 people attend, depending on the time of the month. On holidays the number is closer to 1200. On these Wednesday nights, Lost Sheep distributes different items to attendees: clothing, toiletries, and a prayer table stocked with bibles. They are also able to provide mobile dental care, nursing, and a medical doctor. They even have a vendor that has a mobile unit for serving BBQ 1-2 times a month.

TN SHIP Needs Volunteers

Customer service operator.

Looking for a meaningful, fulfilling volunteer opportunity with the aging and disabled population? TN SHIP has volunteer opportunities for you to assist consumers with understanding their Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Training is available across the state. See our events calendar for training near you.