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Medicare & coronavirus—what you need to know
4/2/2020 7:07:22 PM

By Seema Verma Administrator, U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services   Since older Americans are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19), I wanted to let you know the steps we’re taking to help our Medicare beneficiaries cope with the pandemic. We’re warning Medicare beneficiaries that scammers may try to use this emergency to steal their Medicare number, banking information, or other personal data. Unfortunately, scammers come out of the woodwork during times of uncertainty and change. So make sure you give your Medicare number only to...

Explaining COVID-19 to your grandchildren
4/2/2020 7:05:32 PM

Courtesy kp.org   PASADENA—With COVID-19 dominating the news, and schools shut down as part of efforts to slow down the spreading of the disease, it’s understandable that many children feel overwhelmed and in need of self-assurance to help them cope with the added stress. Parents have an important role to play to make sure their children’s mental health does not suffer during these trying times, according to Dr. Ashley Zucker, a child and adolescent psychiatrist with Kaiser Permanente Southern California. “In these challenging times, it’s...

Time alone is time invested
4/2/2020 7:04:06 PM

Dr. James L. Snyder   During the past week, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and Yours Truly have been spending quite a bit of time together. I cannot recall any time that we have spent this much time together. The exception would be when we first got married. Even then, both of us worked during the day and were going to a Bible Institute at night. Occasionally our schedule collided, but rarely. Because we both had energy, we did not realize how much we were doing. Every day had its own blessing. It was not long before the babies came knocking on our door, and we...

Providing help and hope to our children in this time of great crisis
4/2/2020 6:52:06 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman   As COVID-19 spreads across our nation more communities and families need help and hope every day. Today Congress passed a $2 trillion relief package that was a critical step toward easing some the burdens of this crisis for millions of children and families. Among its provisions, it will provide low- and middle-income earners one time cash payments of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child; more support for low-income renters, protections against foreclosures and evictions, grants for homelessness assistance, and temporary shelter and services for homeless...

Lynwood High School student-athlete accepted to Dartmouth College
3/25/2020 12:06:57 PM

LYNWOOD—Lynwood High School senior Jaren Johnson had his share of college options. A standout student-athlete with a 4.1 GPA and basketball skill to match, Johnson was always destined to find higher education opportunities for his enormous potential. But for Johnson, who grew up just outside of Lynwood, choosing a school wasn’t just about himself but the community that helped to inspire him. This was a motivating factor when he officially committed to Dartmouth College. “Not that many people I know get the chance to go to an Ivy League school,” Johnson said....

First weekend of California stay-at-home order hits millions
3/25/2020 11:55:44 AM

By Daisy Nguyen   OAKLAND (AP)—Most Californians stayed at home on a Saturday that was unlike any its 40 million residents had ever seen before. Less than 48 hours after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an unprecedented stay-at-home order to help curb the coronavirus spread, shopping centers and streets were empty. Churches were closed. Playgrounds deserted. However, stores and farmer markets were bustling, and many people took advantage of the beautiful spring weather and rushed to the outdoors. At beaches and parks, not everyone heeded calls to practice social distancing,...

Out of a job? Can’t pay your bills? These proposals may help keep you afloat amid coronavirus
3/25/2020 11:51:02 AM

IN SUMMARY The coronavirus threatens to swell the ranks of Californians in poverty as businesses shutter and workers stay home. Lawmakers are coming up with ideas to soften the economic blow. Donna Insalaco had to lay off 40 of the 45 employees at Pizzaiolo, her gourmet pizzeria in downtown Oakland, after sales fell through a “Black hole.” “A lot of tears,” Insalaco said, “All of us here live check-to-check.” Responding to a statewide call for restaurants to close their doors to dine-in customers, Pizzaiolo is now only offering pick-up and...

One answer could be food banks
3/25/2020 11:43:47 AM

Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters   The coronavirus package includes $400 million for food banks to purchase and distribute foods. The California Association of Food Banks has also requested state funding to purchase food and staff food banks, which are currently facing precipitous drops in volunteers and cancellations of their distribution sites. Coronavirus treatment for all? In the crowdless Democratic primary debate between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, Sanders zeroed in on the coronavirus crisis as further proof of the need for universal and free health care. In...

ASPCA commits $5 million in COVID-19 relief & recovery initiative to help shelters and pet owners
3/25/2020 11:39:42 AM

ASPCA to distribute lifesaving grants to shelters and establish regional pet food distribution centers to provide emergency relief to at-risk pet owners.   NEW YORK–To assist pet owners and shelters affected by the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, the ASPCA ® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ®) is launching the ASPCA Relief & Recovery Initiative, a $5 million multipronged strategic relief response to the crisis. The response includes $2 million in grants to animal shelters in critical need of funds and pet food to pet owners who face...

House leaders introduce bills to improve COBRA for Medicare eligible
3/25/2020 10:47:21 AM

By Karen Fletcher   “Many retirees are unexpectedly exposed to out-of-pocket liability for any costs paid under COBRA benefits on or after date of Medicare eligibility and penalties for late enrollment in Medicare. Some of this risk would be eliminated if COBRA notices addressed the interaction with Medicare, and vice versa. Unfortunately, such information is not required under either Medicare or COBRA, and thus, transparency and clear information about the interaction between the two is lacking.”   WASHINGTON—The above is a quote from a recent letter...