Meeting Tonight – Special Needs Trusts and ABLE accounts

Our general meeting will be in Faith Hall at the First Lutheran Church. 2900 Carson Street, Torrance, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Our Family Support Group will meet at 6 p.m.in the room off of Faith Hall.

Our guests will be Karen Holt, an estate attorney presenting information on Special Needs Trusts, and Marc Ang, Financial Advisor, joining her to discuss ABLE accounts.

A special needs trust is a specialized trust that allows the disabled beneficiary to enjoy the use of property that is held in the trust for his or her benefit while at the same time allowing the beneficiary to receive essential needs-based government benefits. Ms. Holt will review the needs and issues regarding special needs trusts, government benefits and requirements. Because of the restrictions on how much income and assets a person can have while receiving government benefits the use and structure of a special needs trust is very important. The special needs trust can be a valuable tool for family members to consider supporting their loved one.

An ABLE account (Achieving a Better Life Experience) is a relatively new type of tax-advantaged savings account available in several states that an eligible individual can use to pay for qualified disability expenses. The eligible individual is the owner and designated beneficiary of the ABLE account.

Action Alert

SUPPORT SAME DAY ACCESS FOR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE

In California, if a patient receives treatment at a community health center from both a medical provider and a mental health specialist on the same day, Medi-Cal will only cover one of those treatments. A patient has to receive treatment on a different day if they want their second treatment covered. SB 1125 allows local community health centers to bill Medi-Cal for mental health services and other medical services on the same day. SB 1125 is a key bill in the effort to increase access to mental health care for all communities.

SB 1125 WILL BE HEARD IN THE ASSEMBLY HEALTH COMMITTEE ON JUNE 26TH AT 1:30 P.M. IN ROOM 4202.

CLICK HERE to write a letter or learn how you can help.

July Membership Meeting

Please come Monday evening, July 17, 2017, to hear Brittney Weissman, the Executive Director of NAMI Los Angeles County, talk about the state of NAMI in Los Angeles County including:

  • NAMI advocacy efforts.
  • Efforts with law enforcement on crisis intervention and diversion to treatment for persons with a mental illness.
  • The offering of NAMI signature programs throughout LA County including Ending the Silence and some other relatively new programs.
  • The effort of NAMI affiliates in Los Angeles County to meet the NAMI National Standards of Excellence including consideration of consolidating some affiliates.

Brittney and NAMI LA County has become the voice on mental illness in the county whenever the county leadership or media seek input on issues related to mental health. Please take the opportunity to meet, listen and provide input to Brittney Weissman.

We will meeting for the meeting at 7:30 PM in Faith Hall at the First Lutheran Church 2900 Carson, Torrance.

The Caring and Sharing Support Groups will meet at 6 PM.

Advocacy Alert: There is No Health without Mental Health

The phrase “There is no health without mental health” has been a rallying cry for a long time for NAMI South Bay and all the NAMI affiliates across the nation. Progress seems to have been made over the last few years to have mental health as an essential benefit and to have mental health parity with much more to be done. Now with the current House legislation and the proposed Senate legislation mental health could be waived as an essential benefit and mental health parity could face a very serious setback.

Further, the proposed caps on Medicaid funding, which is Medi-Cal in California, would mean more people would not get mental health treatment and the availability and quality would be severely impacted. If hundreds of billions of dollars are cut from Medicaid, it will be harder for people on Medicaid to get psychiatric medications, case management and mental health services. And some people will lose their eligibility for Medicaid. This will push people with mental illness into costly emergency rooms, hospitals and jails.

The Senate should protect Medicaid and SAY NO to any health reform bill that:

  • Caps or limits Medicaid;
  • Ends Medicaid expansion;
  • Takes away protections for people with mental health conditions; or
  • Leaves fewer Americans with coverage for mental illness.

Please contact our Senators Feinstein and Harris to let them know that we cannot accept these reductions in mental health treatment funding and parity. They have already taken positions supporting our efforts but we need to let them know the depth of our concerns. Further, if you have families, friends or colleagues in other states please share your story and concerns with them so they can contact their senators.

CALL Now!

EMAIL Now!

Please see below for more information for you to consider.

Congress is bringing back the American Health Care Act, which would leave millions of Americans without mental health coverage and strip Medicaid of billions of dollars in funding. Please remember that Medicaid in California is Medi-Cal. And the bill has gotten worse.

The recently introduced “MacArthur Amendment” would let states get waivers allowing health insurance plans to not cover mental health and substance use treatment and charge people with mental illness more.

It’s outrageous to even suggest that mental health coverage is optional and to charge people more because they have a mental health condition.

Medicaid coverage is also under threat. It covers important mental health services that help people with mental illness get better and stay better.

Efforts are being made to generate enough votes which we need stop. We have fought for mental health parity for a long time and this act would reverse years of effort and mean many would not have mental health coverage. Your mental health coverage is at risk.

For a comparison of the legistation with the current Affordable Care Act please see this link.

Tell Congress to #KeepWhatWorks and REJECT the American Health Care Act.

Thank you for your advocacy efforts.

Major Medical Organizations Call upon the Senate to “Do the Right Thing”

In response to the passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) yesterday, six major medical organizations jointly released a statement urging the Senate to “put aside” the AHCA and instead work with them to “achieve real bipartisan solutions to improve affordability, access, and coverage for all.”

The six groups that signed onto the statement are the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Osteopathic Association. They collectively represent more than 560,000 physicians and medical students. Among other things, the statement says:

Before and throughout the AHCA debate, our organizations continually offered constructive ideas on achieving agreement on legislation consistent with our shared principles. Regrettably, the AHCA, as amended and passed by the House, violates our principles, dramatically increasing costs for older individuals, resulting in millions of people losing their health care coverage, and returning to a system that allows insurers to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.

We also oppose the AHCA’s Medicaid cuts, including capping and cutting the federal government’s contribution to Medicaid, sunsetting federal funding for Medicaid expansion, and eliminating Medicaid coverage of essential benefits.”

In addition to encouraging the Senate to not take up the AHCA “in any form,” the statement encourages the Senate to take the following actions:

  • Work to achieve real bipartisan solutions to ensure that coverage remains affordable.
  • Stabilize the individual market.
  • Ensure long-term, adequate funding for the CHIP program.
  • Make primary, preventive, and mental health and substance use services more readily available to all Americans.
  • Lower the costs of pharmaceutical treatments.
  • Reform medical liability laws.
  • Reduce the administrative and regulatory burdens that add costs and take time away from patients.

The statement concludes: “We stand ready to assist the Congress on achieving these and other necessary improvements.”

How does the health care bill affect mental health?

  • The AHCA will strip over $800 billion from Medicaid over the next 10 years, forcing states to slash mental health services.
  • 24 million Americans will lose insurance for mental health care.
  • Allows states to:
    • Drop coverage of mental health and substance use (one of the essential health benefits) from insurance plans
    • Charge people higher premiums if they have a pre-existing condition, like depression or anxiety.
    • Create high-risk pools, which are another way of charging people with mental illness more money and providing less coverage

 

Advocacy Alert

Mental health coverage
is at risk

Congress is bringing back the American Health Care Act, which would leave millions of Americans without mental health coverage and strip Medicaid of billions of dollars in funding. Please remember that Medicaid in California is Medi-Cal. And the bill has gotten worse.

The recently introduced “MacArthur Amendment” would let states get waivers allowing health insurance plans to not cover mental health and substance use treatment and charge people with mental illness more.

It’s outrageous to even suggest that mental health coverage is optional and to charge people more because they have a mental health condition.

Medicaid coverage is also under threat. It covers important mental health services that help people with mental illness get better and stay better.

Efforts are being made to generate enough votes which we need stop. We have fought for mental health parity for a long time and this act would reverse years of effort and mean many would not have mental health coverage. Your mental health coverage is at risk.

Tell Congress to #KeepWhatWorks and REJECT the American Health Care Act.

Call Now

Email Now

Thank you for your advocacy efforts.

Meeting Tonight — 7:30 p.m. — Conservatorship

Ms. Gilda Ramos Assistant Division Chief – LPS Program from Los Angeles County Office of the Public Guardian will present on Conservatorship at our monthly meeting 7:30 PM Monday, April 17, 2017.

Ms. Ramos is with the Office of Public Guardian which administers conservatorship in Los Angeles. She will tell us what conservatorship is all about and how one goes about obtaining conservatorship or having someone conserved.

The Caring and Sharing Support Group will start at 6 PM and the Speaker Presentation will start at 7:30 PM at the First Lutheran Church 2900 Carson in Torrance.