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December, 2006

Senior News from December, 2006

New Website Helps Consumers Plan Long-Term Care

A new website from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides information and resources to consumers and families about planning ahead for long-term care needs.  The National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information includes information about purchasing long-term care insurance, as well as private market alternatives.  It outlines relevant state partnerships with Medicaid, and the availability and limitations of coverage under Medicaid.  The new website also includes interactive tools such as a savings calculator, contact information for national programs, and real-life testimonies and examples to help people start planning ahead for their futures.


The website is a collaboration between HHS’ Administration on Aging, the Centers for Medicare and Medicate Services (CMS), and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE).  The goal of the website is to empower consumers to plan ahead and choose the best long-term care from the available options.  Planning ahead now will help many secure their future, and potentially decrease their chances of being victimized when they are older and more vulnerable.


For more information, visit


Law Requires Banks To Report Fraud

A new California law that goes into effect on Jan 1, 2007, will put more pressure on bank employees to report any instances of financial abuse toward senior citizens.  Since bank employees are in a unique position to recognize the first signs of financial crimes against seniors, they will become as responsible as doctors and social workers in reporting abuse to authorities.  Bank and financial institution employees will be punished by fines and jail time if they do not meet the requirements of this new law.


Many banks have trained their employees to watch for warning signs of fraud in the past, but the new law will require greater vigilance, and outlines specific reporting procedures.  Mike Leonard, security officer and fraud investigator at Exchange Bank, said that his bank “typically turns up a suspected case of financial abuse against seniors once or twice every month.  The new law should double the number of cases it reports.”


For more information read an article from The Press Democrat.



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