Last session the Arizona legislature passed a law requiring co-pays be paid by low-income Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) clients with incomes between 34% and 100% of the Federal Poverty Level. That means individuals with income between $255 and $749 per month will now be required by law to pay co-pays for their medical services! The new required co-pays are: $4 for each generic prescription medication, $10 for each brand name prescription medication, $5 for each office visit and $30 for each non-emergency use of the Hospital Emergency Room. This means that for the first time Medicaid rules allow that care can be denied or medications not distributed if the co-payment is not made. The decision to provide services or medication is ultimately left to the provider. The Morrison Institute is seeking comments from AHCCCS members and service providers to identify how these new co-payments are impacting individuals. If you or someone you know has been affected by these co-pay changes, please contact Ellen Katz at (602) 252-3432 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are also encouraged to contact your legislator to let him/her know how this new co-pay requirement affects you or those you serve. You can locate your legislator on-line at http://www.azleg.state.az.us or by calling the Arizona House of Representatives at (602) 542-4221.
Last year, several legislators noted that it was citizen involvement that saved many health and social programs during the budget crisis. For this purpose, the Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL) maintains several e-mail alert lists to help keep you informed on advocacy issues. E-mail is an excellent advocacy tool, offering timely information while also providing you with ways to take action. With local and national elections just over a year away, now is the time to get up to par with the issues that affect you and to learn which political candidates support these issues. One of the lists ABIL offers is Empower!, their general alert list where you will get information on state and national legislation, ballot initiatives, candidates, and how you can get involved. They also offer issue specific lists, which focus on Transit, Prescription Drugs (getting coverage), Employment, and Independent Living. Sign up for the e-mail list of your choice by e-mailing Donna Kruck at email@example.com and indicating on which e-mail lists you wish to be included.
The Empowering Youth with Disabilities into Adulthood Program is entering its 3rd year in assisting high school students with disabilities in transitioning from school to community life. The program provides peer and adult mentors, advocacy on behalf of students and families, disability sensitivity training and technical training to special education teachers. The program is currently seeking volunteer Youth Mentors. If you are someone who: is a young adult, has a disability, or are close to someone who does, has successfully achieved independent living skills on your own, or is willing to assist others in achieving their own independent living goals, please contact Leanne Jones of ABIL at (602) 296-0535 or firstname.lastname@example.org to become a Peer Mentor. As Program Coordinator, Leanne can also assist you as a student with a disability or a family member as you move forward on the path to independence.
Arizona Bridge to Independent Living has a variety of fun events for adults with disabilities planned for this summer. Events include a trip to the Arizona Science Center, arts and crafts, bowling, ice cream socials and much more. A small fee is charged for each event. Transportation is limited. ABIL requests a $1 donation (each way) for transportation provided on the ABIL van. For more information, call ABIL at (800) 280-2245 (V/TTY).
Mayor's Commission on Disability Issues, in collaboration with other area agencies, is sponsoring the 2003 Ability Counts Job Fair on Monday, June 16, 2003 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Burton Barr Central Library: Pulliam Auditorium in Phoenix, Arizona. Job seekers with disabilities will have an opportunity to learn about career opportunities available at more than 30 employers in such industries as hospitality, technology, retail, high-tech, health care, manufacturing, finance, government and customer service. Workshops will also be offered to job seekers including "Mainstreaming Your Job Search," "How to Positively Talk About your Disabilities at an Interview" and "Employment Barrier Busters for Individuals with Disabilities." The Job Fair is free to attend. For more information, call (602) 262-6690 (Voice) or (602) 534-1557 (TTY).
Improbable Theatre Company will be producing a theatrical piece called Actual Lives in May 2003. They are currently looking for participants for their Actual Lives workshop. This writing / performance workshop will offer participants the opportunity to fully exercise self expression while collaborating to produce an exciting theatre piece from autobiographical material. The Actual Lives theatre piece will include spoken narrative, poetry, comic skits, song and dance, video, and various other performance modes. The workshop will begin Monday, April 7th and run through May. The final piece will be performed as part of the Herberger Theater Center's Lunch Time Theater Series, May 20th through June 5th. Workshops and rehearsals will be held Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 1:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. For more information, contact Kathy Tweet at ABIL's Artreach/ITC line, (602) 296-0503.
Arizona Bridge to Independent Living will be hosting several workshops focusing on disability work incentives throughout March 2003. Presentations are free and will discuss how employment will affect your cash and medical benefits provided under SSI or SSDI. The workshops covering SSDI Work Incentives are scheduled at the following times and locations: Wednesday, March 12, from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at the Metro Center Office - 10000 N. 31st Avenue, Suite D-405 in Phoenix; Thursday, March 27 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. at 1229 E. Washington Street in Phoenix; Monday, March 31 from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at ABIL East Office - 225 E. 1st Street in Mesa. The workshop covering SSI Work Incentives is scheduled for Thursday, March 13 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. at 1229 E. Washington St. in Phoenix. Participants must RSVP with David Carey of ABIL at (602) 296-0523. For accommodations or alternative format please call in advance.
Like most states, Arizona is in a budget crisis. It is facing a $1 billion shortfall for the 2004 budget. The Governor and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) have each proposed very different budgets to address this shortfall. The Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC), lead by Representative Russell Pearce (District 18, Mesa) and Senator Bob Burns (District 9, Peoria), has proposed drastic cuts for many important community programs. Proposed cuts include those to health care and pharmaceutical services, to in-home support services, and to service agencies like AHCCCS, Department of Health Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities and Vocational Rehabilitation. Cuts to such programs will greatly affect the wellbeing of thousands of people with disabilities. The Governor's budget on the other hand preserves most funding for these important services. Contact your legislators today! Call, e-mail, write or make an appointment to meet with them face-to-face. Tell them what services and programs are important to you. Your voice will make the difference. To contact your representative, visit the Project Vote Smart website and enter your 9 digit zip code. You can also visit the Arizona State Legislature website. If you would like more information on each proposed budget, contact the Arizona Bridge to Independent Living at (800) 280-2245(Voice/TTY).
Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL) will be co-sponsoring the Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities Legislative Awareness Day. This event, scheduled for Tuesday, January 21, 2003 at the Wesley Bolin Plaza in Phoenix, is your opportunity to discuss disability related public policy issues with your legislators, over lunch. Other opportunities that day include a workshop on how the legislature works and how you can get involved in this next critical legislative session. ABIL will provide lunch. It is up to you to invite your legislators to lunch. To determine your district and legislator call the Independent Redistricting Commission at (602) 364-1350. To reserve a lunch, sign up for the legislative training, or request a reasonable accommodation including alternate formats or sign language interpreter please contact Valeria Hill at the Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities at (602) 542-4049.
United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will be hosting a question and answer session on ADA regulations on Tuesday, January 21, 2003 from noon until 1:30 p.m. If you have questions regarding employment policies or the issue of reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities, here is your opportunity to speak with a representative from the EEOC. This question and answer session will encourage any question related to the implementation and compliance with the employment provisions of the ADA. Call Darrel with Arizona Bridge to Independent Living at (602) 296-0530 to reserve your spot.
Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) Freedom to Work program is up and running, beginning January 1, 2003. This program, also known as Medicaid Buy-in, will permit people with disabilities to earn significantly higher incomes while still qualifying for Medicaid coverage. There will be a small premium up to 2% of your monthly "countable income" to participate in the program. Your "countable income" is determined by AHCCCS by using your gross earned income and work incentives that apply to you. In order to be eligible for this program you must be an Arizona resident and US Citizen with a disability between the ages of 16 and 64 who is working and earning more than $206 per month. Your monthly earned income however can be no more than 250% of the Federal Poverty Level ($1,846 for the year 2002). Finally, you are not eligible for Medicaid buy-in unless you are found finacially ineligible for any other AHCCS program. For more information, call AHCCS at (800) 654-8713.
|Home / Disability News / NHU Quarterly Newsletter|
|Share Your Knowledge! / NHU Community Forum / E-mail Us|
|About NHU / Announcements and Features / Contribute / What's New? / Site Plan|