August 2011 E-Newsletter

August 11, 2011

PREPARING FOR MEDICARE 2012

October brings new decisions for Medicare members.

The open enrollment period starts October 15 and members must decide whether to choose a different Medicare plan or stay with their current health coverage. Selecting the right plan can be complicated and confusing. This year, the process is will be made more complex because federal healthcare reforms may affect certain Medicare plans. Sticking with the same plan may not be the wisest strategy; in fact, it may be more costly.

So what plan is best for you?

I am joining Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren to hold an important informational meeting to help people choose the right Medicare plan, a decision that can save consumers hundreds of dollars in health care and prescription costs. Open enrollment for Medicare begins October 15 and ends December 7.

The meeting is scheduled for:

Saturday, September 17
9 a.m.-12 p.m.
O’Connor Hospital Medical Office Building Auditorium
2101 Forest Ave., San Jose

Also scheduled to speak are Herb Schultz, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services director for Region IX, and Connie Corrales, director of the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program for the Council on Aging Silicon valley.

Topics to be covered include:

  • How Health Care reform will affect Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Factors to consider when selecting a long-term care insurance plan.

Multi-lingual counselors will also be at the meeting to help non-English speakers who are eligible for Medicare.


MY EDUCATION CORNER

I’m launching a new feature in my monthly newsletter, My Education Corner.

With our schools suffering from several years of difficult cuts, I believe it’s important to shine a light on what is working in education and find ways to strengthen and rebuild the areas that have been hardest hit.

August is National Back to School Month and we ought to remember how vital a role community and family involvement plays in our students’ lives. Today’s students face a future full of diverse and fulfilling opportunities. But, they are also tackling the mounting pressures of getting into an affordable college, the uncertainties of the post-recession economy, and a rapidly changing job market.

We can best prepare our students for success by providing them with the support and resources that are proven to work.

In this era of tough budgets, we must find new and creative ways to teach students. I would encourage parents and other members of the community to reach out to the staff and administration at your child’s school to find out what you can do to become actively involved in the classroom and with other school-related activities. By creating strong family-school partnerships and seeking out opportunities for volunteerism in the classroom, you can make a huge difference in the lives of many kids.

To foster community engagement in education, I am offering to meet and speak with the Parent Teacher Association at your child’s school.

If your school’s PTA, or similar organization, is interested in receiving an update on state related education issues, please contact Rachel Zlotziver, my Field Representative who covers education issues for my office. She can be reached at rachel.zlotziver@asm.ca.gov or 408-282-8920.

Lastly, I would like to inform you of a great way to help less fortunate children with their most basic back-to-school needs.

Sacred Heart Community Services is holding the largest back-to-school event in its history, handing out at least 2,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to low-income students. To learn how to get involved or to donate supplies, click here.

Together we can build greater awareness and support for family involvement in the education of our children.


BREATHE CALIFORNIA’S CENTENNIAL

This month Breathe California of the Bay Area celebrates its 100th anniversary in its campaign that supports lung disease research, the promotion of clean air, and the eradication of smoking. This non-profit group has played a particularly important role in helping thousands of Californians with asthma understand and manage their condition.

Breathe California was originally known as the Tuberculosis Society in 1911 and would operate under other names – including the American Lung Association of Santa Clara-San Benito County from 1970 to 2005. To learn more about Breathe California of the Bay Area, click here.

In recognition of this major milestone I am presenting Breathe California with an Assembly resolution commending them for their many contributions to our community during the Breathe Extreme Challenge on August 26. This challenge offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rappel down the face of a 26-story hotel in Santa Clara. Proceeds raised from the “Over the Edge’’ descent will help fund the century-old non-profit organization’s activities.


THE COMMUNITY AND POLICE

A community meeting about San Jose police and its relationship with minorities is scheduled for Wednesday, August 24, from 6 to 8 p.m., at San Jose City Hall’s council chamber wing in rooms 118 and 119.

Scheduled to attend the meeting include Police Chief Chris Moore, Independent Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell, and Deputy District Attorney Julianne Sylva.

There will be presentations on what do when an officer stops you, basic information about the Independent Police Auditor’s Office and more.

The meeting is sponsored by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley and City Councilman Kansen Chu.

For more information, please contact Kathleen Flynn at vicepresidentmlksev@yahoo.com.