Frequently Asked Questions
TOPIC: Human Services
Council on Aging
My parents live in Scituate (I live out of state), they no longer drive. Do you offer any transportation for them and how much will it cost?
The Scituate Counsel on Aging (SCOA) van services Scituate only.
- Medical, hair, shopping, personal, banking, etc
$2.00/round trip, $14.00/month.
- Various shopping trips (out of town)--$4.00.
Out of Town (Medical Only)
- Scituate LINK—Requires application to RIDE—approved by MBTA
(Physical and Mental disability prohibits individual from regular modes of transportation)---Call SCOA 545-8722 at extension 17.
- Volunteer Drivers ---We are fortunate to have some of THE BEST people who are available to take people on medical trips to surrounding towns Call SCOA 545-8722 at extension 17.
- Medical Connection—SCOA van running to Weymouth, Braintree, Quincy, and Milton on Tuesday mornings. Fee $5.00/RT---Call SCOA 545-8722 at extension 17.
- MAP (Mobility Assistance Program) Funded by SSES and shared by 5 South Towns, including Scituate. Usually limited to trips to Boston or other fairly distant towns. ----Call SCOA 545-8722 at extension 17.
- South Shore Hospital Courtesy Van (781) 340-4350. Will transport to South Shore Hospital only. Leave your message and they will call you back.
- American Cancer Society Volunteer Drivers—The Cancer Society will provide two rides per week for an individual undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation. Call the Volunteer office @ 781 749-2535. A call back is guaranteed within Two days.
ALL RIDE REQUESTS MUST BE RECEIVED A MINIMUM OF
3 WORKING DAYS PRIOR TO APPOINTMENT.
What type of activities do you have to offer at the Senior Center?
We offer a variety of programs at the Senior Center located at 27 Brook Street, as well as, some programs offsite. There are recreational programs, sports& fitness programs and educational programs. We offer knitting, exercise, yoga, art, computer, softball, bowling, blood pressure clinic, support groups-just to name a few. Some of these programs are offered weekly, some monthly and some seasonally. We also have special events such as holiday parties, special luncheons or day trips all over New England. Any ideas for new programs or trips are always welcome. All of our programs are listed in our newsletter, which is available around town as well as online at www.town.scituate.ma.us. Feel free to stop by or call the Senior Center a781-545-8722 to find out more information.
I'm turning 65 and going on Medicare next month. What are my options for health insurance and when can I enroll?
Traditional Medicare comes in two parts. Part A hospital insurance and part B outpatient/doctor coverage. Both have deductibles and coinsurance payments.
Part A is usually free if you have enough credits under social security. Part B premium of $110.50 and higher based on your income, is deducted from your social security check, or if you do not receive social security yet, will be billed to you.
A Medicare Beneficiary has four basic choices: Rely on Traditional Medicare alone; Add prescription drug coverage (Medicare part D) to traditional Medicare by joining a Medicare prescription Drug Plan; Purchase a Medicare Supplement plan to fill in the gaps not covered by traditional Medicare or choose a Medicare Advantage Plan (an HMO, PPO and PFFS) that combines Medicare A, B and sometimes D under a private insurance company to provide the benefits you are entitled to under Medicare and in some cases, additional benefits.
When turning 65 you have up to three months before the month of your 65th birthday, and within six months of your effective date for Medicare B to enroll.
In addition there are over 40 private prescription drug plans available to Massachusetts residents, to make the best choice for you depends on your medications and variables such as deductibles and copays within each plan offering.
For further discussion of your unique situation and other benefits, such as the Prescription Advantage plan for assistance with prescription drug costs, make a confidential appointment with Nancy.
How do I apply for Fuel Assistance?
The Fuel Assistance program for Scituate residents typically runs between November 1 and April 30 of each year. The South Shore Community Action Council in Plymouth is the processing agency for our area. Fuel Assistance is a program based on gross income and the income guidelines change annually. New applicants must be seen for an intake interview either in Plymouth or with the Outreach Worker at the Council on Aging for residents of all ages. (For homebound elders a home visit can be arranged by the Outreach Department). After the initial intake, subsequent years the applicant can mail verifications to the South Shore Community Action Council. Discounts for telephone and electric bills may also be offered automatically for customers on Fuel Assistance.
What kind of resources are available for my elderly parents?
Subsidized independent living senior housing through Scituate Housing Authority. Locations include Wheeler Park, Lincoln Park and Central Park.
South Shore Elder Services in Braintree offers home care services to frail elders (60+) within income eligibility guidelines a sliding fee scale for homemaker, or Personal Care aid. South Shore Elder Services also offer Meals on Wheels for Homebound seniors and a nutrition site at the Methodist Church on First Parish Road for ambulatory seniors who would like socialization.
For seniors finding it hard to make ends meet for food, the Department of Transitional Assistance runs the SNAP program (formerly Food Stamps). A monthly allotment of money is credited to a debit card and used at most supermarkets. Eligibility is based on income vs. living expenses. The Scituate Food Pantry in the Masonic Building on Country Way, is open to Scituate Residents on Tuesday mornings, proof of need is required. The DTA can be reached at 508-732-3100 and Pantry at 781-545-5827. Assistance in obtaining Snap benefits is offered by the Outreach Department at the Scituate Council on Aging.
If I am enrolled with VA, what Health Benefits will I receive?
Veterans in the VA health care system will be eligible to receive necessary hospital and outpatient services, including preventive and primary care. These services include: diagnostic and treatment services: rehabilitation: mental health and substance abuse treatment: home health, respite and hospice care: and prescription medications in conjunction with VA treatment.
If I am enrolled in the VA health care system, what cost will there be for me?
There is no monthly premium required to use VA care. However, you may have to agree to pay some co-payments. If you have insurance, it may cover the cost of the co-payments. For hospital care, the co-payments are the same as the Medicare inpatient deductible for the first 90-day period of care ($792 in calendar year 2001) and $10 for each day of care. For outpatient care, the per visit co-payment is $50.80 for calendar year 2001 (which is 20% of the average cost of a VA outpatient visit). There is also a $2 co-payment for each 30-day supply of prescription drugs.
Is this an insurance policy or an HMO?
It is neither. VA health benefits are established by Federal law and regulations and funded through appropriations. They are not the same as an insurance contract. Also, veterans do not pay monthly premiums to receive VA health care. In addition, you are not required to use VA as your exclusive health care provider. If you have health insurance, or eligibility for other programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, or Department of Defense, you may continue to use services under those programs. We recommend that, if you have other insurance or HMO coverage, you should keep that coverage to provide you with options and flexibility in the future.
Are there any restrictions on getting care in private facilities at VA expense?
Yes, Care in private facilities at VA expense is provided only under certain circumstances. To determine if you are eligible for private care at VA expense, you will need to contact the nearest VA health care facility.
If enrolled, can I get dental care?
In general, dental benefits are limited to service-connected dental conditions, veterans who were Prisoners of War for 180 days or more, or to veterans who are receiving 100% service-connected disability compensation. For specifics, contact the VA health benefits and advisor at your local VA health care facility.