St. Thomas Retirees Advocate for Return of Inappropriately Withheld Retirement Contribution

Posted on 05/9/2014 by | AARP Virgin Islands | Comments

Money & Work Government of the Virgin Islands retirees, also known on the island of St. Thomas as Government Retirees United for Fairness (GRUFF) saw their advocacy work pay off on March 17, 2014 when Governor John DeJongh signed Act 7585 into law. The retirees had organized themselves late in 2013 to develop a strategy to advocate for the return of a retirement contribution incorrectly withheld from a retroactive salary payment. In February 2014 the St. Thomas based group hired an attorney to …

Single-Payer Health Care System?

Posted on 04/1/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Money & Work Lacking a health insurance marketplace, the U.S. Virgin Islands is considering a legislative proposal to create a single-payer health care system. Nearly 30 percent of Virgin Islanders are uninsured, putting local hospitals under financial strain and leading many individuals to forgo preventive care. The proposal calls for creating a $400 million VI HealthCare program to cover all residents. Proponents say it could be financed with a 5 percent retail sales tax, a 5 percent employee income tax and a 10 …

New Health Care Plan Being Proposed

Posted on 03/26/2014 by | AARP Virgin Islands | Comments

Money & Work In recent comments, the VI Legislature’s Health Committee Chair referenced an alternative single payer health insurance option for uninsured persons in the Virgin Islands. The single payer option was generated by a group of concerned citizens in response to the VI not having a health care exchange.  Their proposal, if passed by the Legislature, could mean health coverage for visits to doctors, clinics and hospitals for many people who have not had this opportunity. The 24-page draft bill, (the Virgin …

AARP Virgin Islands Residents Saved $1,597,091 on Prescription Drugs in 2013 Under the Affordable Care Act

Posted on 03/24/2014 by | AARP Virgin Islands | Comments

Money & Work CHRISTIANSTED, VI —The numbers are in, and they are impressive – Virgin Islands residents on Medicare saved $1,597,091 on their prescription drugs in 2013, thanks to the closing of the “donut hole” for prescriptions under the Affordable Care Act – or an average discount per beneficiary of $844.00. Nationally, 7.9 million people who are on Medicare have saved over $9.927 billion on prescription drugs under the Affordable Care Act and its provision closing the “donut hole,” the gap in Medicare …

GRUFF Takes Its Demands to the VI Legislature and WINS!

Posted on 03/7/2014 by | AARP Virgin Islands | Comments

Money & Work Government Retirees United For Fairness (GRUFF) took the opportunity Monday evening to have one of its key issues heard before the VI Legislature where it received unanimous* approval for the return of the 8 percent removed from their retroactive checks. GRUFF, made up of retirees who were unsatisfied with how the government had handled a retroactive salary payment, began holding meetings last fall at Addelita Cancryn Junior High School. During their meetings they discussed several GERS-related issues, decided to hire …

Remodel for Mobility and Save on Taxes, Too

Posted on 03/1/2014 by | AARP Blog Author | Comments

Money & Work Virgin Islanders can get a tax break for improvements that make their homes more “visitable”—meaning more accessible to people with disabilities. A law backed by AARP offers a 20 percent reduction in property taxes for 10 years to homeowners who remodel their houses to accommodate people with mobility issues. To qualify, a home must have a no-rise entrance, a front door at least 36 inches wide and a wheelchair-accessible bathroom on the first floor. To apply, call the Division of Building …