— If you are one of the 12,600 family caregivers in the Virgin Islands, you may be managing a loved one’s personal finances. Perhaps a Virgin Islands court has even appointed you as the person’s legal guardian. But what if you have to move away, or your loved one needs to go to a hospital on the U.S. mainland for medical care? Guardianship just became more portable, with enactment of the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act. The law, …

— Español  It isn’t often that AARP Virgin Islands can proudly say they experienced a “slam dunk” of a day, but the volunteers and staff of AARP Virgin Islands are pretty proud of what was accomplished recently. Four critical pieces of legislation for which AARP Virgin Islands advocated, sailed through the VI Legislature on their way to enactment on the very same day.     Included in these bills were: Bill No. 31-0184 – The Virgin Islands Uniform Guardianship and Protective …

— Virgin Islanders who care for an aging loved one at home just got a huge boost of support from the legislature. A new law, which took effect March 30, improves communication and coordination between hospitals and family caregivers. The Caregiver Advice, Record and Enabling (CARE) Act allows every hospital patient to designate a family caregiver and requires the hospital to notify the caregiver before the patient is transferred or discharged. It also requires the hospital to show the caregiver how …

— TRICARE, the health care program that covers almost 9.4 million active and retired military personnel worldwide, reinstated the Juan F. Luis Hospital as an approved facility in January, ensuring that once again veterans can get care on St. Croix. The hospital lost TRICARE approval in 2014, when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) put it on a systems improvement plan to correct deficiencies. AARP and the Patient Family Council encouraged the hospital’s board of directors to focus on …

VI Passes the CARE Act

— En Español In a surprise move, Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth E. Mapp vetoed the Caregiving Bill (Bill Number 31-0237) late in March citing numerous concerns as justification for his veto. The AARP VI office received notification of the veto on Saturday, March 26 in the middle of the Easter Holiday weekend. In response to the veto, Denyce Singleton, the AARP VI State Director, forwarded a letter to the Senate President the following Monday. The letter addressed each of the Governor’s …

— En Español After almost a year of interaction with first-time Senator Kurt Vialet, the Virgin Islands Caregiver Advice, Record and Enabling Act also known as the CARE Act unanimously passed the Committee of the Whole and went to the Governor for signature into law. During the hearing 14 of the 15 Senators present for the bill’s final discussions spoke strongly in favor of the new law which aims to incorporate caregivers into their loved one’s care plan upon admission to …

— Every year, lawmakers in the U.S. Virgin Islands negotiate a contract to provide health insurance for government workers and retirees. Never easy, the task used to be more difficult because details of the plan were kept largely under wraps until late in the process. That resulted in deadline pressures and rumors about cost and coverage. Earlier this year, the nonprofit St. Croix Government Retirees Inc.—trained in advocacy by AARP—successfully pressed for a new law that streamlines the process and makes …

— VI Government employees and retirees can breathe a little easier now, thanks to Senator Nereida Rivera-O’Reilly’s commitment to fulfilling a promise she made to the St. Croix Government Retirees, Inc. Bill 31-0016, an Act to require simultaneous submissions of a copy of the government’s proposed health insurance contract be sent to the Governor and the Legislature upon completion of the GESC’s negotiations, streamlines the process to obtain adequate funding and keeps the public aware of the contract’s status. The Bill, …

— Retirees from the St. Croix Government Retirees, Inc. (SCGR), which includes AARP members on St. Croix, are diligently working to support Senator Nereida Rivera-O’Reilly’s Bill Number 31-0016 which will resolve a long-standing political and funding issue related to the VI Government’s negotiations to purchase employee and retiree health insurance coverage. The Government Employees Service Commission (GESC) traditionally works with insurance companies to develop a health plan at a cost the government can afford. The process of approving the plan has …

— Magdalene Morancie, Acting Director Department of Planning and Natural Resources Division of Environmental Protection 45 Estate Mars Hill, Frederiksted VI 00840 Via E-mail: Madgalene.Morancie@dpnr.vi.gov November 25th, 2014 Dear Director Morancie: AARP Virgin Islands is concerned about the petition currently before the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources (“DPNR”). According to the Petition, the applicant Tibbar Energy intends to drill 22 water wells on St. Croix so that they may appropriate over 520,000 gallons of groundwater per day for …