— Join us for two live webcasts and get answers to your questions. Do you have questions about the Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment? Get your answers live! Whether you’re enrolling for the first time or re-enrolling, the two-part Q&A series from AARP Learn@50+ provides answers about the 2018 enrollment process. In part one, AARP’s experts will review the Open Enrollment period (Nov. 1 to Dec. 15) and answer your questions about the process. In part two, the AARP team will lead a …

— Join us for two live Medicare webcasts and get answers to your questions Do you have questions about Medicare coverage and plan options? Whether you’re enrolling for the first time or entering open enrollment, the two-part Medicare Q&A series from Learn@50+ can get you answers about your 2017 plan options. In part one, AARP’s Medicare expert Susan Lutz will review the different parts of Medicare and answer your questions about enrollment periods for new Medicare recipients and open enrollment rules for …

— The Virgin Islands is a nature lover’s paradise, with mountains, beaches and lush vegetation. But the terrain can be dangerous for people with dementia or cognitive impairments if they lose their way outdoors. AARP Virgin Islands fought successfully for a new law that alerts government agencies if someone with dementia is reported missing. Similar to Amber Alert programs for missing children, the Silver Alert system expedites the response when a person with a mental impairment goes missing. Some 90 percent …

— If it’s February, it must be time for the Agricultural and Food Fair in St. Croix. AARP Virgin Islands will be at the Ag Fair Grounds, Feb. 18-20, enjoying the festivities and talking to people about what AARP does to advocate for Virgin Islanders 50-plus. The annual fair features livestock demonstrations, a petting zoo, entertainment and rides, as well as vendors selling books, jewelry, crafts, clothing, and such local favorites as Vienna cake, fried cauliflower, roast pork, johnnycakes and kalalloo …

— Retirees who worked with the Virgin Islands Government and have since relocated to the mainland United States will see an upgrade to their health insurance coverage as of January 1, 2017. In an effort to provide the best quality healthcare at the lowest possible cost, United Healtcare, the health insurance plan provider for VI retirees over the age of 65, has arranged for those living stateside to be placed into a Medicare Advantage Plan, also known as Medicare Part C. …

— The healing process doesn’t end when a patient leaves the hospital. For those treated at the Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center on St. Croix, the transition back home just got a little easier. Under the hospital’s recently launched “Med-to-Bed” program, patients can have their prescription medications delivered to their rooms before they are discharged. This free service helps patients get necessary medications without having to travel to a pharmacy on their way home—a benefit especially useful to …

— Local officials want to improve Virgin Islanders’ health, but to work effectively, they need to know what the population’s health habits are. The V.I. Department of Health’s Division of Chronic Disease and Prevention is conducting a telephone survey to ask residents about their personal health habits. The results will guide public health efforts to help those living with chronic diseases to stay as healthy as possible. The local survey is part of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System developed by …

— 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 …

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey in the USVI

— If you visited the AARP Virgin Islands booth at the Agricultural Fair in February, you were given information about the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and the survey that is being done in the territory.  The BRFSS is a project within the VI Department of Health’s Chronic Disease Prevention Program which is tasked with compiling health studies on various topics. The studies are completed using data received from Virgin Islands residents. The studies are very important to the territory …

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 …