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Welcome to the Dutchess County Long Term Care Resource Directory

This long term care resource directory is designed to assist you in finding long term care services and information available in Dutchess County.   Information about health care, transportation, assisted living, independent living centers, legal assistance, home-delivered meals and much more are just a click away. This online directory will provide you with an easy way to access up-to-date information on long term care services available in Dutchess County.

Click on the links below to access the Dutchess Long Term Care Resource Directory.

Funding Sources for Care and Assistance

Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program (EISEP)

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The Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program (EISEP) offers services to help those over 60 years of age in need of assistance to remain at home.  Through EISEP, consumers over age 60 may be eligible for non-medical in home services such as case management, light housekeeping, shopping, laundry, and personal care (for example, help with bathing, dressing, shaving, and hair care).  Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) and non-institutional respite are also available through the program.  Eligible applicants must be 60 or over, ineligible for Medicaid, and have unmet needs in the ordinary functions of daily living.

The services are paid for on a cost share rate schedule. Clients must be willing to share their financial information with NY Connects staff.  Contributions are welcomed.  Assessment, ongoing monitoring of services, and case management are provided through NY Connects.

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HOME ENERGY:  The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a Federal program designed to assist eligible, low-income households in meeting home energy costs.  Services include financial assistance with fuel bills, emergency financial assistance for fuel/utility termination, and referrals for weatherization service.  The benefit a household receives from HEAP is based on monthly income, the number of people in the household, and the type of heat generation used.  Income eligibility guidelines are issued each year.

To apply for HEAP, clients age 60 and over should contact the Dutchess County Office for The Aging; others contact the Dutchess County Department of Community & Family Services.

Heating Equipment Repair and Replacement (HERR) helps HEAP eligible homeowners in emergency situations with the repair or replacement of heating equipment.  To be eligible, household must meet income and resource guidelines.

UTILITY ASSISTANCE: Local utilities also offer their own energy assistance programs.

WEATHERIZATION:  Weatherization can conserve energy and save money by making a dwelling as energy efficient as possible.  Depending on the needs of a dwelling, some of the following weatherization services may be provided at low or no cost:  Services may include cleaning, testing, and repairs to heating systems, insulation of attics, walls, and perimeter areas, replacement or repair of broken windows and/or external door weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows to reduce air leaks.

Weatherization assistance is offered through the local Community Action Partnership.

EmPOWER NEW YORK: The focus of EmPOWER New York is on cost-effective electric reduction measures, particularly lighting and refrigerator replacements, as well as other cost effective home performance strategies such as insulation and health and safety measures.  On-site energy use education provides customers with additional strategies for

EPIC (Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage) Program

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EPIC is a New York State sponsored prescription program for senior citizens who need help paying for their prescriptions. Over 260,000 seniors already belong and are saving, on average, over 80% of the cost of their medicines.  You can apply to EPIC if:

  • New York State residents can join EPIC if they are 65 or older, and have an annual income of $75,000 or less if single, or $100,000 or less if married.
  • Seniors who receive full Medicaid benefits are not eligible for EPIC benefit
  • EPIC works with Medicare Part D as a secondary payer.  Seniors should make sure their Part D plan covers their prescription drugs, since EPIC will not pay primary for most medications.
  • EPIC is a cost sharing program. Seniors with lower incomes pay a low quarterly fee, and participate in the Fee Plan. Seniors with higher incomes meet an annual deductible, and participate in the Deductible Plan. Their EPIC is free. Those who pay a fee or meet their EPIC deductible make a co-payment at the pharmacy when purchasing prescriptions.  Please note: EPIC does NOT provide drug coverage during their Part D deductible, if they have one.

EPIC operates a toll-free Helpline which is available from 8:30AM to 5:00PM, Monday through Friday. Call 1-800-332-3742 (TTY 1-800-290-9138) for more information or to request an application. You can also write:  EPIC, PO Box 15018, Albany, NY 12212-5018.  email:  epic@health.state.ny.us.  Visit them on the web at: http://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/epic/

HEALTH INSURANCE

COBRA:  The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA) allows continuation and/or conversion of an employer group health plan at the individual’s expense plus a 2% administrative fee for a period of 18 or 36 months.  Conversion policy benefits are often less comprehensive and more costly than the group plan with the employer.

Privately Purchased Health Insurance:  Individuals, not eligible for Medicare, may purchase individual HMO or Point of Services (POS) plans at premium rates approved by the NYS Insurance Department.  If affiliated with a trade, civic or religious association, an individual may find less costly premiums for such plans.  New York law requires all insurers writing small group or individual health insurance policies to accept all applicants and prohibits insurers from making any rate distinctions on the basis of age, gender, health status, or occupation.  Pre-existing condition clauses will apply if a 60-day lapse occurs between coverage.

Healthy NY:  Established January 1, 2001 by the Health Care Reform Act of 2000 helps New York State’s small business owners provide their employees with affordable health insurance coverage and helps income eligible sole proprietors or individuals obtain insurance coverage.  Eligibility is limited to those who were (1) uninsured for the 12 month period preceding application; (2) individuals whose gross household income is at or below 250% of the federal poverty level; (3) individuals who are ineligible for Medicare.  For information contact the NYS Insurance Department at 1-866-432-5849, visit the web site at  https://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumers/health_insurance/new_york_health_insurance_policies__programs or contact Dutchess County HIICAP at 845-486-2555 or 1-866-486-2555.

NY State of Health:  An organized marketplace designed to help people shop for and enroll in health insurance coverage.  Individuals, families and small businesses can use the Marketplace to help them compare insurance options, calculate costs and select coverage online, in-person, over the phone or by mail.  The Marketplace helps people to check their eligibility for health care programs like Medicaid and sign up for these programs if they are eligible.  The Marketplace also tells what type of financial assistance is available to applicants to help them afford health insurance purchased through the Marketplace.  Help is available by calling the Marketplace at 1-855-355-5777 or by visiting the website http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/ or contact Dutchess County HIICAP at 845-486-2555 or 1-866-486-2555.

Supplementing Medicare:  Medicare Supplemental insurance, sometimes called Medigap insurance, may be purchased by people who are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B and who are enrolled in the Original Medicare Plan.  The Medigap policy premium is regulated by the NYS Insurance Department.  Policies help by paying some of the costs that are not covered by Medicare.

Medigap policies are sold by private insurance companies to fill the “gaps” in Original Medicare Plan coverage.  In New York State there are thirteen (11) standardized Medigap plans A through N.  Benefit plans vary in the coverage provided.

Federal law prevents insurance companies from selling more than one Medigap policy to an individual.  New York State requires insurers to offer continuous open enrollment to all Medicare beneficiaries regardless of age.  A maximum six-month pre-existing condition clause is imposed if more than 63 days passes between credible insurance and purchase of a Medigap policy.

Medigap policies do not cover long term care, vision or dental care, hearing aids, private-duty nursing or prescription drugs.

Up-to-date Medigap insurance information is available on the web and Dutchess County HIICAP at 845-486-2566 or toll free at 1-800-701-0501.

Health Insurance Information, Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP):  HIICAP is part of a statewide network and national network of State Health Insurance Programs (SHIP). NYS Division of Aging Services coordinates HIICAP with a consortium of advocacy agencies and health care insurance providers.

HIICAP’s mission is to educate the public about Medicare and other health insurance issues and to provide accurate and objective information, counseling, assistance, and advocacy relating to Medicare, private health insurance and related health coverage plans for Medicare beneficiaries, their representatives, or persons soon to be eligible for Medicare.

In addition to individual counseling sessions, HIICAP offers New York residents a toll-free hotline at 1-800-701-0501.  Dutchess County residents in the 845 area code can call the hotline direct at 486-2566.

MEDICARE

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Medicare is the nation’s largest health insurance program.  Medicare provides health insurance to people age 65 and over, and to people who have permanent kidney failure, certain people with disabilities and all persons who receive 24 months of Social Security Disability payments. Medicare usually is the first payer of health care costs, the foundation of health insurance for 97% of older Americans.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is the federal agency that administers Medicare, Medicaid and the Child Health Insurance programs.   The majority of these individuals receive their benefits through the fee-for-service delivery system but there is an increasing number that are choosing managed care plans available through insurance companies.

Medicare Part A is known as the hospital coverage component of Medicare.  Part A helps pay for care in hospitals as an outpatient, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care and some home health care.

Medicare Part B is the medical insurance component of Medicare.  Part B helps pay for doctors’ services, outpatient hospital care, durable medical equipment, ambulance services, labs and some other medical services that Part A does not cover, such as the services of physical and occupational therapists, and some home health care.  Part B helps pay for these covered services and supplies when they are medically necessary.

Medicare Part C is known as Medicare Advantage plans.  These are an alternative to original Medicare administered by insurance companies.

Medicare Part D is the prescription drug portion of Medicare and is delivered by private insurance companies.

Unless an individual or his/her spouse is working and covered by Employee Group Health Insurance, enrollment in Medicare is required at age 65.  If an individual is receiving Social Security benefits, enrollment will occur automatically.  Those who are not receiving Social Security benefits should contact SSA three months before their 65 birthday and ask to be enrolled.  The toll free number is 1-800-772-1213. and calls are taken from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Those with benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board can call 1-800-808-0772.

Medicare Advantage Plans are private health plans that provide Medicare benefits under the management of an insurance company.  This coverage can include prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans include Medicare Health Maintenance Organization (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), Private Fee-for-Service Plans, or Medicare Special Needs Plans.

Part D or Medicare Prescription Drug Plans cover brand-name and generic prescription drugs at participating pharmacies in your area. Everyone with Medicare is eligible for this coverage, regardless of income and resources, health status, or current prescription expenses.

Dutchess County HIICAP staff and volunteers are available to help Medicare participants in making choices among the various drug plans and/or health plans.  During the annual open enrollment period from October 15 through December 7, one-on-one counseling is available by appointment at local libraries and other convenient locations throughout the county.  Individualized counseling is also available throughout the year by appointment at the Office For The Aging at 27 High Street in Poughkeepsie.

If you join, generally you will pay a monthly premium, which varies by plan, and a yearly deductible. You will also pay a part of the cost of your prescriptions, including a co-payment or coinsurance. Costs will vary depending on which drug plan you choose. If you have limited income and resources, and you qualify for extra help, you may not have to pay a premium or deductible.

Railroad Retirement beneficiaries with questions about RRB benefits, Medicare bills and coverage, lost Medicare cards, Medicare premium amounts and Medicare enrollment should call (877) 772-5772

Questions about Medigap policies, long term care insurance, Medicare health plan choices, Medicare rights and protection and help with filing an appeal should be made to the local Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP) in Dutchess County as 845-486-2566 or toll free at (800) 701-0501.

General Medicare information, ordering Medicare booklets and information about health plans is available at (800) 633-4227, TTD/TDD: (877) 486-2048; on line at http://www.medicare.gov/.

LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE

Long-term care is a variety of services that includes medical and non-medical care to people who have a chronic illness or disability. Most long-term care is to assist people with support services such as activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom. Long-term care can be provided at home, in the community, in assisted living or in nursing homes.

Long term Care Insurance is a type of private insurance policy that can help pay for many types of long-term care, including both skilled and non-skilled care. Long-term care insurance coverage can vary widely. Long-term care insurance premiums vary, depending on your age and health status when you buy the long-term care insurance policy and how much coverage you want. You must be in generally good health to pass underwriting when purchasing a policy.

The cost of care, especially in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, varies from state to state. Make sure that the long-term care insurance policy you buy will cover the costs of care where you plan to use it.  Most long-term care insurance policies offer certain tax benefits..

The Partnership for Long-Term Care is a partnership between Medicaid and long-term care insurers and is currently available in New York State.  It provides an alternative to spending down or transferring assets. The Partnership for Long Term Care has focused on creating affordable products that encourage people to self-insure, enable purchasers to provide better protection against impoverishment, and reduce long-term care costs for the Medicaid program

Consumers would be wise to carefully research long-term care insurance choices and benefits before calling an insurance company.  The New York State Office for the Aging’s HIICAP web site at https://aging.ny.gov/healthbenefits/index.cfm, the New York State Partnership for Long-term Care web site at https://nyspltc.health.ny.gov/ and https://planaheadny.health.ny.gov/ and Dutchess County Office For The Aging's HIICAP at 845-486-2566 or 1-800-701-0501 are excellent sources for information and objective counseling.

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Medicaid is a program for New Yorkers who can't afford to pay for medical care.  You may be covered by Medicaid if:

  • You have high medical bills.
  • You receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • You meet certain income, resource, age or disability requirements.

Medicaid is a national health assistance program created by Congress in 1965 for persons with very low income and resources.  In New York State, it is financed jointly by federal, state, and county governments. 

Mandated services include payment for doctors who accept Medicaid, in-patient and out-patient hospital care, rural health clinics, family planning services, health screening follow-up services for children under 21, laboratory and X-ray services, home health care services for qualifying individuals, and care in residential health care facilities (nursing homes) and assisted living programs (ALPS).

New York State Medicaid covers dental care, some medical equipment, personal care services, eyeglasses, prescription drugs (for non-Medicare eligible individuals), prescription shoes, medical transportation, personal emergency response systems, and some therapies.  Limits exist for some services (utilization thresholds), and prior approval is required for many services.  In Dutchess and throughout New York, most non-Medicare eligible Medicaid beneficiaries are required to be enrolled in a managed care insurance plan.

The laws regulating Medicaid eligibility change frequently.  Some of the areas covered by such laws include transfer of assets, family responsibility, and the level of income and resources which may be retained.  It is important to work with the Dutchess County Department of Community & Family Services, knowledgeable advocacy agencies, or specialized attorneys to be assured of the most up-to-date information on eligibility

Usually, children in foster care or persons eligible for aid to dependent children (ADC), home relief (HR), and supplemental security income (SSI) are eligible without additional application requirements.  Others who are eligible are persons of very limited income who are under 21 years old or greater than 65 years old, or pregnant, or certified blind or disabled.

You no longer need to have a personal interview to be elligible for Medicaid.  If you need help with understanding and filling out your application, you can call or visit the Dutchess County Department of Community & Family Services or a facilliated enroller.  You can also contact New York Health Options at (855) 693-6765.

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Medicare Savings Programs (MSP) assist people with low-income and limited resources in paying for their Medicare premiums.  They may also qualify for extra help paying the cost of their Medicare prescription drug coverage.  Assistance in applying for benefits is available from Dutchess County Office for the Aging.  Call 845-486-2555 or toll free at 866-486-2555.

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SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is a federal program administered under the US Department of Agriculture to assist low-income Americans to meet their basic need for adequate nutrition. SNAP is intended as a supplement to other funds available for food.

SNAP benefits are distributed through the Electronic Benefit Transfer System (EBT). A debit card (called the EBT card) is now used to access SNAP benefits. You may use your card wherever you see the Quest logo. 

Home Health Care Services

CERTIFIED HOME HEALTH AGENCIES (CHHAs)

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A Certified Home Health Agency is a home care services agency that meets specific standards established by federal and state government regulations and is “certified” to provide services under the Medicare program.

This type of home care agency provides directly or arranges for the following services: intermittent skilled nursing; home health aide; physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy; medical supplies; and medical social work. 

In order to be eligible for certified home health agency services, a client must be homebound, under the care of a physician, and need services that are skilled and intermittent, rehabilitative, or restorative.  The services are planned jointly between the professional who makes the initial home visit and the patient or family and physician. The plan of care that is prescribed by the physician must be reasonable and necessary according to Medicare.  Finally, the services are generally short-term and are designed to treat an acute illness or an exacerbation of a chronic illness. 

Chronic care is usually not provided by a certified agency.

CHHA services are paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance companies.  Private payment for services is available.  In many cases, prior approval for services may be necessary.

Patients and families can choose from the Certified Home Health Agencies in the county.

 

GERIATRIC CARE MANAGEMENT

Professional Geriatric Care Management was founded in 1986.  Its goal is to plan appropriate care by trained persons for the elderly and their families. This can occur in one of several ways.  A family member living at a distance from an older relative may contact a geriatric care manager in the relative’s community and request an assessment and evaluation of the relative and their living situation.  The care manager will then submit a detailed evaluation and recommendations to the concerned family member.  The family member at that point may choose some or all of the suggestions.  The care manager may actually arrange the services or the family members may do this on their own. 

Geriatric Care Management services usually charge a fee and generally these fees are not reimbursable by Medicare or private health insurance.  Some private long-term care insurance, may cover this service. 

For information about professional Geriatric Care Management services, call the New York chapter of the Aging Life Care Association at 212-222-9163 or visit the website at https://www.nyalca.org/.

HOME CARE

Home care encompasses a broad range of services geared to an individual’s particular needs.  The goal of any home care plan is to provide to the patient and family the support and care necessary to enable the client to stay in the community.

Home care begins with an objective assessment of the client’s present situation, including health status, environment, sources of assistance, and financial resources.  A plan of care is developed by the home care assessment staff (nurse and/or case manager or social worker) in consultation with the client, informal caregivers, family and the physician. The care plan is goal oriented: designed to maximize a client’s strengths and to maintain independence.

Today’s home care clients can be helped by a great variety of services.  A continuum of care ranging from custodial to highly skilled and technical, from short term to chronic, can be provided to clients of all ages.  Clients often move within the continuum, based on their needs at any given time.

In Dutchess County, services are available from a variety of sources:

  • Certified Home Health Agencies (CHHA)
  • Licensed Home Care Services Agencies (LHCSA)
  • Foster Family Care for Adults
  • Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program (EISEP)
  • Care at Home Programs
  • Hospice
  • Private duty nursing
  • Personal Care Service Program through Medicaid
  • Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) through Medicaid
  • Volunteers

Each of these sources has been fully described under its appropriate heading in this directory.

Payment for home care services varies depending on the particular service(s) and the client’s health care insurance coverage.

HOSPICE

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Hospice provides a comprehensive continuum of medical and psycho-social programs and services for persons with a medical prognosis of six months or less as certified by a physician.  Hospice also provides support for the patient’s family members.

Hospice can include such services as: medical director consultation; board-certified hospice nurses; pain and symptom management; medical-social workers; pastoral care; home-health aides; illness-related medications; medical supplies and equipment; physical, occupational, and speech therapy; hospital in patient care; nursing home hospice care; hospice care in the home; respite care; 24-hour on-call service; dietary counseling; bereavement counseling; music therapy and volunteer assistance.

Hospice also provides a comprehensive bereavement program.  Counselors and group facilitators are specifically trained to work with patients, family members, and loved ones to help them deal with issues related to grief and loss.  Counseling and educational programs are offered on a regular basis throughout the year and are open to the public, as well as to family members of hospice patients.

The cost of hospice care services is reimbursable through Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurance plans.  Hospice, Inc. will not deny enrollment or service based upon age, race, color, religion, natural origin, ability to pay, or mental handicap.

LICENSED HOME CARE SERVICES AGENCIES

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Licensed Home Care Services Agencies (LHCSA) may be private or hospital-affiliated, operating for profit or not-for-profit.  They provide a wide range of services in the home.  Any agency providing hands-on care must be licensed by the State of New York.  A LHCSA must be insured; some bond their employees.

Personal care is the most used LHCSA service.  As provided by home health aides and personal care workers, it consists of assistance with bathing, dressing, toileting, mobility, feeding, meal preparation, shopping, light housekeeping, and laundry.  Frequent components of such services are companionship, and respite for overstressed caregivers.  These personnel are assigned and supervised by Registered Nurses. 

Home health aides and personal care workers must complete state-mandated training classes, are required to undergo annual physical assessment and meet in-service requirements. New employees need to undergo a criminal background check.  Payment for LHCSA services vary. 

Consumers should be aware that not all providers of home care services are licensed or certified.  There are agencies and individuals who advertise and provide such services without oversight by any responsible government agency.

Most LHCSAs doing business in Dutchess County are members of the Home Care Association of Dutchess County, whose members also include Certified Home Health Agencies, Long Term Home Health Care Programs, county agencies, and others concerned with ethical, high quality delivery of home care.

RESPITE CARE

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Respite care is the provision of short term, temporary care that provides relief for caregivers of the ill or disabled.

The goals of respite may include providing support and reducing the stress and pressures placed on family members and other caregivers by giving them time off to relax or take care of personal needs. It may also improve the mental and physical health of caregivers, thus providing a healthful environment for both caregivers and those they care for.

Levels of care range from minimal care to nursing level of care.  Care may be provided in the home by trained volunteers or at  Adult day care centers, adult homes, and nursing homes.  Twenty-four hour institutional care may be provided by adult homes, foster care homes, family-type homes, nursing homes and residential programs. Licensed Home Care Services Agencies provide nurses or aides in the patient’s home at an hourly or daily rate.

Admission to a formal respite program usually involves an intake process, including determination of eligibility and identification of funding sources; determination of a care plan by a respite care case manager, caregivers, and the client; and sometimes a home visit.

Some providers of respite provide additional services, such as information and referral, and training for primary caregivers.

Housing/Residential Choices

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Adult Homes provide a private or semi-private room, private or shared bath, all meals and snacks, housekeeping and laundry services, and 24-hour supervision. Supportive services provided are targeted to those residents who need personal care assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, and assistance with the self-administration of medications, but who do not need continual nursing or medical care. Other supportive services include case management, scheduling doctors’ appointments, helping people obtain their financial entitlements, and offering meaningful on-site and community activities.

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SUBSIDIZED HOUSING

Subsidized housing, through the Section 8 Housing or Section 236 Housing Programs for low and moderate income households uses federal or state resources to build or renovate affordable housing.  Households contribute no more than 30 percent of their income towards rent.  The units are only available to people who meet specific income limits.  This housing is either publicly owned and managed by a local housing authority or privately owned and managed but publicly subsidized.  Many subsidized housing developments are exclusively for people over age 62 or for the disabled.

SECTION 8 VOUCHERS AND CERTIFICATES

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has administered the Section 8 Program since 1968.  This rental assistance program provides rent subsidies to low income households.  This enables eligible households to live in privately owned housing while paying no more than 30 percent of their monthly income in rent.  The rental assistance goes directly to the landlord from the administering program.

LOW INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDIT PROPERTIES

Housing Authorities and US Department of Agriculture – Rural Development  also serve as resources for the construction of housing for low and moderate income individuals

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Assisted living residences combine housing with personal services and healthcare assistance.  They promote independence while providing care and support on a 24-hour basis.  Assisted living facilities are for people needing assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) but wishing to live as independently as possible for as long as possible.  Assisted living exists to bridge the gap between independent living and nursing homes.  Residents in assisted living centers are not able to live by themselves but do not require constant care either. Assisted living facilities offer help with ADLs such as eating, bathing, dressing, laundry, housekeeping, and assistance with medications.  Many facilities also have centers for medical care.  Most assisted living facilities create a service plan for each individual resident upon admission.  The service plan details the personalized services required by the resident and guaranteed by the facility.  The plan is updated regularly to assure that the resident receives the appropriate care as his or her condition changes.

New York has three models of assisted living: adult homes, enriched housing programs and assisted living programs.

An Adult Home is a New York State-licensed adult care facility that provides long-term residential care including room, all meals and snacks, housekeeping, laundry, 24-hour supervision, assistance with medication, personal care assistance, case management services and structured activity programs to people 18 years or older.

An Enriched Housing Program is a New York State-licensed adult care facility that provides long-term residential care to adults, primarily persons 65 years of age or older including an individual apartment, some meals, housekeeping, laundry, supervision, assistance with medication, personal care assistance, case management services and structured activity programs.

The Assisted Living Program (ALP) is an Adult Home or Enriched Housing Program that is certified by New York State Department of Health to provide Medicaid-funded home care services. The ALP is an alternative to nursing home care that enables nursing home eligible people to receive home health care services in the Adult Home or Enriched Housing Program, delaying or preventing the need for admission to a nursing home.  Care services are provided by an on-site licensed home care agency operated by the Adult Home or Enriched Housing Program and a community certified home health agency (CHHA) under contract.

The residential portion of services is reimbursed either through Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Level II or privately by the ALP client.  The home care services portion of ALP is reimbursed through Medicaid or private payment.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) allow seniors to "age in place," with flexible accommodations that are designed to meet their health and housing needs as these needs change over time. Residents entering Continuing Care Retirement Communities sign a long-term contract that provides for housing, services and nursing care, usually all in one location, enabling seniors to remain in a familiar setting as they grow older.

Seniors who invest in a Continuing Care Retirement Community have adequately planned for housing and care for the remainder of their life, and have the financial means to support it.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities are also known as:

  • Continuing Care Retirement Facilities
  • Life-Care Facilities, and
  • Life-Care Communities.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities offer service and housing packages that allow access to independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing facilities. Seniors who choose to live in a Continuing Care Retirement Community find it reassuring that their long-term care needs will be met without the need to relocate.

Nonprofit organizations sponsor many Continuing Care Retirement Communities. These nonprofit agencies may set up communities that cater to affinity groups, such as religious organizations, fraternal orders, and ethnic groups.

At this time, there are no Continuing Care Retirement Communities located in Dutchess County. 

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Nursing homes are facilities for those individuals who are in need of skilled nursing care or supervision on a 24-hour basis, 7 days per week.  Nursing home costs vary.  Payment sources include insurance, private- pay and/or Medicaid.

In New York State, admissions are based on the needs of residents as determined by a PRI (Patient Review Instrument) evaluation and whether a particular nursing home can meet these needs. 

Dutchess County nursing homes are licensed and monitored by the New York State Department of Health. All nursing homes must meet the local and state Life Safety codes.  Concerns and complaints can be referred to The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program or the New York State Department of Health.

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ECHO HOUSING

An elder cottage housing opportunity, or ECHO, is a small, temporary housing unit that can be installed in a backyard -- most commonly used to accommodate older adults.ECHO housing units are self-contained pre-fabricated homes (usually between 400 and 800 square feet) that allow someone to remain largely independent while still living within earshot of your family. ECHO housing usually includes, on a smaller scale, all the amenities of a house -- a kitchen, a bedroom, a bathroom, and a living room.


AGING IN PLACE ORGANIZATIONS

Non profit organizations designed to help seniors stay in their own homes as they grow older by making available social support, health care, transportation and home maintenance services they require to live happy, productive lives in the community.

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SUBSIDIZED HOUSING

Subsidized housing, through the Section 8 Housing or Section 236 Housing Programs for low and moderate income households uses federal or state resources to build or renovate affordable housing.  Households contribute no more than 30 percent of their income towards rent.  The units are only available to people who meet specific income limits.  This housing is either publicly owned and managed by a local housing authority or privately owned and managed but publicly subsidized.  Many subsidized housing developments are exclusively for people over age 62 or for the disabled.

SECTION 8 VOUCHERS AND CERTIFICATES

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has administered the Section 8 Program since 1968.  This rental assistance program provides rent subsidies to low income households.  This enables eligible households to live in privately owned housing while paying no more than 30 percent of their monthly income in rent.  The rental assistance goes directly to the landlord from the administering program.

LOW INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDIT PROPERTIES

Housing Authorities and US Department of Agriculture – Rural Development  also serve as resources for the construction of housing for low and moderate income individuals

Contact Information

SUBSIDIZED HOUSING

Subsidized housing, through the Section 8 Housing or Section 236 Housing Programs for low and moderate income households uses federal or state resources to build or renovate affordable housing.  Households contribute no more than 30 percent of their income towards rent.  The units are only available to people who meet specific income limits.  This housing is either publicly owned and managed by a local housing authority or privately owned and managed but publicly subsidized.  Many subsidized housing developments are exclusively for people over age 62 or for the disabled.

SECTION 8 VOUCHERS AND CERTIFICATES

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has administered the Section 8 Program since 1968.  This rental assistance program provides rent subsidies to low income households.  This enables eligible households to live in privately owned housing while paying no more than 30 percent of their monthly income in rent.  The rental assistance goes directly to the landlord from the administering program.

LOW INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDIT PROPERTIES

Housing Authorities and US Department of Agriculture – Rural Development  also serve as resources for the construction of housing for low and moderate income individuals

Insurance

EPIC (Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage) Program

Contact Information

EPIC is a New York State sponsored prescription program for senior citizens who need help paying for their prescriptions. Over 260,000 seniors already belong and are saving, on average, over 80% of the cost of their medicines.  You can apply to EPIC if:

  • New York State residents can join EPIC if they are 65 or older, and have an annual income of $75,000 or less if single, or $100,000 or less if married.
  • Seniors who receive full Medicaid benefits are not eligible for EPIC benefit
  • EPIC works with Medicare Part D as a secondary payer.  Seniors should make sure their Part D plan covers their prescription drugs, since EPIC will not pay primary for most medications.
  • EPIC is a cost sharing program. Seniors with lower incomes pay a low quarterly fee, and participate in the Fee Plan. Seniors with higher incomes meet an annual deductible, and participate in the Deductible Plan. Their EPIC is free. Those who pay a fee or meet their EPIC deductible make a co-payment at the pharmacy when purchasing prescriptions.  Please note: EPIC does NOT provide drug coverage during their Part D deductible, if they have one.

EPIC operates a toll-free Helpline which is available from 8:30AM to 5:00PM, Monday through Friday. Call 1-800-332-3742 (TTY 1-800-290-9138) for more information or to request an application. You can also write:  EPIC, PO Box 15018, Albany, NY 12212-5018.  email:  epic@health.state.ny.us.  Visit them on the web at: http://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/epic/

HEALTH INSURANCE

COBRA:  The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA) allows continuation and/or conversion of an employer group health plan at the individual’s expense plus a 2% administrative fee for a period of 18 or 36 months.  Conversion policy benefits are often less comprehensive and more costly than the group plan with the employer.

Privately Purchased Health Insurance:  Individuals, not eligible for Medicare, may purchase individual HMO or Point of Services (POS) plans at premium rates approved by the NYS Insurance Department.  If affiliated with a trade, civic or religious association, an individual may find less costly premiums for such plans.  New York law requires all insurers writing small group or individual health insurance policies to accept all applicants and prohibits insurers from making any rate distinctions on the basis of age, gender, health status, or occupation.  Pre-existing condition clauses will apply if a 60-day lapse occurs between coverage.

Healthy NY:  Established January 1, 2001 by the Health Care Reform Act of 2000 helps New York State’s small business owners provide their employees with affordable health insurance coverage and helps income eligible sole proprietors or individuals obtain insurance coverage.  Eligibility is limited to those who were (1) uninsured for the 12 month period preceding application; (2) individuals whose gross household income is at or below 250% of the federal poverty level; (3) individuals who are ineligible for Medicare.  For information contact the NYS Insurance Department at 1-866-432-5849, visit the web site at  https://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumers/health_insurance/new_york_health_insurance_policies__programs or contact Dutchess County HIICAP at 845-486-2555 or 1-866-486-2555.

NY State of Health:  An organized marketplace designed to help people shop for and enroll in health insurance coverage.  Individuals, families and small businesses can use the Marketplace to help them compare insurance options, calculate costs and select coverage online, in-person, over the phone or by mail.  The Marketplace helps people to check their eligibility for health care programs like Medicaid and sign up for these programs if they are eligible.  The Marketplace also tells what type of financial assistance is available to applicants to help them afford health insurance purchased through the Marketplace.  Help is available by calling the Marketplace at 1-855-355-5777 or by visiting the website http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/ or contact Dutchess County HIICAP at 845-486-2555 or 1-866-486-2555.

Supplementing Medicare:  Medicare Supplemental insurance, sometimes called Medigap insurance, may be purchased by people who are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B and who are enrolled in the Original Medicare Plan.  The Medigap policy premium is regulated by the NYS Insurance Department.  Policies help by paying some of the costs that are not covered by Medicare.

Medigap policies are sold by private insurance companies to fill the “gaps” in Original Medicare Plan coverage.  In New York State there are thirteen (11) standardized Medigap plans A through N.  Benefit plans vary in the coverage provided.

Federal law prevents insurance companies from selling more than one Medigap policy to an individual.  New York State requires insurers to offer continuous open enrollment to all Medicare beneficiaries regardless of age.  A maximum six-month pre-existing condition clause is imposed if more than 63 days passes between credible insurance and purchase of a Medigap policy.

Medigap policies do not cover long term care, vision or dental care, hearing aids, private-duty nursing or prescription drugs.

Up-to-date Medigap insurance information is available on the web and Dutchess County HIICAP at 845-486-2566 or toll free at 1-800-701-0501.

Health Insurance Information, Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP):  HIICAP is part of a statewide network and national network of State Health Insurance Programs (SHIP). NYS Division of Aging Services coordinates HIICAP with a consortium of advocacy agencies and health care insurance providers.

HIICAP’s mission is to educate the public about Medicare and other health insurance issues and to provide accurate and objective information, counseling, assistance, and advocacy relating to Medicare, private health insurance and related health coverage plans for Medicare beneficiaries, their representatives, or persons soon to be eligible for Medicare.

In addition to individual counseling sessions, HIICAP offers New York residents a toll-free hotline at 1-800-701-0501.  Dutchess County residents in the 845 area code can call the hotline direct at 486-2566.

MEDICARE

Contact Information

Medicare is the nation’s largest health insurance program.  Medicare provides health insurance to people age 65 and over, and to people who have permanent kidney failure, certain people with disabilities and all persons who receive 24 months of Social Security Disability payments. Medicare usually is the first payer of health care costs, the foundation of health insurance for 97% of older Americans.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is the federal agency that administers Medicare, Medicaid and the Child Health Insurance programs.   The majority of these individuals receive their benefits through the fee-for-service delivery system but there is an increasing number that are choosing managed care plans available through insurance companies.

Medicare Part A is known as the hospital coverage component of Medicare.  Part A helps pay for care in hospitals as an outpatient, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care and some home health care.

Medicare Part B is the medical insurance component of Medicare.  Part B helps pay for doctors’ services, outpatient hospital care, durable medical equipment, ambulance services, labs and some other medical services that Part A does not cover, such as the services of physical and occupational therapists, and some home health care.  Part B helps pay for these covered services and supplies when they are medically necessary.

Medicare Part C is known as Medicare Advantage plans.  These are an alternative to original Medicare administered by insurance companies.

Medicare Part D is the prescription drug portion of Medicare and is delivered by private insurance companies.

Unless an individual or his/her spouse is working and covered by Employee Group Health Insurance, enrollment in Medicare is required at age 65.  If an individual is receiving Social Security benefits, enrollment will occur automatically.  Those who are not receiving Social Security benefits should contact SSA three months before their 65 birthday and ask to be enrolled.  The toll free number is 1-800-772-1213. and calls are taken from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Those with benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board can call 1-800-808-0772.

Medicare Advantage Plans are private health plans that provide Medicare benefits under the management of an insurance company.  This coverage can include prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans include Medicare Health Maintenance Organization (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), Private Fee-for-Service Plans, or Medicare Special Needs Plans.

Part D or Medicare Prescription Drug Plans cover brand-name and generic prescription drugs at participating pharmacies in your area. Everyone with Medicare is eligible for this coverage, regardless of income and resources, health status, or current prescription expenses.

Dutchess County HIICAP staff and volunteers are available to help Medicare participants in making choices among the various drug plans and/or health plans.  During the annual open enrollment period from October 15 through December 7, one-on-one counseling is available by appointment at local libraries and other convenient locations throughout the county.  Individualized counseling is also available throughout the year by appointment at the Office For The Aging at 27 High Street in Poughkeepsie.

If you join, generally you will pay a monthly premium, which varies by plan, and a yearly deductible. You will also pay a part of the cost of your prescriptions, including a co-payment or coinsurance. Costs will vary depending on which drug plan you choose. If you have limited income and resources, and you qualify for extra help, you may not have to pay a premium or deductible.

Railroad Retirement beneficiaries with questions about RRB benefits, Medicare bills and coverage, lost Medicare cards, Medicare premium amounts and Medicare enrollment should call (877) 772-5772

Questions about Medigap policies, long term care insurance, Medicare health plan choices, Medicare rights and protection and help with filing an appeal should be made to the local Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP) in Dutchess County as 845-486-2566 or toll free at (800) 701-0501.

General Medicare information, ordering Medicare booklets and information about health plans is available at (800) 633-4227, TTD/TDD: (877) 486-2048; on line at http://www.medicare.gov/.

LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE

Long-term care is a variety of services that includes medical and non-medical care to people who have a chronic illness or disability. Most long-term care is to assist people with support services such as activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom. Long-term care can be provided at home, in the community, in assisted living or in nursing homes.

Long term Care Insurance is a type of private insurance policy that can help pay for many types of long-term care, including both skilled and non-skilled care. Long-term care insurance coverage can vary widely. Long-term care insurance premiums vary, depending on your age and health status when you buy the long-term care insurance policy and how much coverage you want. You must be in generally good health to pass underwriting when purchasing a policy.

The cost of care, especially in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, varies from state to state. Make sure that the long-term care insurance policy you buy will cover the costs of care where you plan to use it.  Most long-term care insurance policies offer certain tax benefits..

The Partnership for Long-Term Care is a partnership between Medicaid and long-term care insurers and is currently available in New York State.  It provides an alternative to spending down or transferring assets. The Partnership for Long Term Care has focused on creating affordable products that encourage people to self-insure, enable purchasers to provide better protection against impoverishment, and reduce long-term care costs for the Medicaid program

Consumers would be wise to carefully research long-term care insurance choices and benefits before calling an insurance company.  The New York State Office for the Aging’s HIICAP web site at https://aging.ny.gov/healthbenefits/index.cfm, the New York State Partnership for Long-term Care web site at https://nyspltc.health.ny.gov/ and https://planaheadny.health.ny.gov/ and Dutchess County Office For The Aging's HIICAP at 845-486-2566 or 1-800-701-0501 are excellent sources for information and objective counseling.

EPIC (Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage) Program

Contact Information

EPIC is a New York State sponsored prescription program for senior citizens who need help paying for their prescriptions. Over 260,000 seniors already belong and are saving, on average, over 80% of the cost of their medicines.  You can apply to EPIC if:

  • New York State residents can join EPIC if they are 65 or older, and have an annual income of $75,000 or less if single, or $100,000 or less if married.
  • Seniors who receive full Medicaid benefits are not eligible for EPIC benefit
  • EPIC works with Medicare Part D as a secondary payer.  Seniors should make sure their Part D plan covers their prescription drugs, since EPIC will not pay primary for most medications.
  • EPIC is a cost sharing program. Seniors with lower incomes pay a low quarterly fee, and participate in the Fee Plan. Seniors with higher incomes meet an annual deductible, and participate in the Deductible Plan. Their EPIC is free. Those who pay a fee or meet their EPIC deductible make a co-payment at the pharmacy when purchasing prescriptions.  Please note: EPIC does NOT provide drug coverage during their Part D deductible, if they have one.

EPIC operates a toll-free Helpline which is available from 8:30AM to 5:00PM, Monday through Friday. Call 1-800-332-3742 (TTY 1-800-290-9138) for more information or to request an application. You can also write:  EPIC, PO Box 15018, Albany, NY 12212-5018.  email:  epic@health.state.ny.us.  Visit them on the web at: http://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/epic/

HEALTH INSURANCE

COBRA:  The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA) allows continuation and/or conversion of an employer group health plan at the individual’s expense plus a 2% administrative fee for a period of 18 or 36 months.  Conversion policy benefits are often less comprehensive and more costly than the group plan with the employer.

Privately Purchased Health Insurance:  Individuals, not eligible for Medicare, may purchase individual HMO or Point of Services (POS) plans at premium rates approved by the NYS Insurance Department.  If affiliated with a trade, civic or religious association, an individual may find less costly premiums for such plans.  New York law requires all insurers writing small group or individual health insurance policies to accept all applicants and prohibits insurers from making any rate distinctions on the basis of age, gender, health status, or occupation.  Pre-existing condition clauses will apply if a 60-day lapse occurs between coverage.

Healthy NY:  Established January 1, 2001 by the Health Care Reform Act of 2000 helps New York State’s small business owners provide their employees with affordable health insurance coverage and helps income eligible sole proprietors or individuals obtain insurance coverage.  Eligibility is limited to those who were (1) uninsured for the 12 month period preceding application; (2) individuals whose gross household income is at or below 250% of the federal poverty level; (3) individuals who are ineligible for Medicare.  For information contact the NYS Insurance Department at 1-866-432-5849, visit the web site at  https://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumers/health_insurance/new_york_health_insurance_policies__programs or contact Dutchess County HIICAP at 845-486-2555 or 1-866-486-2555.

NY State of Health:  An organized marketplace designed to help people shop for and enroll in health insurance coverage.  Individuals, families and small businesses can use the Marketplace to help them compare insurance options, calculate costs and select coverage online, in-person, over the phone or by mail.  The Marketplace helps people to check their eligibility for health care programs like Medicaid and sign up for these programs if they are eligible.  The Marketplace also tells what type of financial assistance is available to applicants to help them afford health insurance purchased through the Marketplace.  Help is available by calling the Marketplace at 1-855-355-5777 or by visiting the website http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/ or contact Dutchess County HIICAP at 845-486-2555 or 1-866-486-2555.

Supplementing Medicare:  Medicare Supplemental insurance, sometimes called Medigap insurance, may be purchased by people who are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B and who are enrolled in the Original Medicare Plan.  The Medigap policy premium is regulated by the NYS Insurance Department.  Policies help by paying some of the costs that are not covered by Medicare.

Medigap policies are sold by private insurance companies to fill the “gaps” in Original Medicare Plan coverage.  In New York State there are thirteen (11) standardized Medigap plans A through N.  Benefit plans vary in the coverage provided.

Federal law prevents insurance companies from selling more than one Medigap policy to an individual.  New York State requires insurers to offer continuous open enrollment to all Medicare beneficiaries regardless of age.  A maximum six-month pre-existing condition clause is imposed if more than 63 days passes between credible insurance and purchase of a Medigap policy.

Medigap policies do not cover long term care, vision or dental care, hearing aids, private-duty nursing or prescription drugs.

Up-to-date Medigap insurance information is available on the web and Dutchess County HIICAP at 845-486-2566 or toll free at 1-800-701-0501.

Health Insurance Information, Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP):  HIICAP is part of a statewide network and national network of State Health Insurance Programs (SHIP). NYS Division of Aging Services coordinates HIICAP with a consortium of advocacy agencies and health care insurance providers.

HIICAP’s mission is to educate the public about Medicare and other health insurance issues and to provide accurate and objective information, counseling, assistance, and advocacy relating to Medicare, private health insurance and related health coverage plans for Medicare beneficiaries, their representatives, or persons soon to be eligible for Medicare.

In addition to individual counseling sessions, HIICAP offers New York residents a toll-free hotline at 1-800-701-0501.  Dutchess County residents in the 845 area code can call the hotline direct at 486-2566.

MEDICARE

Contact Information

Medicare is the nation’s largest health insurance program.  Medicare provides health insurance to people age 65 and over, and to people who have permanent kidney failure, certain people with disabilities and all persons who receive 24 months of Social Security Disability payments. Medicare usually is the first payer of health care costs, the foundation of health insurance for 97% of older Americans.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is the federal agency that administers Medicare, Medicaid and the Child Health Insurance programs.   The majority of these individuals receive their benefits through the fee-for-service delivery system but there is an increasing number that are choosing managed care plans available through insurance companies.

Medicare Part A is known as the hospital coverage component of Medicare.  Part A helps pay for care in hospitals as an outpatient, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care and some home health care.

Medicare Part B is the medical insurance component of Medicare.  Part B helps pay for doctors’ services, outpatient hospital care, durable medical equipment, ambulance services, labs and some other medical services that Part A does not cover, such as the services of physical and occupational therapists, and some home health care.  Part B helps pay for these covered services and supplies when they are medically necessary.

Medicare Part C is known as Medicare Advantage plans.  These are an alternative to original Medicare administered by insurance companies.

Medicare Part D is the prescription drug portion of Medicare and is delivered by private insurance companies.

Unless an individual or his/her spouse is working and covered by Employee Group Health Insurance, enrollment in Medicare is required at age 65.  If an individual is receiving Social Security benefits, enrollment will occur automatically.  Those who are not receiving Social Security benefits should contact SSA three months before their 65 birthday and ask to be enrolled.  The toll free number is 1-800-772-1213. and calls are taken from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Those with benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board can call 1-800-808-0772.

Medicare Advantage Plans are private health plans that provide Medicare benefits under the management of an insurance company.  This coverage can include prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans include Medicare Health Maintenance Organization (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), Private Fee-for-Service Plans, or Medicare Special Needs Plans.

Part D or Medicare Prescription Drug Plans cover brand-name and generic prescription drugs at participating pharmacies in your area. Everyone with Medicare is eligible for this coverage, regardless of income and resources, health status, or current prescription expenses.

Dutchess County HIICAP staff and volunteers are available to help Medicare participants in making choices among the various drug plans and/or health plans.  During the annual open enrollment period from October 15 through December 7, one-on-one counseling is available by appointment at local libraries and other convenient locations throughout the county.  Individualized counseling is also available throughout the year by appointment at the Office For The Aging at 27 High Street in Poughkeepsie.

If you join, generally you will pay a monthly premium, which varies by plan, and a yearly deductible. You will also pay a part of the cost of your prescriptions, including a co-payment or coinsurance. Costs will vary depending on which drug plan you choose. If you have limited income and resources, and you qualify for extra help, you may not have to pay a premium or deductible.

Railroad Retirement beneficiaries with questions about RRB benefits, Medicare bills and coverage, lost Medicare cards, Medicare premium amounts and Medicare enrollment should call (877) 772-5772

Questions about Medigap policies, long term care insurance, Medicare health plan choices, Medicare rights and protection and help with filing an appeal should be made to the local Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP) in Dutchess County as 845-486-2566 or toll free at (800) 701-0501.

General Medicare information, ordering Medicare booklets and information about health plans is available at (800) 633-4227, TTD/TDD: (877) 486-2048; on line at http://www.medicare.gov/.

LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE

Long-term care is a variety of services that includes medical and non-medical care to people who have a chronic illness or disability. Most long-term care is to assist people with support services such as activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom. Long-term care can be provided at home, in the community, in assisted living or in nursing homes.

Long term Care Insurance is a type of private insurance policy that can help pay for many types of long-term care, including both skilled and non-skilled care. Long-term care insurance coverage can vary widely. Long-term care insurance premiums vary, depending on your age and health status when you buy the long-term care insurance policy and how much coverage you want. You must be in generally good health to pass underwriting when purchasing a policy.

The cost of care, especially in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, varies from state to state. Make sure that the long-term care insurance policy you buy will cover the costs of care where you plan to use it.  Most long-term care insurance policies offer certain tax benefits..

The Partnership for Long-Term Care is a partnership between Medicaid and long-term care insurers and is currently available in New York State.  It provides an alternative to spending down or transferring assets. The Partnership for Long Term Care has focused on creating affordable products that encourage people to self-insure, enable purchasers to provide better protection against impoverishment, and reduce long-term care costs for the Medicaid program

Consumers would be wise to carefully research long-term care insurance choices and benefits before calling an insurance company.  The New York State Office for the Aging’s HIICAP web site at https://aging.ny.gov/healthbenefits/index.cfm, the New York State Partnership for Long-term Care web site at https://nyspltc.health.ny.gov/ and https://planaheadny.health.ny.gov/ and Dutchess County Office For The Aging's HIICAP at 845-486-2566 or 1-800-701-0501 are excellent sources for information and objective counseling.

EPIC (Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage) Program

Contact Information

EPIC is a New York State sponsored prescription program for senior citizens who need help paying for their prescriptions. Over 260,000 seniors already belong and are saving, on average, over 80% of the cost of their medicines.  You can apply to EPIC if:

  • New York State residents can join EPIC if they are 65 or older, and have an annual income of $75,000 or less if single, or $100,000 or less if married.
  • Seniors who receive full Medicaid benefits are not eligible for EPIC benefit
  • EPIC works with Medicare Part D as a secondary payer.  Seniors should make sure their Part D plan covers their prescription drugs, since EPIC will not pay primary for most medications.
  • EPIC is a cost sharing program. Seniors with lower incomes pay a low quarterly fee, and participate in the Fee Plan. Seniors with higher incomes meet an annual deductible, and participate in the Deductible Plan. Their EPIC is free. Those who pay a fee or meet their EPIC deductible make a co-payment at the pharmacy when purchasing prescriptions.  Please note: EPIC does NOT provide drug coverage during their Part D deductible, if they have one.

EPIC operates a toll-free Helpline which is available from 8:30AM to 5:00PM, Monday through Friday. Call 1-800-332-3742 (TTY 1-800-290-9138) for more information or to request an application. You can also write:  EPIC, PO Box 15018, Albany, NY 12212-5018.  email:  epic@health.state.ny.us.  Visit them on the web at: http://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/epic/

HEALTH INSURANCE

COBRA:  The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA) allows continuation and/or conversion of an employer group health plan at the individual’s expense plus a 2% administrative fee for a period of 18 or 36 months.  Conversion policy benefits are often less comprehensive and more costly than the group plan with the employer.

Privately Purchased Health Insurance:  Individuals, not eligible for Medicare, may purchase individual HMO or Point of Services (POS) plans at premium rates approved by the NYS Insurance Department.  If affiliated with a trade, civic or religious association, an individual may find less costly premiums for such plans.  New York law requires all insurers writing small group or individual health insurance policies to accept all applicants and prohibits insurers from making any rate distinctions on the basis of age, gender, health status, or occupation.  Pre-existing condition clauses will apply if a 60-day lapse occurs between coverage.

Healthy NY:  Established January 1, 2001 by the Health Care Reform Act of 2000 helps New York State’s small business owners provide their employees with affordable health insurance coverage and helps income eligible sole proprietors or individuals obtain insurance coverage.  Eligibility is limited to those who were (1) uninsured for the 12 month period preceding application; (2) individuals whose gross household income is at or below 250% of the federal poverty level; (3) individuals who are ineligible for Medicare.  For information contact the NYS Insurance Department at 1-866-432-5849, visit the web site at  https://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumers/health_insurance/new_york_health_insurance_policies__programs or contact Dutchess County HIICAP at 845-486-2555 or 1-866-486-2555.

NY State of Health:  An organized marketplace designed to help people shop for and enroll in health insurance coverage.  Individuals, families and small businesses can use the Marketplace to help them compare insurance options, calculate costs and select coverage online, in-person, over the phone or by mail.  The Marketplace helps people to check their eligibility for health care programs like Medicaid and sign up for these programs if they are eligible.  The Marketplace also tells what type of financial assistance is available to applicants to help them afford health insurance purchased through the Marketplace.  Help is available by calling the Marketplace at 1-855-355-5777 or by visiting the website http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/ or contact Dutchess County HIICAP at 845-486-2555 or 1-866-486-2555.

Supplementing Medicare:  Medicare Supplemental insurance, sometimes called Medigap insurance, may be purchased by people who are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B and who are enrolled in the Original Medicare Plan.  The Medigap policy premium is regulated by the NYS Insurance Department.  Policies help by paying some of the costs that are not covered by Medicare.

Medigap policies are sold by private insurance companies to fill the “gaps” in Original Medicare Plan coverage.  In New York State there are thirteen (11) standardized Medigap plans A through N.  Benefit plans vary in the coverage provided.

Federal law prevents insurance companies from selling more than one Medigap policy to an individual.  New York State requires insurers to offer continuous open enrollment to all Medicare beneficiaries regardless of age.  A maximum six-month pre-existing condition clause is imposed if more than 63 days passes between credible insurance and purchase of a Medigap policy.

Medigap policies do not cover long term care, vision or dental care, hearing aids, private-duty nursing or prescription drugs.

Up-to-date Medigap insurance information is available on the web and Dutchess County HIICAP at 845-486-2566 or toll free at 1-800-701-0501.

Health Insurance Information, Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP):  HIICAP is part of a statewide network and national network of State Health Insurance Programs (SHIP). NYS Division of Aging Services coordinates HIICAP with a consortium of advocacy agencies and health care insurance providers.

HIICAP’s mission is to educate the public about Medicare and other health insurance issues and to provide accurate and objective information, counseling, assistance, and advocacy relating to Medicare, private health insurance and related health coverage plans for Medicare beneficiaries, their representatives, or persons soon to be eligible for Medicare.

In addition to individual counseling sessions, HIICAP offers New York residents a toll-free hotline at 1-800-701-0501.  Dutchess County residents in the 845 area code can call the hotline direct at 486-2566.

MEDICARE

Contact Information

Medicare is the nation’s largest health insurance program.  Medicare provides health insurance to people age 65 and over, and to people who have permanent kidney failure, certain people with disabilities and all persons who receive 24 months of Social Security Disability payments. Medicare usually is the first payer of health care costs, the foundation of health insurance for 97% of older Americans.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is the federal agency that administers Medicare, Medicaid and the Child Health Insurance programs.   The majority of these individuals receive their benefits through the fee-for-service delivery system but there is an increasing number that are choosing managed care plans available through insurance companies.

Medicare Part A is known as the hospital coverage component of Medicare.  Part A helps pay for care in hospitals as an outpatient, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care and some home health care.

Medicare Part B is the medical insurance component of Medicare.  Part B helps pay for doctors’ services, outpatient hospital care, durable medical equipment, ambulance services, labs and some other medical services that Part A does not cover, such as the services of physical and occupational therapists, and some home health care.  Part B helps pay for these covered services and supplies when they are medically necessary.

Medicare Part C is known as Medicare Advantage plans.  These are an alternative to original Medicare administered by insurance companies.

Medicare Part D is the prescription drug portion of Medicare and is delivered by private insurance companies.

Unless an individual or his/her spouse is working and covered by Employee Group Health Insurance, enrollment in Medicare is required at age 65.  If an individual is receiving Social Security benefits, enrollment will occur automatically.  Those who are not receiving Social Security benefits should contact SSA three months before their 65 birthday and ask to be enrolled.  The toll free number is 1-800-772-1213. and calls are taken from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Those with benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board can call 1-800-808-0772.

Medicare Advantage Plans are private health plans that provide Medicare benefits under the management of an insurance company.  This coverage can include prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans include Medicare Health Maintenance Organization (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), Private Fee-for-Service Plans, or Medicare Special Needs Plans.

Part D or Medicare Prescription Drug Plans cover brand-name and generic prescription drugs at participating pharmacies in your area. Everyone with Medicare is eligible for this coverage, regardless of income and resources, health status, or current prescription expenses.

Dutchess County HIICAP staff and volunteers are available to help Medicare participants in making choices among the various drug plans and/or health plans.  During the annual open enrollment period from October 15 through December 7, one-on-one counseling is available by appointment at local libraries and other convenient locations throughout the county.  Individualized counseling is also available throughout the year by appointment at the Office For The Aging at 27 High Street in Poughkeepsie.

If you join, generally you will pay a monthly premium, which varies by plan, and a yearly deductible. You will also pay a part of the cost of your prescriptions, including a co-payment or coinsurance. Costs will vary depending on which drug plan you choose. If you have limited income and resources, and you qualify for extra help, you may not have to pay a premium or deductible.

Railroad Retirement beneficiaries with questions about RRB benefits, Medicare bills and coverage, lost Medicare cards, Medicare premium amounts and Medicare enrollment should call (877) 772-5772

Questions about Medigap policies, long term care insurance, Medicare health plan choices, Medicare rights and protection and help with filing an appeal should be made to the local Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP) in Dutchess County as 845-486-2566 or toll free at (800) 701-0501.

General Medicare information, ordering Medicare booklets and information about health plans is available at (800) 633-4227, TTD/TDD: (877) 486-2048; on line at http://www.medicare.gov/.

LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE

Long-term care is a variety of services that includes medical and non-medical care to people who have a chronic illness or disability. Most long-term care is to assist people with support services such as activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom. Long-term care can be provided at home, in the community, in assisted living or in nursing homes.

Long term Care Insurance is a type of private insurance policy that can help pay for many types of long-term care, including both skilled and non-skilled care. Long-term care insurance coverage can vary widely. Long-term care insurance premiums vary, depending on your age and health status when you buy the long-term care insurance policy and how much coverage you want. You must be in generally good health to pass underwriting when purchasing a policy.

The cost of care, especially in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, varies from state to state. Make sure that the long-term care insurance policy you buy will cover the costs of care where you plan to use it.  Most long-term care insurance policies offer certain tax benefits..

The Partnership for Long-Term Care is a partnership between Medicaid and long-term care insurers and is currently available in New York State.  It provides an alternative to spending down or transferring assets. The Partnership for Long Term Care has focused on creating affordable products that encourage people to self-insure, enable purchasers to provide better protection against impoverishment, and reduce long-term care costs for the Medicaid program

Consumers would be wise to carefully research long-term care insurance choices and benefits before calling an insurance company.  The New York State Office for the Aging’s HIICAP web site at https://aging.ny.gov/healthbenefits/index.cfm, the New York State Partnership for Long-term Care web site at https://nyspltc.health.ny.gov/ and https://planaheadny.health.ny.gov/ and Dutchess County Office For The Aging's HIICAP at 845-486-2566 or 1-800-701-0501 are excellent sources for information and objective counseling.

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Medicaid is a program for New Yorkers who can't afford to pay for medical care.  You may be covered by Medicaid if:

  • You have high medical bills.
  • You receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • You meet certain income, resource, age or disability requirements.

Medicaid is a national health assistance program created by Congress in 1965 for persons with very low income and resources.  In New York State, it is financed jointly by federal, state, and county governments. 

Mandated services include payment for doctors who accept Medicaid, in-patient and out-patient hospital care, rural health clinics, family planning services, health screening follow-up services for children under 21, laboratory and X-ray services, home health care services for qualifying individuals, and care in residential health care facilities (nursing homes) and assisted living programs (ALPS).

New York State Medicaid covers dental care, some medical equipment, personal care services, eyeglasses, prescription drugs (for non-Medicare eligible individuals), prescription shoes, medical transportation, personal emergency response systems, and some therapies.  Limits exist for some services (utilization thresholds), and prior approval is required for many services.  In Dutchess and throughout New York, most non-Medicare eligible Medicaid beneficiaries are required to be enrolled in a managed care insurance plan.

The laws regulating Medicaid eligibility change frequently.  Some of the areas covered by such laws include transfer of assets, family responsibility, and the level of income and resources which may be retained.  It is important to work with the Dutchess County Department of Community & Family Services, knowledgeable advocacy agencies, or specialized attorneys to be assured of the most up-to-date information on eligibility

Usually, children in foster care or persons eligible for aid to dependent children (ADC), home relief (HR), and supplemental security income (SSI) are eligible without additional application requirements.  Others who are eligible are persons of very limited income who are under 21 years old or greater than 65 years old, or pregnant, or certified blind or disabled.

You no longer need to have a personal interview to be elligible for Medicaid.  If you need help with understanding and filling out your application, you can call or visit the Dutchess County Department of Community & Family Services or a facilliated enroller.  You can also contact New York Health Options at (855) 693-6765.

EPIC (Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage) Program

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EPIC is a New York State sponsored prescription program for senior citizens who need help paying for their prescriptions. Over 260,000 seniors already belong and are saving, on average, over 80% of the cost of their medicines.  You can apply to EPIC if:

  • New York State residents can join EPIC if they are 65 or older, and have an annual income of $75,000 or less if single, or $100,000 or less if married.
  • Seniors who receive full Medicaid benefits are not eligible for EPIC benefit
  • EPIC works with Medicare Part D as a secondary payer.  Seniors should make sure their Part D plan covers their prescription drugs, since EPIC will not pay primary for most medications.
  • EPIC is a cost sharing program. Seniors with lower incomes pay a low quarterly fee, and participate in the Fee Plan. Seniors with higher incomes meet an annual deductible, and participate in the Deductible Plan. Their EPIC is free. Those who pay a fee or meet their EPIC deductible make a co-payment at the pharmacy when purchasing prescriptions.  Please note: EPIC does NOT provide drug coverage during their Part D deductible, if they have one.

EPIC operates a toll-free Helpline which is available from 8:30AM to 5:00PM, Monday through Friday. Call 1-800-332-3742 (TTY 1-800-290-9138) for more information or to request an application. You can also write:  EPIC, PO Box 15018, Albany, NY 12212-5018.  email:  epic@health.state.ny.us.  Visit them on the web at: http://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/epic/

HEALTH INSURANCE

COBRA:  The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA) allows continuation and/or conversion of an employer group health plan at the individual’s expense plus a 2% administrative fee for a period of 18 or 36 months.  Conversion policy benefits are often less comprehensive and more costly than the group plan with the employer.

Privately Purchased Health Insurance:  Individuals, not eligible for Medicare, may purchase individual HMO or Point of Services (POS) plans at premium rates approved by the NYS Insurance Department.  If affiliated with a trade, civic or religious association, an individual may find less costly premiums for such plans.  New York law requires all insurers writing small group or individual health insurance policies to accept all applicants and prohibits insurers from making any rate distinctions on the basis of age, gender, health status, or occupation.  Pre-existing condition clauses will apply if a 60-day lapse occurs between coverage.

Healthy NY:  Established January 1, 2001 by the Health Care Reform Act of 2000 helps New York State’s small business owners provide their employees with affordable health insurance coverage and helps income eligible sole proprietors or individuals obtain insurance coverage.  Eligibility is limited to those who were (1) uninsured for the 12 month period preceding application; (2) individuals whose gross household income is at or below 250% of the federal poverty level; (3) individuals who are ineligible for Medicare.  For information contact the NYS Insurance Department at 1-866-432-5849, visit the web site at  https://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumers/health_insurance/new_york_health_insurance_policies__programs or contact Dutchess County HIICAP at 845-486-2555 or 1-866-486-2555.

NY State of Health:  An organized marketplace designed to help people shop for and enroll in health insurance coverage.  Individuals, families and small businesses can use the Marketplace to help them compare insurance options, calculate costs and select coverage online, in-person, over the phone or by mail.  The Marketplace helps people to check their eligibility for health care programs like Medicaid and sign up for these programs if they are eligible.  The Marketplace also tells what type of financial assistance is available to applicants to help them afford health insurance purchased through the Marketplace.  Help is available by calling the Marketplace at 1-855-355-5777 or by visiting the website http://info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/ or contact Dutchess County HIICAP at 845-486-2555 or 1-866-486-2555.

Supplementing Medicare:  Medicare Supplemental insurance, sometimes called Medigap insurance, may be purchased by people who are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B and who are enrolled in the Original Medicare Plan.  The Medigap policy premium is regulated by the NYS Insurance Department.  Policies help by paying some of the costs that are not covered by Medicare.

Medigap policies are sold by private insurance companies to fill the “gaps” in Original Medicare Plan coverage.  In New York State there are thirteen (11) standardized Medigap plans A through N.  Benefit plans vary in the coverage provided.

Federal law prevents insurance companies from selling more than one Medigap policy to an individual.  New York State requires insurers to offer continuous open enrollment to all Medicare beneficiaries regardless of age.  A maximum six-month pre-existing condition clause is imposed if more than 63 days passes between credible insurance and purchase of a Medigap policy.

Medigap policies do not cover long term care, vision or dental care, hearing aids, private-duty nursing or prescription drugs.

Up-to-date Medigap insurance information is available on the web and Dutchess County HIICAP at 845-486-2566 or toll free at 1-800-701-0501.

Health Insurance Information, Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP):  HIICAP is part of a statewide network and national network of State Health Insurance Programs (SHIP). NYS Division of Aging Services coordinates HIICAP with a consortium of advocacy agencies and health care insurance providers.

HIICAP’s mission is to educate the public about Medicare and other health insurance issues and to provide accurate and objective information, counseling, assistance, and advocacy relating to Medicare, private health insurance and related health coverage plans for Medicare beneficiaries, their representatives, or persons soon to be eligible for Medicare.

In addition to individual counseling sessions, HIICAP offers New York residents a toll-free hotline at 1-800-701-0501.  Dutchess County residents in the 845 area code can call the hotline direct at 486-2566.

MEDICARE

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Medicare is the nation’s largest health insurance program.  Medicare provides health insurance to people age 65 and over, and to people who have permanent kidney failure, certain people with disabilities and all persons who receive 24 months of Social Security Disability payments. Medicare usually is the first payer of health care costs, the foundation of health insurance for 97% of older Americans.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is the federal agency that administers Medicare, Medicaid and the Child Health Insurance programs.   The majority of these individuals receive their benefits through the fee-for-service delivery system but there is an increasing number that are choosing managed care plans available through insurance companies.

Medicare Part A is known as the hospital coverage component of Medicare.  Part A helps pay for care in hospitals as an outpatient, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care and some home health care.

Medicare Part B is the medical insurance component of Medicare.  Part B helps pay for doctors’ services, outpatient hospital care, durable medical equipment, ambulance services, labs and some other medical services that Part A does not cover, such as the services of physical and occupational therapists, and some home health care.  Part B helps pay for these covered services and supplies when they are medically necessary.

Medicare Part C is known as Medicare Advantage plans.  These are an alternative to original Medicare administered by insurance companies.

Medicare Part D is the prescription drug portion of Medicare and is delivered by private insurance companies.

Unless an individual or his/her spouse is working and covered by Employee Group Health Insurance, enrollment in Medicare is required at age 65.  If an individual is receiving Social Security benefits, enrollment will occur automatically.  Those who are not receiving Social Security benefits should contact SSA three months before their 65 birthday and ask to be enrolled.  The toll free number is 1-800-772-1213. and calls are taken from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Those with benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board can call 1-800-808-0772.

Medicare Advantage Plans are private health plans that provide Medicare benefits under the management of an insurance company.  This coverage can include prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans include Medicare Health Maintenance Organization (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), Private Fee-for-Service Plans, or Medicare Special Needs Plans.

Part D or Medicare Prescription Drug Plans cover brand-name and generic prescription drugs at participating pharmacies in your area. Everyone with Medicare is eligible for this coverage, regardless of income and resources, health status, or current prescription expenses.

Dutchess County HIICAP staff and volunteers are available to help Medicare participants in making choices among the various drug plans and/or health plans.  During the annual open enrollment period from October 15 through December 7, one-on-one counseling is available by appointment at local libraries and other convenient locations throughout the county.  Individualized counseling is also available throughout the year by appointment at the Office For The Aging at 27 High Street in Poughkeepsie.

If you join, generally you will pay a monthly premium, which varies by plan, and a yearly deductible. You will also pay a part of the cost of your prescriptions, including a co-payment or coinsurance. Costs will vary depending on which drug plan you choose. If you have limited income and resources, and you qualify for extra help, you may not have to pay a premium or deductible.

Railroad Retirement beneficiaries with questions about RRB benefits, Medicare bills and coverage, lost Medicare cards, Medicare premium amounts and Medicare enrollment should call (877) 772-5772

Questions about Medigap policies, long term care insurance, Medicare health plan choices, Medicare rights and protection and help with filing an appeal should be made to the local Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP) in Dutchess County as 845-486-2566 or toll free at (800) 701-0501.

General Medicare information, ordering Medicare booklets and information about health plans is available at (800) 633-4227, TTD/TDD: (877) 486-2048; on line at http://www.medicare.gov/.

LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE

Long-term care is a variety of services that includes medical and non-medical care to people who have a chronic illness or disability. Most long-term care is to assist people with support services such as activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom. Long-term care can be provided at home, in the community, in assisted living or in nursing homes.

Long term Care Insurance is a type of private insurance policy that can help pay for many types of long-term care, including both skilled and non-skilled care. Long-term care insurance coverage can vary widely. Long-term care insurance premiums vary, depending on your age and health status when you buy the long-term care insurance policy and how much coverage you want. You must be in generally good health to pass underwriting when purchasing a policy.

The cost of care, especially in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, varies from state to state. Make sure that the long-term care insurance policy you buy will cover the costs of care where you plan to use it.  Most long-term care insurance policies offer certain tax benefits..

The Partnership for Long-Term Care is a partnership between Medicaid and long-term care insurers and is currently available in New York State.  It provides an alternative to spending down or transferring assets. The Partnership for Long Term Care has focused on creating affordable products that encourage people to self-insure, enable purchasers to provide better protection against impoverishment, and reduce long-term care costs for the Medicaid program

Consumers would be wise to carefully research long-term care insurance choices and benefits before calling an insurance company.  The New York State Office for the Aging’s HIICAP web site at https://aging.ny.gov/healthbenefits/index.cfm, the New York State Partnership for Long-term Care web site at https://nyspltc.health.ny.gov/ and https://planaheadny.health.ny.gov/ and Dutchess County Office For The Aging's HIICAP at 845-486-2566 or 1-800-701-0501 are excellent sources for information and objective counseling.

Medical Information, Services and Resources

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CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY SERVICES

Dutchess County has an extensive network of chemical dependency services, which are provided by the public as well as private sectors. Programs for the chemically dependent range from services in outpatient clinics to in-patient care in long-term residential treatment facilities (therapeutic communities). These programs are licensed and regulated by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS).

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CLINICS AND HEALTH CENTERS

Various health clinic services are available at reduced or no charge via the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH), Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Northern Dutchess Hospital, and St. Francis Hospital through the Hudson River Community Health. Agencies such as the American Heart Association offer clinics where screening for specific conditions or diseases is carried out. For some of these services there are low income eligibility requirements.

Hospitals offer medical and dental clinics, and a number of specialized clinics, such as those for cardiology and pain. The latter are normally accessed through referral.

Health centers accept Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, and will also see patients with no insurance, often offering services on a sliding scale basis

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DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES SERVICES

The Federal Developmental Disabilities Legislation defines developmental disabilities in functional terms. The Legislation defines a developmental disability as a severe, chronic disability of a person which:

  • is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments;
  • is manifest before age 22;
  • is likely to continue indefinitely;
  • results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activities;

DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES SERVICES

The Federal Developmental Disabilities Legislation defines developmental disabilities in functional terms. The Legislation defines a developmental disability as a severe, chronic disability of a person which:

  • is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments;
  • is manifest before age 22;
  • is likely to continue indefinitely;
  • results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activities;

Visit our ThinkDIFFERENTLY website, a comprehensive resource for those living with special needs and their families. 

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EMERGENCY ALERT SERVICES

The personal emergency response system (PERS) are available for frail persons who are alone for all or part of each day. This sends a signal to a monitoring center. The monitor center has information on file regarding the client and will notify the appropriate responder depending on the situation. Charges for PERS systems vary considerably.

The Are You O.K.? Program, is a safety program that targets vulnerable individuals who, in the event of illness, accidental injury, or crime, are in danger of being left unattended and unaided for a lengthy period of time. The program is a reassurance service that allows anyone in Dutchess County who is elderly or disabled and living alone the certainty that they will be checked on each day.

“Are You O.K.?” is a function of the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office and the Dutchess County Office For The Aging. The “Are You O.K.?” computer system, administered by the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, stores the emergency information in memory. The computer calls the subscriber every day at the same time. If the person fails to answer the call after fifteen minutes, the Sheriff’s Office then dispatches the designated person, as requested by the client, to check on the person’s condition. Registration can be done through the Dutchess County Office For The Aging, 27 High St., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 (845-486-2555).

HEARING IMPAIRMENT

Hearing impairment refers to complete or partial loss of the ability to hear from one or both ears. The level of impairment can be mild, moderate, severe or profound; Deafness refers to the complete loss of ability to hear from one or both ears.

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is a consumer organization representing people with hearing loss, focusing on accessibility, public policy, research, public awareness, and service delivery related to hearing loss on a national and global level. HLAA’s national support network includes an office in the Washington D.C. area, 14 state organizations, and 200 local chapters. The HLAA mission is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, advocacy, and support. HLAA provides information to consumers, policy makers, business professionals, and family members through its web site, a magazine (Hearing Loss), an online newsletter (ENews), and message boards. HLAA also brings consumers and policy makers together to learn about hearing accessibility issues at national and regional conventions.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted use of the 711 dialing code for access to Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS). TRS permits persons with a hearing or speech disability to use the telephone system via a text telephone (TTY) or other device to call persons with or without such disabilities.

Choosing a hearing aid can be a complex process. The best place to start for anyone with hearing loss is with his or her physician. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has put together a guide to hearing products, which can be downloaded at: http://assets.aarp.org/www.aarp.org_/articles/health/docs/hearing_guide.pdf.

Northern Dutchess Hospital 
6511 Springbrook Ave., Rhinebeck, NY 12572
(845) 876-3001

Mid Hudson Regional Hospital of Westchester Medical Center 
241 North Rd., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 483-5000

Vassar Brothers Medical Center  
45 Reade Pl., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 454-8500

VA Hudson Valley Healthcare System, Castle Point Campus  
41 Castle Point Rd, Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
(845) 831-2000

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MEDICAL EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES

Medical Equipment is often called Durable Medical Equipment (DME) and refers to devices that enhance the user’s ability to function. Generally, these items are not considered disposable. They may range from a simple device to assist with activities or daily living (ADLs) to a highly customized wheelchair.

Professional Physical and/or Occupational Therapists can recommend appropriate purchases and, in some cases, provide guidance regarding vendors. They can also assist with planning for long-range as well as immediate requirements. Medical Necessity, indicated by a doctor’s signature on the order is a requirement for insurance coverage for equipment.

Insurance payment, including payment by Medicare and Medicaid must be authorized by the physician and the durable medical equipment will be less expensive if ordered through a participating supplier.

Loan Closets: Some churches, rescue squads, town health committees, area resource centers, and service organizations have used equipment available for temporary loan. In addition, many pharmacies have durable medical equipment for rent or sale

MENTAL HEALTH, COUNSELING, AND PSYCHIATRIC SERVICES

Mental health services include a wide range of treatment services to children, adults, individuals, groups, and families. Mental health treatment can be obtained from public, private non-profit, and private providers. Choice of a provider is often dictated by individual needs and financial considerations (including insurance or other health plan coverage).

Non-medical (not an M.D.) therapists cannot prescribe medication, which is often indicated in the treatment of the more serious psychiatric disorders. In order to be evaluated for and receive medication, a patient must be seen by a psychiatrist or other M.D. Public and many non-profit mental health agencies have a psychiatrist on staff. The psychiatrist can provide medication only or as a treatment adjunct to counseling. The services of a psychiatrist can also be obtained privately or through referral from a private therapist.

When an individual’s psychiatric condition is of such serious nature that the person is considered dangerous to self or others, psychiatric hospitalization may be necessary. Hospitalization can be either voluntary or involuntary. An individual can be hospitalized in a private psychiatric hospital, a general hospital with a psychiatric unit, or a state psychiatric center.

If an individual experiencing a psychiatric emergency he or she should be taken to Emergency Psychiatric Counseling Center (EPCC) at MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie, 845-431-8892. Emergency telephone counseling and referrals can be obtained 24 hours/day, seven days/week by calling Helpline, (845) 485-9700. In some cases where the person cannot be brought to EPCC, an in-home evaluation can be made by the Hudson River Psychiatric Center Diversion Team. Referrals to the Mobile Crisis Team can be made Monday through Friday, 9:00am - 5:00pm, by calling toll free (877) 485-9700 and requesting to speak to the Case Management On-Call Worker.

PHYSICIAN REFERRAL SERVICES

In Dutchess County a physician referral service is available through Vassar Brothers Medical Center and through Dutchess County Medical Society.

REHABILITATION SERVICES

Rehabilitation Services are often used after debilitating illnesses or injuries. They can be provided in an acute care setting or a sub-acute care setting or in a home care setting. The services can be paid for privately, by private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid and must be ordered by a physician.

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VETERAN SERVICES

The Dutchess County Office of Veteran Affairs and the New York State Division of Veteran Affairs staff members assist veterans and their families to understand and access benefits which may be available to them.  In addition, they provide referral and advocacy services as appropriate.  The staff can offer assistance and guidance to those seeking admission to such facilities as the New York State Veteran’s Home in Oxford, New York, the Veteran’s Domiciliary at Bath, New York, or the nursing facility at Castle Point Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center, and the facility at Montrose.

The Department of Veterans Affairs may at their option keep a veteran at one of their nursing facilities for a period of time, usually not exceeding six months.  Subsequent to such care, the VA may pay for further placement at a contracted local nursing home.

More frequently, however, the veteran will be directly placed at one of the five nursing homes located in Dutchess County that are currently contracted with the VA.  The period of stay at contracted homes is typically three months, with a six month maximum.

Depending on the veteran’s infirmities and the availability of an appropriate bed, the VA may instead attempt to place the veteran at a facility that is not contracted for VA services.  In this event, Medicaid coverage may be needed immediately, rather than three to twelve months after nursing care is first deemed appropriate.  Therefore, it is imperative that family members of veterans who require nursing home care contact a Veterans Counselor at the 85 Civic Center Plaza office (Suite 105) at their earliest convenience.

The office also assists families of veterans and their widows to obtain financial assistance from the Department of Veteran Affairs for those whose care at home is provided by a licensed or registered nurse, a certified home health aide, or a certified personal care aide.  This can be of particular help to those veterans or their widows who are ineligible for Medicaid and have been paying privately for this service.

Nursing home and home health care benefits are available only to veterans of a wartime period and their widows.

Non-Medical Information and Resources

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EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE AND FOOD PANTRIES

Emergency assistance is an immediate, short-term response to an emergency resulting from financial crisis, family breakdown, eviction, or natural disaster.  It may include emergency shelter, provision of food or clothing, and assistance with energy bills.

Often, emergency assistance is accompanied by counseling, intervention, budgeting help, case management, and advocacy with agencies, which provide financial assistance. 

Not-for-profit and government agencies, religious organizations, unions, fraternal associations, and neighborhood associations are often sources of emergency assistance for the particular population groups with which they are affiliated or concerned.  Such efforts are often administered informally by volunteers.  They may include food, clothing, and small cash grants.  The 211 call center maintains information on these services.

Disaster relief is emergency assistance provided on a large scale to victims of such disasters as major fires, floods, hurricanes, or accidents involving passenger planes and trains.  One agency needs to assume responsibility for coordinating relief efforts. 

The lead agency in Dutchess County is the Department of Emergency Response: 845-486-2080.

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HOME ENERGY:  The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a Federal program designed to assist eligible, low-income households in meeting home energy costs.  Services include financial assistance with fuel bills, emergency financial assistance for fuel/utility termination, and referrals for weatherization service.  The benefit a household receives from HEAP is based on monthly income, the number of people in the household, and the type of heat generation used.  Income eligibility guidelines are issued each year.

To apply for HEAP, clients age 60 and over should contact the Dutchess County Office for The Aging; others contact the Dutchess County Department of Community & Family Services.

Heating Equipment Repair and Replacement (HERR) helps HEAP eligible homeowners in emergency situations with the repair or replacement of heating equipment.  To be eligible, household must meet income and resource guidelines.

UTILITY ASSISTANCE: Local utilities also offer their own energy assistance programs.

WEATHERIZATION:  Weatherization can conserve energy and save money by making a dwelling as energy efficient as possible.  Depending on the needs of a dwelling, some of the following weatherization services may be provided at low or no cost:  Services may include cleaning, testing, and repairs to heating systems, insulation of attics, walls, and perimeter areas, replacement or repair of broken windows and/or external door weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows to reduce air leaks.

Weatherization assistance is offered through the local Community Action Partnership.

EmPOWER NEW YORK: The focus of EmPOWER New York is on cost-effective electric reduction measures, particularly lighting and refrigerator replacements, as well as other cost effective home performance strategies such as insulation and health and safety measures.  On-site energy use education provides customers with additional strategies for

HOME REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE

In Dutchess County there are programs that can assist with home repairs and maintenance. Some home repair services are donated in their entirety; other services donate labor, but the homeowner must pay for materials. Sometimes the homeowner is asked to participate, if physically able.

Grants for home repair are available in certain municipalities.  Requests for more information about these programs can be made to Dutchess County Office for the Aging or by going to the related links:

 

 

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LEGAL SERVICES

The Dutchess County Office For the Aging Legal Services for the Elderly provides legal advice to Dutchess County residents age 60 and over. There is no financial eligibility requirement for assistance through this program; however, it is intended for those senior citizens who would otherwise be unable to afford legal assistance.

The primary focus of legal services offered through Dutchess County Office For the Aging is generally on immediate threats to income, shelter, patients’ rights and health matters. Preparation of simple wills is also available. Prospective clients may make an appointment for this service by calling Dutchess County Office For the Aging, 845-486-2555 or toll free at 1-866-486-2555. Make your plans sooner rather than later!

Nationally, attorneys who specialize in elder law can be found by contacting the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

 

OMBUDSMAN

Ombudsman: A Swedish term for a person who acts as an advocate, investigates complaints and helps achieve equitable settlements.

The purpose of the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program in Dutchess County is:

  • To educate and inform residents of nursing homes and adult facilities about their rights
  • To provide a means by which resident concerns can be handled confidentially
  • To work with staff in the facilities, when possible, to resolve problems and concerns

The Ombudsman is not a representative of any nursing home or adult home.  Neither is she/he a representative of the Department of Health or Department of Community & Family Services.  The Ombudsman is a community volunteer who advocates on behalf of all long term care residents.  Trained Ombudsman volunteers visit assigned facilities weekly and discuss with residents their concerns about issues such as resident rights, quality of care, quality of life.  If necessary, the Ombudsman may refer concerns to appropriate local or state agencies.

Visit the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program in Dutchess County website for more information or call 845-229-4680.

ICAN is the New York State Ombudsprogram for people with Medicaid long-term care services, assisting with enrolling in and using managed care plans that cover long-term care services, such as home attendant services or nursing home care.  ICAN counselors assist Medicaid long-term care recipients in navigating their coverage, understanding and exercising their rights and responsibilities, and solving problems with Medicaid long-term care services. They also can answer questions about Medicaid managed care plans, including MLTC, FIDA and “mainstream” Medicaid managed care plans that provide long-term care services.

 Visit the ICAN website for more information or call the office at 844-614-8800, TTY Relay Service:  711.

 

RESPITE CARE

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Respite care is the provision of short term, temporary care that provides relief for caregivers of the ill or disabled.

The goals of respite may include providing support and reducing the stress and pressures placed on family members and other caregivers by giving them time off to relax or take care of personal needs. It may also improve the mental and physical health of caregivers, thus providing a healthful environment for both caregivers and those they care for.

Levels of care range from minimal care to nursing level of care.  Care may be provided in the home by trained volunteers or at  Adult day care centers, adult homes, and nursing homes.  Twenty-four hour institutional care may be provided by adult homes, foster care homes, family-type homes, nursing homes and residential programs. Licensed Home Care Services Agencies provide nurses or aides in the patient’s home at an hourly or daily rate.

Admission to a formal respite program usually involves an intake process, including determination of eligibility and identification of funding sources; determination of a care plan by a respite care case manager, caregivers, and the client; and sometimes a home visit.

Some providers of respite provide additional services, such as information and referral, and training for primary caregivers.

SELF-HELP AND SUPPORT GROUPS

Self-help and support groups are autonomous groups of individuals who share a common problem or concern.  Members of these groups meet voluntarily for mutual support.  Members share their experiences, strengths, and hopes, and rely on one another for assistance.

Self-help groups include professionally facilitated groups, structured 12-step with or without professional participation, and groups with no professional participation or specifically structured format.

Listings of self-help groups also may be found in local newspapers and on the following website: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/groups/ny/dutchess-county.

Contact Information

TAX ASSISTANCE

Tax-Aide Service

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) in cooperation with the IRS offers free nationwide income tax counseling for older people.  The Tax-Aide Service is available to older persons with low or moderate incomes.

From late January until April 14, volunteers are available, by appointment, to assist in the preparation of Federal and New York State income tax returns.  Tax-Aide sites are located throughout the county.  By calling 211 you can make an appointment or learn about where sites are located.

Property Tax Assistance

New York State Senior Citizens’ Exemptions are available for homeowners over the age of 65 who meet certain income requirements.  The exemption may be as high as 50% of county, city, town, village, or school property taxes.  Call your local assessor for more information to qualify and apply.

New York State Property Tax Exemption for Veterans is available to veterans or un-remarried surviving spouses of veterans.  It entitles an eligible person to receive up to a 25% exemption on NYS property taxes.  Call Veterans Services for more information to qualify and apply at (845) 486-2060.

STAR or New York State School Tax Relief Program provides school district property tax relief to all residential property owners and enhanced property tax relief to income eligible senior citizens age 65 or older.  The Enhanced STAR Exemption will provide an average school property tax reduction of at least 45% annually for seniors living in median-priced homes.  For more information:  https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star/default.htm

TELEPHONE REASSURANCE

Telephone reassurance systems, whether casual or formal, are a way for homebound individuals to stay in touch with the outside world, and for families to be reassured that their frail members are okay.

Some churches and other volunteer organizations have formal telephone reassurance programs.  If a client does not answer the call, or sounds ill, the volunteer will ask a neighbor, a relative, or the police to check on the person.

In Dutchess County, the Sheriff’s Office provides a computer-operated program which calls a subscriber daily at a pre-arranged hour. The Are You O. K.? Program, is a safety program that targets vulnerable individuals who, in the event of illness, accidental injury, or crime, are in danger of being left unattended and unaided for a lengthy period of time.  The program is a reassurance service that allows anyone in Dutchess County who is elderly or disabled and living alone the certainty that they will be checked on each day.  “Are You O. K. ?” is a function of the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office and the Dutchess County Office For the Aging.  The “Are You O.K. ?” computer system, administered by the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, stores the emergency information in memory.  The computer calls the subscriber every day at the same time.  If the person fails to answer the call after fifteen minutes, the Sheriff’s Office then dispatches the designated person, as requested by the client, to check on the person’s condition.  Registration can be done through the Dutchess County Office For the Aging, 27 High St., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 (845-486-2555).  Click here for the application

Telephone reassurance is also offered by some private businesses, sometimes as part of a care management package of services.

Contact Information

VETERAN SERVICES

The Dutchess County Office of Veteran Affairs and the New York State Division of Veteran Affairs staff members assist veterans and their families to understand and access benefits which may be available to them.  In addition, they provide referral and advocacy services as appropriate.  The staff can offer assistance and guidance to those seeking admission to such facilities as the New York State Veteran’s Home in Oxford, New York, the Veteran’s Domiciliary at Bath, New York, or the nursing facility at Castle Point Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center, and the facility at Montrose.

The Department of Veterans Affairs may at their option keep a veteran at one of their nursing facilities for a period of time, usually not exceeding six months.  Subsequent to such care, the VA may pay for further placement at a contracted local nursing home.

More frequently, however, the veteran will be directly placed at one of the five nursing homes located in Dutchess County that are currently contracted with the VA.  The period of stay at contracted homes is typically three months, with a six month maximum.

Depending on the veteran’s infirmities and the availability of an appropriate bed, the VA may instead attempt to place the veteran at a facility that is not contracted for VA services.  In this event, Medicaid coverage may be needed immediately, rather than three to twelve months after nursing care is first deemed appropriate.  Therefore, it is imperative that family members of veterans who require nursing home care contact a Veterans Counselor at the 85 Civic Center Plaza office (Suite 105) at their earliest convenience.

The office also assists families of veterans and their widows to obtain financial assistance from the Department of Veteran Affairs for those whose care at home is provided by a licensed or registered nurse, a certified home health aide, or a certified personal care aide.  This can be of particular help to those veterans or their widows who are ineligible for Medicaid and have been paying privately for this service.

Nursing home and home health care benefits are available only to veterans of a wartime period and their widows.

VOLUNTEER SERVICES

Volunteers for Dutchess County Office For the Aging provide an increasingly varied range of services for older adults.  These services include individual counseling on health insurance and Medicare Prescription Drug Plan choices, meal delivery to the homebound elderly, program assistance at Office For the Aging Friendship Centers, leadership of Brain Games and Senior Exercise Program.

Other community agencies train and coordinate volunteers in the provision of such services as friendly visiting, shopping, errands, advocacy, medical transportation, respite care, and Hospice care.

Hospitals depend heavily on volunteers, who assist with reception, run the gift shop, administer lending libraries, feed patients who cannot feed themselves, deliver patients to radiology or other diagnostic areas, and provide socialization and reassurance where needed.

Volunteer groups, such as Boy and Girl Scouts, church choirs, and clubs provide music, art, socialization, and recreational activities to patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and in day care centers.

Many fraternal organizations and church groups raise money which is used to provide small grants for household equipment and repairs or adaptations for people with health impairments.

Even the homebound or otherwise very frail can make phone calls or stuff envelopes for a not-for-profit agency.  Many otherwise lonely elderly benefit greatly from opportunities to be friendly visitors, Foster Grandparents, or mentors serving in schools or businesses.

To learn more about the volunteer opportunities available at the Office For the Aging, email bjones@dutchessny.gov  or call (845) 486-2555. 

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) can also help seniors age 55+ find a volunteer opportunity in the community.  You can contact RSVP at 452-5104 x101.

Recreation, Nutrition and Day Programs

Contact Information

ADULT DAY CARE

Social Model Program

The daily supervision of frail elderly or adults with developmental disabilities is the primary focus of social model Adult Day Care programs.  Staff, trained and sensitive to the special needs of dependent adults, provides daytime supervision.  Programming may include reality orientation, peer socialization, assistance with feeding and/or toileting, recreational activities (crafts, music, etc.), a hot nutritious meal, transportation to and from the program, and family support. 

Adult Day Programs provide services for from five to eight hours per day.  Participants may register for from one to five days per week.  Fees vary according to program.  Payment can be made privately or through programs available through NY Connects.

Medical Model Program

Medical Model Adult Day Care programs offer a broad spectrum of health and social services.  A Medical Model Day Care offers nursing care, including medication administration, occupational and physical therapy, routine dental care, podiatry, social work, nutritional counseling, and a hot noon time meal. Dutchess County programs are located in residential health care facilities (nursing homes).  Private payment, insurance and Medicaid cover the costs.

Contact Information

HOME DELIVERED MEALS and MEALS ON WHEELS

The Office For The Aging maintains an active Home Delivered Meal program and several local communities offer Meals on Wheels programs. The Office for the Aging's Home Delivered Meals Program provides a hot luncheon meal to qualified homebound individuals on a Monday thru Thursday schedule.  Participants must meet eligibility requirements; rules vary according to the program.  

Office For The Aging requires that clients are age 60 or older. They must be homebound (only leave the home for doctor/hospitals/clinic visits, church services and occasional outing), incapacitated due to accident, illness, or frailty, unable to prepare meals due to lack of facilities such as refrigeration, stove, etc.; inability to shop or cook for self; inability to safely prepare meals; lack of knowledge and skill and without the support from family, friends, or neighbors.

A second meal for the day, frozen meals and emergency meals are available at times. The meals are made without added salt.  A special diet with no concentrated sweets is available.

 

Contact Information

OFFICE FOR THE AGING SENIOR FRIENDSHIP CENTERS

Senior Friendship Centers (formerly known as Nutrition Sites) operated through the Dutchess County Office For The Aging are open four days a week (the City of Poughkeepsie Center is open Mon-Fri) and serve a noon time meal to congregate participants who have ordered a meal in advance.  It is recommended that advance reservations be made in order to guarantee that a meal will be available.

Friendship Centers are staffed with a paid Nutrition Site Manager whose responsibilities include serving meals and planning activities. The sites also have volunteers to assist with serving meals.  All sites are handicapped accessible.  They provide a variety in menu, prepared by Office For The Aging caterer.  Clients are encouraged to contribute towards the cost of the meals they receive.  The suggested confidential contribution is $3.00 per meal.  However, no person is denied service due to inability to contribute.  Cash and checks are acceptable as meal contributions.  Upon request, receipts for contributions are available from Site Manager.  Craft supplies are often available.  Each month the Nutrition Director/Registered Dietitian visits each site

Contact Information

OTHER SENIOR CENTERS AND SENIOR CLUBS

Senior centers offer opportunities for social contact and self-growth through supportive and rewarding group programs.  Some towns, churches and other community organizations host senior centers. Such programs may  include hot noon meals, cultural and recreational events, education, exercise, health screening, nutrition counseling, performing groups, advocacy efforts, and volunteer opportunities.  Some offer trips for shopping or sightseeing.  Holiday programs, with special meals and decorations

Residential Care Facilities and Options

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Adult Homes provide a private or semi-private room, private or shared bath, all meals and snacks, housekeeping and laundry services, and 24-hour supervision. Supportive services provided are targeted to those residents who need personal care assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, and assistance with the self-administration of medications, but who do not need continual nursing or medical care. Other supportive services include case management, scheduling doctors’ appointments, helping people obtain their financial entitlements, and offering meaningful on-site and community activities.

Contact Information

Assisted living residences combine housing with personal services and healthcare assistance.  They promote independence while providing care and support on a 24-hour basis.  Assisted living facilities are for people needing assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) but wishing to live as independently as possible for as long as possible.  Assisted living exists to bridge the gap between independent living and nursing homes.  Residents in assisted living centers are not able to live by themselves but do not require constant care either. Assisted living facilities offer help with ADLs such as eating, bathing, dressing, laundry, housekeeping, and assistance with medications.  Many facilities also have centers for medical care.  Most assisted living facilities create a service plan for each individual resident upon admission.  The service plan details the personalized services required by the resident and guaranteed by the facility.  The plan is updated regularly to assure that the resident receives the appropriate care as his or her condition changes.

New York has three models of assisted living: adult homes, enriched housing programs and assisted living programs.

An Adult Home is a New York State-licensed adult care facility that provides long-term residential care including room, all meals and snacks, housekeeping, laundry, 24-hour supervision, assistance with medication, personal care assistance, case management services and structured activity programs to people 18 years or older.

An Enriched Housing Program is a New York State-licensed adult care facility that provides long-term residential care to adults, primarily persons 65 years of age or older including an individual apartment, some meals, housekeeping, laundry, supervision, assistance with medication, personal care assistance, case management services and structured activity programs.

The Assisted Living Program (ALP) is an Adult Home or Enriched Housing Program that is certified by New York State Department of Health to provide Medicaid-funded home care services. The ALP is an alternative to nursing home care that enables nursing home eligible people to receive home health care services in the Adult Home or Enriched Housing Program, delaying or preventing the need for admission to a nursing home.  Care services are provided by an on-site licensed home care agency operated by the Adult Home or Enriched Housing Program and a community certified home health agency (CHHA) under contract.

The residential portion of services is reimbursed either through Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Level II or privately by the ALP client.  The home care services portion of ALP is reimbursed through Medicaid or private payment.

FAMILY TYPE HOMES FOR ADULTS

Family Type Homes are certified by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services to provide long term residential care and/or supervision to four or fewer adults who are not related to the operator.  New York State law requires certification by a state agency of these homes. 

The basic responsibilities of the caregiver are the provision of a room (which may be shared), board, laundry, housekeeping, personal care, and medical supervision.  The residents who are eligible for this type of care are people who have lost their local support systems, such as family, neighbors, or relatives.

Family Type Homes are operated by one or more persons in their own home, and the residents share the life of the family, eating or watching television together, and sharing common rooms.  Many proprietors have pets, take residents on family outings, and some provide such special extras as beauty care or special diets.  A few provide short-term respite care by the day or week.

Contact the Dutchess County Department of Community & Family Services, Adult Services Unit at (845) 486-3300 for additional information & referral.

Contact Information

FOSTER FAMILY CARE PROGRAM

Foster Care matches elderly and physically disabled adults with families willing and able to share their homes and provide needed supervision and personal care.  The purpose of the program is to maintain people in a home setting for as long as is safely possible, thereby delaying nursing home placement and providing a community care alternative at reduced cost.

Foster Family Care can sometimes be an option for respite care, convalescence or rehabilitation. The Foster Family Care program is monitored by the Dutchess County Department of Community & Family Services.  Medicaid payment for the personal care services component is authorized by NY Connects.

LICENSED HOME CARE SERVICES AGENCIES

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Licensed Home Care Services Agencies (LHCSA) may be private or hospital-affiliated, operating for profit or not-for-profit.  They provide a wide range of services in the home.  Any agency providing hands-on care must be licensed by the State of New York.  A LHCSA must be insured; some bond their employees.

Personal care is the most used LHCSA service.  As provided by home health aides and personal care workers, it consists of assistance with bathing, dressing, toileting, mobility, feeding, meal preparation, shopping, light housekeeping, and laundry.  Frequent components of such services are companionship, and respite for overstressed caregivers.  These personnel are assigned and supervised by Registered Nurses. 

Home health aides and personal care workers must complete state-mandated training classes, are required to undergo annual physical assessment and meet in-service requirements. New employees need to undergo a criminal background check.  Payment for LHCSA services vary. 

Consumers should be aware that not all providers of home care services are licensed or certified.  There are agencies and individuals who advertise and provide such services without oversight by any responsible government agency.

Most LHCSAs doing business in Dutchess County are members of the Home Care Association of Dutchess County, whose members also include Certified Home Health Agencies, Long Term Home Health Care Programs, county agencies, and others concerned with ethical, high quality delivery of home care.

OMBUDSMAN

Ombudsman: A Swedish term for a person who acts as an advocate, investigates complaints and helps achieve equitable settlements.

The purpose of the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program in Dutchess County is:

  • To educate and inform residents of nursing homes and adult facilities about their rights
  • To provide a means by which resident concerns can be handled confidentially
  • To work with staff in the facilities, when possible, to resolve problems and concerns

The Ombudsman is not a representative of any nursing home or adult home.  Neither is she/he a representative of the Department of Health or Department of Community & Family Services.  The Ombudsman is a community volunteer who advocates on behalf of all long term care residents.  Trained Ombudsman volunteers visit assigned facilities weekly and discuss with residents their concerns about issues such as resident rights, quality of care, quality of life.  If necessary, the Ombudsman may refer concerns to appropriate local or state agencies.

Visit the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program in Dutchess County website for more information or call 845-229-4680.

ICAN is the New York State Ombudsprogram for people with Medicaid long-term care services, assisting with enrolling in and using managed care plans that cover long-term care services, such as home attendant services or nursing home care.  ICAN counselors assist Medicaid long-term care recipients in navigating their coverage, understanding and exercising their rights and responsibilities, and solving problems with Medicaid long-term care services. They also can answer questions about Medicaid managed care plans, including MLTC, FIDA and “mainstream” Medicaid managed care plans that provide long-term care services.

 Visit the ICAN website for more information or call the office at 844-614-8800, TTY Relay Service:  711.

 

NURSING HOME PLACEMENT EVALUATION (Patient Review Instrument/Screen & Home Assessment)

As part of the nursing home application process, a formal evaluation needs to be done by a professional who has received training approved by New York State.  This is a Patient Review Instrument, sometimes called a PRI evaluation.  It may be done in the hospital or in the community and a fee may be charged.

The purpose of the evaluation is to determine the level of care a client needs, as well as the most appropriate placement setting.  In addition, the need for active treatment for persons with a psychiatric diagnosis or those developmentally delayed is assessed, as these persons may not be appropriate for nursing home placement.

The PRI is normally valid for 90 days, but if done in a hospital setting must be redone when the client returns to the community.  Clients who are receiving Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA) or Long Term Home Health Care Program services should request the PRI be done by the trained person in that agency. 

Contact Information

Nursing homes are facilities for those individuals who are in need of skilled nursing care or supervision on a 24-hour basis, 7 days per week.  Nursing home costs vary.  Payment sources include insurance, private- pay and/or Medicaid.

In New York State, admissions are based on the needs of residents as determined by a PRI (Patient Review Instrument) evaluation and whether a particular nursing home can meet these needs. 

Dutchess County nursing homes are licensed and monitored by the New York State Department of Health. All nursing homes must meet the local and state Life Safety codes.  Concerns and complaints can be referred to The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program or the New York State Department of Health.

Support Services and Advocacy Programs

CAREGIVER TRAINING AND SUPPORT GROUPS

Caregiver Training provides information and skills development for those providing support services for the frail elderly, chronically ill or disabled of any age.  The purpose of support groups is to minimize the frustration and isolation experienced by caregivers while attempting to address the diverse concerns and issues confronting them. Workshops are offered in such areas as practical tips, stress management, coping skills, and legal issues for caregivers. Call Mid Hudson Regional Home Care of Westchester Medical Center at 483-5551.  They also run a monthly caregiver support group and a yearly conference with topics of interest to caregivers. 

Alzheimer’s Support Groups, educational workshops and other services for family members and caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s or related dementia are offered by the Alzheimer’s Association. Support groups, which are informational and non-judgmental, are held at several locations throughout Dutchess County.  An early stage Alzheimer’s support group is also sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association.  To obtain more information, call 845-471-2655.

The Parkinson’s Support Group meets monthly on the 4th Friday of the month (except November and December when they meet on the 3rd Friday) from 10 AM to noon at the Unitarian Fellowship at 67 South Randolph Avenue in Poughkeepsie.  Call (914) 475-2793 for information.

 CAREGIVER RESOURCE CENTER- Located at the Boardman Road Branch Library in Poughkeepsie, featuring books and informational materials that arer available through all Dutchess County Libraries. For more information call 845-454-9301

CASE MANAGEMENT

“Case Management” has many meanings, depending on the source of the service.  Traditionally, all styles of case management incorporate a certain sequence of events. The case manager (or case management team) develops an individualized plan of care to help the client reach their goals.

Case management may be a service funded through an organization, or if provided by a  private case manager, a fee may be charged.  Services may be brief, to accomplish a short-term goal, or ongoing, as in management of a home care plan.

ELDER ABUSE

Elder abuse can take many forms:

“Physical abuse” means the non-accidental use of force that results in bodily injury, pain, or impairment, including–but not limited to–being slapped, burned, cut, bruised, or improperly physically restrained.

“Sexual abuse” means non-consensual sexual contact of any kind, such as forced sexual contact.

“Emotional abuse” means willful infliction of mental or emotional anguish by threat, humiliation, intimidation, or other abusive conduct, such as frightening or isolating an adult.

“Active neglect” means willful failure by the caregiver to fulfill the care-taking functions and responsibilities assumed by the caregiver, such as abandonment, or willful deprivation of food, water, heat, clean clothing, and bedding, or health related services.

“Self neglect” means an adult’s inability, due to physical and/or mental impairments, to perform tasks essential to caring for oneself, such as: providing essential food, clothing, shelter, and medical care; obtaining goods and services necessary to maintain physical health, mental health, emotional well-being, and general safety; managing financial affairs.

“Financial exploitation” means improper use of an adult’s funds, property, or resources by another individual, such as fraud, embezzlement, conspiracy, forgery, falsifying records, coerced property transfers for denial of access to assets.

Contact Information

LEGAL SERVICES

The Dutchess County Office For the Aging Legal Services for the Elderly provides legal advice to Dutchess County residents age 60 and over. There is no financial eligibility requirement for assistance through this program; however, it is intended for those senior citizens who would otherwise be unable to afford legal assistance.

The primary focus of legal services offered through Dutchess County Office For the Aging is generally on immediate threats to income, shelter, patients’ rights and health matters. Preparation of simple wills is also available. Prospective clients may make an appointment for this service by calling Dutchess County Office For the Aging, 845-486-2555 or toll free at 1-866-486-2555. Make your plans sooner rather than later!

Nationally, attorneys who specialize in elder law can be found by contacting the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

 

OMBUDSMAN

Ombudsman: A Swedish term for a person who acts as an advocate, investigates complaints and helps achieve equitable settlements.

The purpose of the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program in Dutchess County is:

  • To educate and inform residents of nursing homes and adult facilities about their rights
  • To provide a means by which resident concerns can be handled confidentially
  • To work with staff in the facilities, when possible, to resolve problems and concerns

The Ombudsman is not a representative of any nursing home or adult home.  Neither is she/he a representative of the Department of Health or Department of Community & Family Services.  The Ombudsman is a community volunteer who advocates on behalf of all long term care residents.  Trained Ombudsman volunteers visit assigned facilities weekly and discuss with residents their concerns about issues such as resident rights, quality of care, quality of life.  If necessary, the Ombudsman may refer concerns to appropriate local or state agencies.

Visit the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program in Dutchess County website for more information or call 845-229-4680.

ICAN is the New York State Ombudsprogram for people with Medicaid long-term care services, assisting with enrolling in and using managed care plans that cover long-term care services, such as home attendant services or nursing home care.  ICAN counselors assist Medicaid long-term care recipients in navigating their coverage, understanding and exercising their rights and responsibilities, and solving problems with Medicaid long-term care services. They also can answer questions about Medicaid managed care plans, including MLTC, FIDA and “mainstream” Medicaid managed care plans that provide long-term care services.

 Visit the ICAN website for more information or call the office at 844-614-8800, TTY Relay Service:  711.

 

PROTECTIVE SERVICES FOR ADULTS (PSA)

Protective Services for Adults (PSA), sometimes called Adult Protective Services or APS is provided through the Department of Community & Family Services to individuals 18 years of age or older living in the community. These services assist people who are either mentally or physically impaired, have no one willing and able to help, and cannot provide for their basic needs for food, shelter, clothing, or medical care. The services also help to protect these people from physical or mental injury, neglect, maltreatment, or financial exploitation.

This service is offered to county residents without regard to income.

PSA referrals can be made to the Dutchess County Department of Community & Family Services Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm by calling (845) 486-3300.

Contact Information

VETERAN SERVICES

The Dutchess County Office of Veteran Affairs and the New York State Division of Veteran Affairs staff members assist veterans and their families to understand and access benefits which may be available to them.  In addition, they provide referral and advocacy services as appropriate.  The staff can offer assistance and guidance to those seeking admission to such facilities as the New York State Veteran’s Home in Oxford, New York, the Veteran’s Domiciliary at Bath, New York, or the nursing facility at Castle Point Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center, and the facility at Montrose.

The Department of Veterans Affairs may at their option keep a veteran at one of their nursing facilities for a period of time, usually not exceeding six months.  Subsequent to such care, the VA may pay for further placement at a contracted local nursing home.

More frequently, however, the veteran will be directly placed at one of the five nursing homes located in Dutchess County that are currently contracted with the VA.  The period of stay at contracted homes is typically three months, with a six month maximum.

Depending on the veteran’s infirmities and the availability of an appropriate bed, the VA may instead attempt to place the veteran at a facility that is not contracted for VA services.  In this event, Medicaid coverage may be needed immediately, rather than three to twelve months after nursing care is first deemed appropriate.  Therefore, it is imperative that family members of veterans who require nursing home care contact a Veterans Counselor at the 85 Civic Center Plaza office (Suite 105) at their earliest convenience.

The office also assists families of veterans and their widows to obtain financial assistance from the Department of Veteran Affairs for those whose care at home is provided by a licensed or registered nurse, a certified home health aide, or a certified personal care aide.  This can be of particular help to those veterans or their widows who are ineligible for Medicaid and have been paying privately for this service.

Nursing home and home health care benefits are available only to veterans of a wartime period and their widows.

VOLUNTEER SERVICES

Volunteers for Dutchess County Office For the Aging provide an increasingly varied range of services for older adults.  These services include individual counseling on health insurance and Medicare Prescription Drug Plan choices, meal delivery to the homebound elderly, program assistance at Office For the Aging Friendship Centers, leadership of Brain Games and Senior Exercise Program.

Other community agencies train and coordinate volunteers in the provision of such services as friendly visiting, shopping, errands, advocacy, medical transportation, respite care, and Hospice care.

Hospitals depend heavily on volunteers, who assist with reception, run the gift shop, administer lending libraries, feed patients who cannot feed themselves, deliver patients to radiology or other diagnostic areas, and provide socialization and reassurance where needed.

Volunteer groups, such as Boy and Girl Scouts, church choirs, and clubs provide music, art, socialization, and recreational activities to patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and in day care centers.

Many fraternal organizations and church groups raise money which is used to provide small grants for household equipment and repairs or adaptations for people with health impairments.

Even the homebound or otherwise very frail can make phone calls or stuff envelopes for a not-for-profit agency.  Many otherwise lonely elderly benefit greatly from opportunities to be friendly visitors, Foster Grandparents, or mentors serving in schools or businesses.

To learn more about the volunteer opportunities available at the Office For the Aging, email bjones@dutchessny.gov  or call (845) 486-2555. 

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) can also help seniors age 55+ find a volunteer opportunity in the community.  You can contact RSVP at 452-5104 x101.

Transportation

Contact Information

TRANSPORTATION FUNDED WHOLLY OR IN PART BY DUTCHESS COUNTY OFFICE FOR THE AGING

A number of transportation services are available to serve disabled and older individuals who can no longer drive a car. Transportation to medical appointments, both in and out of the county, is often provided by volunteers, using their own cars or those of the agencies whose programs they represent. Volunteer drivers do not run on regular schedules, but as needed and when available.

Several community organizations provide transportation services for residents. Some specific eligibility requirements may exist.

OTHER TRANSPORTATION SERVICES

There is a municipal bus system serving the City of Poughkeepsie and adjacent areas, and a county-wide bus system providing (primarily) commuter and shopper transportation.

Treatment and residential programs for the mentally ill, developmentally disabled, alcohol and drug abusers, and other special populations often furnish transportation to their own clients. Programs employing senior or disabled volunteers often provide them with transportation.

Appropriate transportation to medically-necessary appointments is provided at no charge for Medicaid clients. Doctor’s statements are usually required for taxi or ambulette, and arrangements must be made at least three days in advance. When last minute trips to the doctor are necessary, the doctor must fax pertinent information to the Medical Transportation unit.

Dial-A-Ride is managed by the Dutchess County Division of Public Transit Bus System and is available in the Towns of Amenia, Dover, East Fishkill, Fishkill, Hyde Park, North East, Pine Plains, Poughkeepsie, Stanford, Wappinger, or Washington, or the City of Poughkeepsie. Call 845-473-8424 for information.

 

In addition, the following list of transportation companies will provide medical transportation.

Call A Cab
506 Salt Point Turnpike, Poughkeepsie NY 12602
845-473-7600

AJ's Trans
4 Veath Rd., Poughkeepsie NY 12603
845-235-0393

Allen's Taxi
9 Lawrence Rd., Poughkeepsie NY 12601
845-485-2411

Anthony's Taxi
Poughkeepsie NY 12601
845-485-8580

Big A Transport
36 Roosevelt Ave., Poughkeepsie NY 12601
845-485-9090

Castro & Sons/Victors Trans 
22 Route 17K., Newburgh NY 12550
845-565-6123

Clove Coach
163 Brookside Farms Rd., Newburgh NY 12550
845-497-7777


Del-Roy Taxi Inc
516 Main St., Poughkeepsie NY 12601
845-452-1222

Early Bird Taxi
10 DuBois Ave., Poughkeepsie NY 12601
845-464-4548

Hudson Valley Taxi
107 Fulton Ave #1-2, Poughkeepsie NY 12603
845-454-5094

KC's Taxi
10 Roosevelt Ave #1, Poughkeepsie NY 12601
845-416-6239

On The Spot Taxi
30 Edgar St., Poughkeepsie NY 12603
845-849-4578

Persistent Car Service Corp.
38 North White St., Poughkeepsie NY 12601
845-483-0103

RJ's Car Service
156 Mansion St., Poughkeepsie NY 12601
845-464-3600

Sunshine Taxi
16C Janet Dr., Poughkeepsie NY 12603
845-416-2058

Star One Taxi
48 Partridge Ln., Pleasant Valley NY 12569
845-234-8008

Two Sup Taxi
5 Reservoir St., Poughkeepsie NY 12601
845-453-8136

Dutchess Ambulette Inc.
132 East Dorsey Ln., Poughkeepsie NY 12601
845-471-2018

Empire State Ambulance
38 Route 9, Fishkill NY 12524
845-621-9300

Mobile Life Support Services
P.O. Box 471, Newburgh NY 12551
845-561-5698

Northeast Transport Services
PO Box 99, Red Hook NY 12571
845-758-5050

NDP-EMS (Northern Dutchess Paramedics)
3 Hook Rd., Rhinebeck NY 12572
845-876-0338