Topic

elder abuse

19 petitions

Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Special Committee on Aging, Daniel R. Levinson, Seema Verma, Dan Pitts

Protect TVA Retirees and other Seniors From Misleading Medicare Information

HELP TVA RETIREES & SENIORS ACROSS THE USA Read the following. You will be surprised, disappointed, and probably angered. If you sign the petition, you will be asking for an investigation into the sales and marketing practices of all Private Medicare Exchanges (PME). What the heck is a PME? They claim to be seniors' "trusted advisors" for Medicare insurance. Read on and judge for yourself. A growing number of U.S. employers are capping their risk of rising health insurance costs by terminating their employer-sponsored Medicare plans and sending their retirees to private Medicare exchanges (PME) to buy replacement coverage. Unfortunately, it appears that some retirees who purchased their new Medicare plans through PMEs may have paid substantially higher prices for their Medicare insurance, while believing they were purchasing their coverage at "competitive" rates. Moreover, many were falsely led to believe that they “must” purchase their Medicare insurance through a PME. Even a federal agency, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), used a PME to help terminate its retirees’ health insurance plan and transition its retirees to Medicare plans offered through the PME. TVA terminated its employer-sponsored plan effective January 1, 2017 and contracted with the PME to help around 15,000 retirees find replacement coverage. The following information is based primarily on TVA retirees’ experience with TVA’s PME. However, similar issues have been reported by other retirees across the USA in dealing with their PMEs. While some of TVA’s retirees were required to purchase their plans through TVA’s PME to maintain healthcare subsidies or health insurance for their under age 65 spouses, there were approximately 7,000 retirees who had nothing to lose and much to gain by buying their plans directly from insurers.  These 7,000 retirees received no healthcare credit/subsidy from TVA and may have needlessly paid rates that are 67% to 107% higher than purchasing directly from insurers.  However, TVA and its PME failed to disclose this information to retirees.  As the above chart shows, some retirees may needlessly have paid rates that are 107% higher (compare Aetna’s direct rate with the TVA-Mutual of Omaha rate in the chart) than purchasing directly from insurers. These higher rates could cost retirees an extra $20,000 over the next 15 years for Medigap insurance that includes absolutely no additional plan benefits. Many retirees were not aware that they could purchase their Medigap plans directly from insurers. Instead they believed they were required to purchase their plans through the PME.  It is likely the following statements presented to retirees in marketing brochures and posted for almost two years on the PME's website are largely responsible for retirees’ belief that they must purchase from the PME: "You must take action... Because the coverage under the current TVA Medicare Supplement Plan will no longer be available as of January 1, 2017, you must enroll through TVA's PME during the October 3- December 31, 2016 enrollment period." In another brochure, retirees were advised they “must” enroll through the PME or face a “lapse” in coverage. Based on the foregoing, it appears that the PME: • did not always provide plans with "competitive" prices,• led retirees to believe they “must” purchase the PME’s plans, • did not always act as a "trusted advisor", and• did not always provide "objective and unbiased" advice. If other PMEs use similar pricing schemes and marketing tactics, there could already be a very large and growing number of seniors across the nation who innocently purchased their plans thinking they were getting appropriate coverage at a competitive price. Of course, there is no way, based on the limitations of this review, to make a reliable estimate of how many were affected. However, if there is just one, that is one too many. Fortunately for seniors, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (Medicare) has laws that protect against misleading information. By law, if seniors are provided misleading information while selecting their Medicare insurance, they are eligible for a new “open enrollment” opportunity. The new open enrollment period would allow them to, without penalty, cancel and replace their high-cost plans with lower cost plans that provide the same exact plan benefits. CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATIONS: It is likely that seniors (not just TVA retirees) across America may have received misleading information about their Medicare options from PMEs. To prevent this, and to make things right for those who were misled, Medicare and the major insurers represented by the PME should work collaboratively with state insurance commissions to investigate PMEs' pricing and marketing schemes and, if necessary, take the following actions: 1. Declare an open enrollment period for any seniors who were provided with misleading information. This would allow, without penalty, replacement of their current plans with lower cost alternatives that include identical plan benefits. 2. Ensure employers and PMEs fully disclose to retirees that they are not required to purchase their plans through the PME. 3. Ensure employers and PMEs fully disclose that retirees may be able to find plans in their local market that are less expensive than those offered through the PME. 4. Evaluate the adequacy of Federal and State laws pertaining to the sale of Medigap plans. If it is found that current laws are not sufficient to adequately protect our seniors from unfair and deceptive marketing and pricing practices such as those described above, then the major insurers and lawmakers should work together to craft and implement laws that will protect our seniors. NOTE: Information and data used in this petition were obtained from: • CMS (Medicare)• State of Tennessee insurance investigators Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA)• State of Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance representatives • Tennessee Valley Authority executives• Tennessee Valley Authority Benefits Call Center employees• Tennessee Valley Authority retirees• Tennessee Valley Authority Retirees Association• National Retirees Legislative Network – TVA Chapter• Consultants specializing in analysis of Medigap plans• Private Medicare Exchange websites• Medicare websites• Audio recordings of Q&A sessions between TVA retirees and PME representatives.• State Health Insurance Programs (SHIP) representatives• Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) advisors• Common sense analysis of Via’s rates

Dan Pitts
2,104 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Sean Duffy, Sean P. Duffy

Justice for Kenneth Edwin Juedes shot August 30,2006 at his rural Unity,WIsconsin home.

 Kenneth Edwin Juedes a 58 year old pharmacist and farmer was shot twice with a shot gun in his bed on or about Aug 30,2006.His wife of less than 2 years named a person of interest Feb.2009 and the  person proven to have gained by far financially from his death.He was in a civil law suit to recover over $725,000.00 in money invested as officer loans etc  in Monster Hall Raceway Inc.of Unity,Wi a Wisconsin chapter S corporation.The sale of shares in the raceway  was stated as a securities fraud by the  order of the Wisconsin Dept of Financial institutions.His widow of a less than 2 year marriage gained over 1 million in land sales,accidental death policies , timber sales, and farm equipment that was never accounted for and a $280,000 State Farm policy that was supposed to pay the mortgage.A Audio video security system was shut off a week before the murder that was moved from the racetrack to his home.Foster children were all dismissed.Widow had own funeral service nearly 1 month latter did not attend service at his church. Had cremation against his families wishes. His prized possession his Harley Davidson bike was transferred with a very blacked out signature field in the transferred title in October of 2006 to a guy he said was always asking him for money and he was tired of it.If someone did work for him and he thought they deserved it he always paid them.

edward kostlevy
1,241 supporters
Update posted 3 months ago

Petition to The Carlyle Group

Protect nursing homes: Stop cutting nursing home budgets and lining investors' pockets

I'm Janine Tangney and I am leading this petition.  I've had close family members who received wonderful nursing home care. Knowing they were in good hands gave us peace of mind. That's why I was so upset to learn about the neglect patients experienced at HRC ManorCare, while investors continued to profit. Under the stewardship of private-equity firm, Carlyle, HRC ManorCare severely neglected nursing home patients before filing for bankruptcy in March. Before Carlyle bought HRC ManorCare, elderly care was in line with U.S. averages. Once Carlyle took over, HRC ManorCare’s 230 locations started to have to do more with less, as the private equity firm trimmed away budgets to benefit investors. Over five years, Carlyle earned $61 million by slashing staff and funds for care. Cuts meant HRC ManorCare locations went without replacing broken equipment, and had as many as 60 patients to every Nurse or Certified Nurses Assistant (CNA). Tell Carlyle that elderly care is more important than lining investor’s pockets. Actions have consequences. One of the wealthiest private-equity firms in the world put 25,000 HRC ManorCare patients in peril for the sake of profits. From 2013-2017, health code violations at HRC ManorCare rose by 26%. Violations were centered around neglect, namely: not preventing or treating bedsores, not helping patients with hygiene and eating, not providing care for people with special circumstances - like prosthetics or colonoscopies, and giving patients the wrong medication. All of these issues related to a lack of staff and a lack of funding to replace broken equipment. The accounts of neglect are shocking. A women on her deathbed from uterine cancer was left on her bedpan for so long that she bruised. A disabled man with long dirty fingernails told investigators that he was seldom tended to, and that bedside buttons were rarely staffed - leaving many residents to soil themselves while waiting for help. Another man was given so many opioids that he had to go to the hospital. When one staff member was escorting six patients who couldn’t walk, one of the residents flipped backward out of their wheelchair and had a brain hemorrhage. In another account, a nurse’s aide had to lift a paraplegic woman without a helper, she fell, fractured her hip and hit her head on the floor. These stories are not isolated. They are the price of budget cuts and a desire to increase profits. Tell Carlyle the welfare of nursing home residents is more important than profits. Carlyle’s cuts have resulted in needless suffering to people at the end of their lives. If Carlyle continues to chip away at HRC ManorCare’s budget, lives could be lost. No elderly person should be neglected. Tell Carlyle to stop chipping away at HRC ManorCare.

Janine Tangney
1,722 supporters