CHA Briefs

Bonnie Burns Selected to Serve on NAIC’s Consumer Information Subgroup

Bonnie Burns, our Policy and Training Specialist, who is 1 of 19 people appointed to serve on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Consumer Information (B) Subgroup. They will be working on definitions and evidence of coverage information for health care reform products, with their first in-person meeting in Washington D.C. in late July. Congratulations to Bonnie and to all of us who benefit from her advocacy and representation of consumers’ interests!

California’s HMO Guide for Seniors Receives Prestigious International Award

California’s HMO Guide for Seniors: Getting the Most from Your Medicare HMO, a publication produced by the University of California, Berkeley and the California Office of the Patient Advocate, in collaboration with California Health Advocates, won a Platinum Award from Hermes Creative Awards. This award is part of an international competition that examines various forms of media communication and selects their winners based on their excellence in quality, creativity, and resourcefulness. We are pleased and honored with such recognition, as this guide continues to help beneficiaries and their families make informed health care choices with its quick, easy-to-understand answers on Medicare HMOs, how they work and how to best access their entitled benefits.

Available in English and Spanish, the guide can be downloaded online. For orders of 50 or more, email Jasmine Suo, our Operations Manager, at
. Let her know if you’d like the English or Spanish version.

People with visual impairments can download the older version of the guide in a screen reader text format in English (click here and scroll to the bottom of the page). For more information on Medicare HMOs and other Medicare Advantage plans, see our website section, Medicare Advantage.

CHA Welcomes Elaine as Our New Executive Director!

Elaine Wong Eakin became our Executive Director on June 1, 2010. Please join us in warmly welcoming Elaine in her new position of leadership! Elaine first came on staff with CHA in December 2007 as the Project Manager. Now, in addition to her new leadership responsibilities, Elaine also trains advocates and counselors on various Medicare and related health insurance topics; develops our educational materials; provides technical assistance to professionals; and serves as our liaison to various non-profit and governmental agencies. Prior to joining CHA, she was the HICAP Program Manager for San Francisco. Elaine is a graduate of Cornell University and holds her J.D. from Pace Law School.

After successfully passing the baton to Elaine, Wayne Soucy and David Lipschutz have started in their new positions. Wayne, CHA’s former CEO & President, is now serving as Executive Director for the Community Clinic Association of San Bernardino County. And David, former CHA Staff Attorney, is now serving with the Center for Medicare Advocacy. We congratulate Wayne and David and wish them the very best. We send them both our gratitude for their excellent contributions to CHA, the HICAP network, and the advocacy community throughout California and nationwide. And we are thrilled to have Elaine in her new position. Welcome Elaine!

Prepare for the Boomers! Aging Well in Communities Toolkit Now Available

The first of the boomer generation will receive a social security check in less than one year. This group of aging Americans will grow remarkably fast in the next 2 decades. In California alone, 11% of the state’s population is at least 65 years old. By 2030, the number of Californians aged 65 and older is estimated to more than double, growing from 3.6 million to 8.9 million. The fastest-growing segment of the older population is adults aged 85 and older. This demographic shift will transform aging in place -as we know it- in communities.

The Center for Civic Partnerships has just produced a toolkit outlining a community-based planning process to promote healthy aging. Aging Well in Communities: A Toolkit for Planning, Engagement & Action is a user-friendly guide to help local governments, human service providers, community groups and other partners plan now to address both the challenges and opportunities that are coming.

See the toolkit for more information and help spread the word on this resource for making our communities an easy, safe and healthy place to age well.

Karen Joy Fletcher

Our blogger Karen Joy Fletcher is CHA’s Communications Director. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she is the online “public face” of the organization, provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare and other health care issues. She is responsible for digital content creation, management of CHA’s editorial calendar, and managing all aspects of CHA’s social media presence. She loves being a “communicator” and enjoys networking and collaborating with the passionate people and agencies in the health advocacy field. See her current articles.