By Ling-Mei Wong
The Boston Chinatown Resident Association named three consultants and discussed medical insurance benefits for seniors at its monthly meeting on Jan. 2 at the Josiah Quincy Lower School.
As temperatures dropped to the 30s, the cafeteria remained nearly full of Chinese senior citizens. “Thank you for turning out and showing your concern for the community,” said Chairman Henry Yee.
Yee named three honorary consultants at the meeting. They were WingKay Leung of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association; Gilbert Ho of the CCBA and Chinatown Main Street; and Michael Wong of Lun Fat Produce and head of the Chinatown Crime Watch.
Anita Weng, Community Outreach for SWH, presented changes to medical benefits for seniors covered by SWH. Changes included coverage for a pair of glasses each year, replacement of dentures every five years instead of every seven years and a new management company for mental services.
State benefits depend on Massachusetts residency, which requires seniors to live in the state for at least six months of the year. “If you travel, don’t stay for more than 30 days,” she said. “Your Social Security and federal benefits will be cut.”
Insurance fraud was discussed, as many of the elderly citizens traveled to other states or overseas to visit their children. Weng advised them not to claim benefits from multiple states or countries. “An older person was caught claiming benefits from both the United States and China,” she said. “When he told the government official that his US retirement benefits went a long way in China, he lost his benefits.”
The senior citizens were urged to install phones in their homes, with several low-income options for qualified residents. “In case of emergency, if you don’t have a phone, how will you call 911?” Weng said.
Weng told SWH insurance holders that they were eligible to receive $125 worth of bathroom safety hardware, such as bath stools, tub grips, bath mats and shower heads.
This post is also available in: Chinese