Amazon Offers Discount for Prime Membership to Medicaid Members

Amazon recently announced that it is offering Medicaid recipients a discounted Prime membership, expanding on the discount it made last year to people receiving government food benefits.

“We hope to make Prime even more accessible,” Cem Sibay, Vice President of Amazon Prime, said in a news release. “With more than 100 million products to choose from, low prices, time savings, and fast and convenient delivery options, the combination of shipping, shopping and entertainment provide tremendous value to customers.”

Qualifying members are now eligible for a discounted Prime membership of $5.99 per month, as opposed to the normal rate of $12.99 a month. No annual commitment is required and customers can get the discount for up to four years.

For more information or to sign up, go online to www.amazon.com/qualify.

 

Homelessness Around Greater Lexington Declines to Lowest Level in 12 years

The number of people experiencing homelessness in Lexington has reached its lowest level since at least 2005, according to a new report from the city.

“We’ve still got work to do, but we’re making progress,” Mayor Jim Gray said in a news release. “Our work and investments are beginning to pay off.”

In 2005, 882 people were found to be homeless in Lexington during the annual complete count exercise. This number continued to trend upward, reaching its peak in both 2011 and 2014, with over 1,500 homeless on any given night in Lexington. Results from the 2018 count show that 685 people slept on the streets, in an emergency shelter or in transitional housing on the night of January 24.

“Today is a moment to pause and recognize our progress, celebrate what has worked, and assess the great challenges that still lie ahead,” added Polly Ruddick, Director of the Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention (Passport partners with the Office to help improve the health and quality of life of all Kentuckians). “Every night there are still about 700 people in our community with no place to call home, and many hundreds more on the margins, fighting to stay off the streets. Our work continues until everyone in Lexington has access to opportunities, support services, and safe, decent, affordable housing.”

In addition to the overall numbers, Lexington is also seeing improvements in:

  • The number of veterans who are homeless. In 2014, 203 homeless veterans were reported on the night of the count; this year only 92 veterans were found to be homeless, a difference of 54.6%.
  • The number of people who are chronically homeless. In 2014, 186 individuals were reported to have been living on the streets or in an emergency shelter for longer than a year, as compared to 92 people this year.

“Permanent housing is now the priority. And it’s working – we have significantly fewer people sleeping on the street,” Gray said.

The annual homeless count is conducted each January, and is required for communities receiving federal homeless funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Teams of volunteers visit outdoor sites where people experiencing homelessness have been known to congregate, while shelters and housing programs report their occupancy. This year, 18 teams canvassed over 100 locations throughout Lexington and Fayette County.

 

Passport Joins American Red Cross to ‘Sound the Alarm’ and Install Free Smoke Alarms Around Kentucky

Passport is proud to be a Kentucky sponsor of the American Red Cross’s Sound the Alarm National Signature event, which will take place on April 28 in Lexington and Richmond and on May 12 in Louisville’s Portland and Russell neighborhoods.

Every day, seven people die in home fires, most in homes that lack working smoke alarms. Sadly, children and the elderly disproportionately lose their lives. The American Red Cross wants to improve the odds and save lives, and that’s why they launched the Home Fire Campaign in 2014. So far, that adds up to more than 40 lives saved in Kentucky alone!

A critical part of the campaign is Sound the Alarm, a series of home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events across the country. Together with fire departments and other community partners across the nation, Red Cross volunteers – including Passport employees and partners – will canvass at-risk neighborhoods, install free smoke alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms, and provide fire prevention and safety education.

To sign up as a volunteer, please contact David Seymour at Volunteer Services for the Red Cross Louisville Area Chapter, at david.seymour@redcross.org or (502) 409-1017.

 

Passport Sponsors Diabetes Alert Day on March 27 for people to “Know Their Numbers”

ADA-passport-logoThe American Diabetes Association is teaming up with Passport Health Plan and The Kentucky Diabetes Prevention and Control Program for Alert Day 2018 to encourage providers to share their patient’s risk and then help Kentuckians get the support they need!

Alert Day, set for Tuesday, March 27, will begin an ongoing conversation and campaign about the importance of people “Knowing their Numbers” so they can begin to take the proper steps to reduce their risk for diabetes or start to manage the disease.

Approximately 531,646 people in Kentucky, or 14.5% of the adult population, have diabetes. Of these, an estimated 108,000 have diabetes but don’t know it, greatly increasing their health risk. In addition, more than 1 million Kentuckians have prediabetes with blood glucose levels higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. People with prediabetes are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes unless they take immediate action.

For more information, please contact the ADA at 859-268-9129 or krowland@diabetes.org. You can also go online to www.diabetes.org/alertdayky for more resources, including a risk test and educational information.

 

Passport Mails out Kentucky HEALTH Postcard to Members

KY Health NoticeFollowing up on the postcard that was produced and distributed by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Department for Medicaid Services (DMS), Passport has also produced a postcard for our members regarding Kentucky HEALTH, the new health and well-being program for certain low-income adults and their families.

The card discusses four simple things that all members can do now:

  1. Make sure your address is up-to-date with the Department for Medicaid Services (DMS). It’s very important that you’re getting your mail!
  2. Read over everything you get in the mail from DMS and Passport. You’ll be getting information about how Kentucky HEALTH may or may not affect you.
  3. Learn as much as you can about Kentucky HEALTH by visiting www.KentuckyHEALTH.ky.gov or www.benefind.ky.gov or www.passporthealthplan.com/together.
  4. Call us here at Passport at 1-800-578-0603. We’ll be happy to help answer your questions!

To see a PDF version of the postcard, please click here.

 

 

A Good Night’s Sleep is One of the Most Important Things We Can Do to Be Healthy

Insider Louisville LogoOf all the components of good health, there’s one that’s as essential as eating, breathing and physical activity. According to Lisa Bellafato, a health education manager at Passport Health Plan, a good night’s sleep can have a positive effect on everything from your energy level to your ability to lose weight.

“Sleep is a restorative time for the body,” Bellafato says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville. “Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep. Some can get less, some need more. Teens need more, but for some it’s almost impossible to get the recommended hours.”

Bellafato spends time talking to teens about health issues, and notes that technology is a big factor in depriving young people of sleep. Phones, and the need to be constantly connected, is a huge factor. She recommends a family charging station, and said parents should insist on every family member placing phones at a central location at bedtime – even themselves.

For more information, please click here.

 

Passport Officially Breaks Ground on Headquarters Building at New Health and Well-Being Campus in Downtown Louisville

Passport Health Plan officially broke ground on the site of the new Health and Well-Being Campus on Wednesday, March 14, directly on the property at the intersection of West Broadway and 18th Street in Downtown Louisville.

Following the official groundbreaking – which included remarks from Metro Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, the Rev. Dr. Kevin Cosby, Metro Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith, and Passport CEO Mark Carter – a community celebration and forum was held at Louisville Central Community Center’s Old Walnut Street Development, 1300 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.

The new headquarters will be a 337,000-square-foot four-story building with 3 connected structures, or “pods,” along Broadway. There will also be a five-story garage connected to the main building through a pedestrian walkway, or “pedway,” with adjacent surface parking for up to 720 cars. There will be space for 550 current associates and hundreds more in the central and westernmost “pod” structures. The construction schedule is about 24 months, with a goal to occupy the building by early 2020.

During the groundbreaking, Mark Carter announced that the Community Foundation of Louisville (CFL) announced its intent to make its largest loan to date of $500,000 to Passport Health Plan, saying it is “honored to be part of Passport’s expansion in West Louisville, which will create jobs, affordable housing and increase access to healthcare, changing lives and contributing to our community.” CFL Impact Capital provides low-interest loans to support meaningful and transformative community projects in Louisville. Since its first loan in early 2014, it has approved nearly $2.4M of investment.

The “partner pod” structure on the east side is designed to house an array of health and human services. Passport is working with numerous organizations interested in having a presence on the campus. Nonbinding Memorandums of Understanding are in place with these organizations (with others in process):

  • The University of Louisville Office of Community Engagement, under the leadership of Dr. Ralph Fitzpatrick (louisville.edu/communityengagement)
  • The University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, which could move its federally funded Youth Violence Prevention Research Center to work on preventing youth violence, and also create a master’s program on community development, under the leadership of Dean Craig Blakely (louisville.edu/sphis)
  • Gilda’s Club, to provide social and emotional support for people and families living with cancer, under the leadership of President/CEO Karen Morrison (gildasclublouisville.org)
  • Hosparus Health, to provide hospice and home palliative care as well as grief counseling, under the leadership of President/CEO Phil Marshall (hosparushealth.org)

Passport also unveiled the “Faces of Passport” mosaic that was created out of more than 1,500 selfies that were posted on social media. The mosaic – which uses an iconic portrait from Legendary Louisville photographer Bud Dorsey– will hang in the lobby of the new headquarters building once construction is complete for all to view. Until then, it will be displayed for viewing at the current Passport offices. A high-resolution version of the mosaic can be viewed online at http://bit.ly/2tIBwng.

Also as part of the groundbreaking celebration for the Passport headquarters building, the architects and planners at Arrasmith, Judd, Rapp, Chovan, Inc. created a video of what the headquarters building could look like. To view the video, please go online to https://youtu.be/TKGYfGYjqcc.  Please note that these are all conceptual renderings and are subject to change.

To watch the Facebook Live stream footage from the groundbreaking event today, click here.

 

Lexington Housing Authority will reopen the waiting list for Section 8 housing from March 26 to 30

The Lexington Housing Authority (LHA) announced recently that it will open the waiting list for the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program March 26-30. This is the first time the waiting list has been open since 2015, according to LHA.

LHA will accept pre-applications online only from 12 a.m., Monday, March 26 to 11:59 p.m., Friday, March 30.

For instructions on how to apply for the waiting list, people need to go online to https://lexington.apply4housing.com or www.lexha.org. Applicants can apply from anywhere with internet access. For people without internet access, computer access will be available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 26-30 at the LHA Central Office, 300 West New Circle Road, Lexington, and at LHA satellite offices. People can also visit one of the LHA community partner sites to apply; a full list of community partners can be found at www.lexha.org.

To apply, people will need the following:

  • Name, Date of Birth, and Social Security Number for ALL members of the household
  • Current Mailing Address
  • Information about the total annual household income: Income includes wages, unemployment benefits, Social Security, Social Security Disability Supplemental Income (SSI), retirement and pension payments, KTAP, child support, self-employment, temporary agency employment. Any money or resource that is coming into the household from an outside source is income.

Accommodations for disabled or non-English-speaking residents will be made available upon advance request by calling (859) 281-5060. People with hearing or speech impairments can receive assistance by contacting the LHA by dialing 711 to reach the Kentucky Telephone Relay Service.

 

Passport Hosts Member-Education Sessions in Leitchfield and Radcliff

Passport Health Plan members and community advocates in central Kentucky have a number of opportunities to learn more about Passport through member education sessions and other events.

Paul Delaney, Passport Community Engagement Representative, will be hosting Member Education Sessions for Passport members in which they will learn valuable information about their benefits, fill out their health assessment, and receive a special gift for attending.

Sessions are held:

  • Every 1st Tuesday of the month at Grayson County Alliance Food Pantry, 2203 Brandenburg Rd., Leitchfield
  • Every 2nd Tuesday of the month at Lifeline Assembly of God Church, 1116 S. Dixie Blvd., Radcliff

For specific times and to RSVP, or to help find other resources in your community, please contact Paul at (502) 909-4043 or paul.delaney@passporthealthplan.com.

 

Passport Health Plan Breaks Ground on Health and Well-Being Campus

Well Being Campus LogoPassport Health Plan will officially break ground on the site of our new Health and Well-Being Campus at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14, directly on the property at the intersection of West Broadway and 18th Street in Downtown Louisville.

Following the official groundbreaking – which will include remarks from Metro Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, the Rev. Dr. Kevin Cosby, Metro Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith, and Passport CEO Mark Carter – a community celebration and forum will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. at Louisville Central Community Center’s Old Walnut Street Development, 1300 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.

Along with Passport, a number of community organizations will be on hand during the community celebration to share free resources and information, including: the American Red Cross, Dare to Care, Gilda’s Club Louisville, Goodwill of Kentucky, Hosparus Health, Louisville Central Community Centers, Louisville Digital Inclusion, Louisville Urban League, the Office of Housing and Community Development, the YMCA of Greater Louisville, TKT & Associates, Transit Authority of River City (TARC), the University of Louisville Youth Violence Prevention Research Center (YVPRC), and the UofL’s Office of Community Engagement.

For more information or to RSVP for these events, please go online to passportwellbeing.com.