Doug Hill, Know Your Care Wisconsin
Sara Finger, Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health

Bill Feitlinger, Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Persons

The Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010. This groundbreaking legislation that is reforming our health care system has been the subject of much controversy and discussion. The Affordable Care Act does not establish government-run single payer insurance (which Medicare is), but mandates that everyone will have access to coverage that provides quality, affordable health care. While certain provisions have already been implemented, the impact of the ACA will not be felt until 2014, when Health Insurance Exchanges , a competitive marketplace of private insurance plans, are in place.

On this program, Doug Hill, Sara Finger and Billy Feitlinger present an overview of the legislation, highlight the major provisions of the law, and clarify misperceptions that continue to persist.

Here are some of their major points: Access to affordable health care is a major factor in achieving and maintaining health. The Affordable Care Act promotes access by prohibiting denying coverage of children based on pre-existing conditions (effective for adults beginning 2014); prohibiting insurance companies from rescinding coverage based on an unintentional error; eliminating lifetime limits on insurance coverage; providing small business and non-profit organizations health insurance tax credits; providing preventive care and annual wellness exams without charging a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance (in effect now for Medicare recipients – becoming effective in 2014 for all health plans); closing the doughnut hole in Medicare Prescription Drug coverage; allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ plan until 26; requiring 80-85% of insurance premiums to be spent on medical care, and many more provisions.

Under the ACA, being a woman is no longer considered a pre-existing condition. A full range of preventive services for women including annual well-woman visits begin on August 1, 2012. Also, Medicare benefits will continue to be strengthened including cracking down on fraud, waste and abuse. Efforts to fight fraud returned more than $2.5 billion to the Medicare Trust Fund in fiscal year 2009 alone. Health Insurance Exchanges, a competitive marketplace of private plans where individuals and small businesses can buy affordable and qualified health benefit plans will be established in each state beginning 2014. Tax credits for those in lower income levels will be available to those eligible.

For more information on health care reform and how it will impact you and your family, go to


Guest: Nino Amato, President/Executive Director, CWAG – Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups

The Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, statewide membership organization that was founded in 1977. Working to develop a framework in which all generations can age well in Wisconsin is what CWAG is all about. Discussing how CWAG is focused on accomplishing this is the focus of this program. It takes leadership, advocacy, education and policy to build age-friendly communities says Nino Amato. On this program, he shares the details about the major issues currently on the top of CWAG’s list and the actions being taken.

SeniorCare, the cost-effective drug program available only to Wisconsin’s older adults, is one of them. Garnering support to save SeniorCare through December 2012, CWAG is now working to extend the program beyond the 2012 expiration date. Other issues include advocating to keep Alzheimer’s/Dementia from being classified as a mental illness; educating people on the Voter ID legislation and obtaining identification; preventing identity theft; informing Medicare recipients on the new preventive screenings and other benefits available through the Affordable Care Act, and promoting the Wisconsin Campaign for Better Care to assure Wisconsin citizens of their Patient Rights.

For more information on any of the above or other resources and benefits available to Wisconsin citizens, go to or call (608)-224-0606. Toll Free: 1-800-366-2990

Additional information on Voter ID is available from the League of Women Voters:


Guest: Katie Wirkus, Wisconsin’s 64th Alice in Dairyland

Wisconsin’s $59 billion agricultural industry is more than just good for our economy. It is good for us – providing us with a virtual smorgasbord of choices for healthy consumption. At this time of year, Something Special from Wisconsin offers abundant ideas for gifts and holiday entertaining. Katie Wirkus, Wisconsin’s Alice in Dairyland, takes us on a tour of Wisconsin and highlights the products that come from the four corners of the state and parts within.

Just what does the Something Special from Wisconsin logo mean? Why is it important to buy local? What are some holiday suggestions? Where can we find a list of Wisconsin products and local businesses where we find them? Answers to these questions and the story behind the selection of this year’s White House Christmas Tree – also Something Special from Wisconsin – are in this program.

For a list of Wisconsin businesses and products, go to or

TALKING TURKEY…With Your Doctor!

Guests: Ann Albert, Executive Director of Supporting Active Independent Lives (SAIL) and SAIL S.O.S. Personal Emergency Response Service Sue Gaard, RN, Founder of Confident Conversations

Navigating the healthcare system is a challenge for the best of us. With about 43 million caregivers in the United States – most unpaid family members or friends and two-thirds of them women – determining who is in charge, how to get answers, what questions to ask, and how to speak up in an effective way have been determined to be areas of greatest difficulty.

Thanks to funding from A Fund For Women, SAIL, in collaboration with Confident Conversations and colleagues from Oakwood Village, State Medical Society, Dane County Caregiver Alliance, and community social workers is offering Confident Caregiving Workshops designed for women caregivers to help them navigate the healthcare system more effectively and plan for the future – financially and legally.

In addition to “Talking Turkey with the Doctor,” workshop topics include “Straight Dope on Medications,” and “Legal Lessons and Money Matters.”

On this program, Ann Albert and Sue Gaard, RN discuss the keys to building successful relationships with the medical team, outline strategies for better communication, and give tips to coordinating the care of an individual. All of this – and how to take care of yourself in the process!

For more information on upcoming Workshops, contact SAIL at [email protected] or call 608-230-4321.


Guest: Eileen Mershart, Executive Director (Retired), YWCA of Madison

Eileen Mershart retired this week after 13 years as Executive Director of the YWCA Madison. On her busy “to-do” list during her final weeks leading the effort to Eliminate Racism and Empower Women, Eileen included a visit to the All About Living studio to reflect on those YWCA programs that she initiated and are near and dear to her heart. The YWCA commitments to women begin with safe and affordable housing and emergency shelter but then have expanded to racial and restorative justice, education and training for women and people of color, and enrichment programs for girls to grow healthy, strong and confident lives.
While these endeavors sound ambitious, progress is being made. Eileen Mershart shares the specifics on this All About Living program.

For more information, go to or call (608) 257-1436.