Scam Alert: Business and Individuals Targeted In Power Scam


Friday, November 21st, 2014

Ahead of another busy holiday season, Ameren Missouri wants you to be aware that scam artists continue operating in our service area. While many scams are aimed at our residential customers, small businesses are also targeted. Thieves posing as Ameren Missouri representatives will call a business and demand payment immediately or risk disconnection of service. The scam artists typically state that payment must be made in the form of a money card, usually a Green Dot MoneyPak card. Once the business gives the thief the PIN from the money card, the cash is withdrawn from the card. They money cannot be traced and is not refundable.

This scam is not limited to Green Dot cards. A so-called vanilla money card that uses the same cash-loading process may also be used.

Scam artists are taking advantage of the rush of holiday shopping to confuse customers over the phone. In some instances, thieves may also manipulate the caller ID function to indicate they are calling from an Ameren Missouri number.

Please be aware Ameren Missouri representatives never call to demand payment or otherwise use intimidation techniques. Follow these tips to avoid being a victim of this scam.

•    Never give your credit card, debit card, Social Security, ATM, checking or saving account numbers to anyone who calls or sends an email requesting this information.
•    Never allow anyone into your business who wants to check your electrical wiring, natural gas pipes or appliances unless you have scheduled an appointment or have reported a natural gas leak and the person has proper identification.
•    Ameren Missouri employees always carry photo identification, which includes name, employee number and an official Ameren Missouri logo.
•    If you suspect someone is impersonating an Ameren Missouri employee, end the conversation and immediately call Ameren Missouri, 1.800.552.7583.

Renewing Coverage In Health Insurance Marketplace Is Easier Than Ever


Friday, November 14th, 2014

For most consumers who are renewing coverage, up to 90 percent of their application will be pre-filled based on last year’s application. And a new streamlined application reduces the number of screens to 16 with fewer clicks to navigate through the questions for most consumers signing up for the first time. Last year, consumers went through 76 screens to sign up for coverage. This year, along with a simpler, faster application, consumers can shop and enroll on a smartphone, tablet, computer, or by calling the call center or with in-person assistance.

Winter Weather Is Here – Be Prepared


Friday, November 14th, 2014

That pesky senior citizen – Old Man Winter – has crept up on us a little earlier than usual. Now is the time to make sure you keep safe and warm this season. Make sure your furnace is in good operating condition; don’t light a fire in your fireplace until you are sure it is clean and safe for this season; make sure any portable heaters are free of any debris or nearby flammable products; and make sure the main storm windows on your home are closed for extra insulation.

In the event you lose power or heat, seek shelter at another place until your services can be restored. Warming centers and other services are available throughout the state. CLICK HERE for a list of warming centers nearest you.

KC Communities For All Ages Receives Important Grant


Monday, November 10th, 2014

The Mid-America Regional Council will receive $120,000 to continue its work to help area communities become more age-friendly. This is the third year that MARC has received funds from Grantmakers In Aging’s Community AGEnda initiative, which focuses on helping communities across America become great places to grow up and grow old.

With this new grant, MARC’s KC Communities for All Ages (KCC) initiative will help area cities prepare for rapidly growing numbers of older residents. The number of adults over age 65 is expected to double by 2030, reaching an estimated 416,367.

“Most older adults want to be able to age in place, maintaining their independence, contributing to their community, and enjoying their family and friends,” said Barbara Potts, co-chair of KCC. “This new Community AGEnda grant will help us continue to plan and work to make that possible. Making our communities more age-friendly benefits everyone.”

Building on its earlier work — including a toolkit for local governments and checklist of age-friendly community characteristics — KCC will work with three cities, including Grandview, Gladstone and one to be determined, to test a Community for All Ages recognition program and will provide technical assistance to four additional communities. MARC and KCC will also conduct an economic impact analysis of the region’s 65+ population; launch a professional network of elected officials and city staff to support ongoing understanding of age-friendly issues and programs; create an online resource library; host a series of housing workshops; and identify meaningful intergenerational messages to engage and inform people across the region.

Using funds provided by the Pfizer Foundation, GIA awarded grants to five Community AGEnda communities, including the Kansas City region; Maricopa County, Arizona; Miami-Dade County, Florida; metro Atlanta, Georgia; and the state of Indiana. MARC and KCC secured local matching funds from the WJ Brace Charitable Trust, Bank of America Trustee; Roger A. and Corinne R. Durkee Fund, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation; MARC Area Agency on Aging; Truman-Heartland Community Foundation; and AARP Missouri.

“Making our communities more age-friendly means helping people live better by staying involved, healthy, and independent, able to live in their own homes as long as they want to, and maintaining important connections to families, neighbors, and communities,” said John Feather, PhD, CEO of Grantmakers In Aging.

“The global movement to make our communities more age-friendly is a smart and forward-looking response to our changing demographics,” said Oonagh Puglisi, Executive Director of the Pfizer Foundation. “Both the Pfizer Foundation and Pfizer Inc. recognize that healthier lifestyles, improved mobility, and stronger connections to community are important factors in improving quality of life for older adults and everyone in our communities.”

What is an age-friendly community?

Efforts to make communities age-friendly can include improving mobility and walkability; informing regional planning efforts; designing affordable, accessible housing; promoting healthy lifestyles; improving access to public services; and increasing volunteer, intergenerational, and social opportunities.

GIA: Spreading the word about age-friendly communities

To help communities everywhere become more age-friendly, Grantmakers In Aging will increase awareness of the movement through collaborative and knowledge-sharing projects with major age-friendly groups.

Year three will feature:

•       A new quarterly age-friendly e-newsletter (“Great Places”).

•       A series of age-friendly talking tools for practitioners.

•       An informational overview of the age-friendly movement geared to urban planners and transportation and housing professionals.

•       A series of age-friendly issue briefs.

•       A “lessons learned” paper based on the experiences of the Community AGEnda sites.

•       “Say Hello,” an intergenerational social media campaign and photo contest.

Earlier work has included infographics highlighting age-friendly facts and trends; short videos about the work of the Community AGEnda sites; an age-friendly photography contest; and a national searchable database of age-friendly programs across America, all available at www.GIAging.org/CommunityAGEnda.

About KC Communities for All Ages

KC Communities for All Ages, an initiative originally founded as KC4 Aging in Community by the Center for Practical Bioethics, transitioned to the Mid-America Regional Council in June 2012. KCC works to ensure that the region is prepared to meet the needs of an expanding older population, accelerating local efforts to make area communities age-friendly places to grow up and grow old and ensuring that older adults are valued, understood, respected and involved. KCC envisions Greater Kansas City as a region of vibrant communities that build on the strengths and serve the needs of individuals of all ages.

About Grantmakers In Aging (GIA)

Grantmakers In Aging is an inclusive and responsive membership organization comprised of all types of philanthropies with a common dedication to improving the experience of aging.  GIA members have a shared recognition that a society that is better for older adults is a society that is better for people of all ages. For more information, please visit GIAging.org.

About The Pfizer Foundation

The Pfizer Foundation is a charitable organization established by Pfizer Inc. Its mission is to promote access to quality health care, to nurture innovation, and to support the community involvement of Pfizer colleagues. The Pfizer Foundation provides funding and resources to local and international organizations that expand and improve global health strategies. In 2013 the Foundation provided over $17.7 million in grants and employee matching gifts to non-governmental organizations across the United States.

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Get Ready To Enroll In Marketplace Coverage


Thursday, October 9th, 2014

open for bus

Starting November 15th, you’ll be able to apply and enroll in 2015 Marketplace coverage. If you’re eligible, the Health Insurance Marketplace can help you find affordable health coverage. Most people who apply qualify for premium tax credits and other savings based on their income.

If you already have 2014 Marketplace coverage, you’ll be receiving important information about how to keep your coverage for 2015.

Here are some things you can do now to get ready for November 15th:

Learn about important dates and deadlines for Marketplace coverage

Download this Marketplace checklist to gather the documents you’ll need to apply

Find someone in your community to help you apply and answer your questions

Be the first to know! Sign up for timely text message updates and connect with us on social media

It’s Flu Season Again – Get The Flu Shot


Monday, October 6th, 2014

Flu shot

Vaccines are safe and effective. Vaccine-preventable diseases are at an all time low thanks to more people being vaccinated, saving lives and millions of dollars in health care costs, but this doesn’t mean the diseases have disappeared. Many viruses and bacteria are still circulating. This is why it is important for everyone to receive all of the recommended immunizations on time.

Most vaccine-preventable diseases are caused by germs called viruses or bacteria. Vaccines to help prevent these diseases generally contain weakened or dead viruses or bacteria specific to the disease.

Vaccines help your body recognize and fight these germs and protect you each time you come in contact with someone who is sick with any of these diseases.

Missouri’s immunization program is working to stop the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases by providing vaccines to children and adolescents who cannot pay for them through the Vaccines for Children Program; educating health care professionals, medical providers and the public on the importance of vaccinations; and ensuring that children who are in child care and school are adequately immunized against diseases that are harmful and sometimes deadly.

For more information on vaccines and availability visit the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services at :http://www.health.mo.gov/living/wellness/immunizations/index.php 

Harrah’s North Kansas City Gives Van To Meals on Wheels Program


Monday, October 6th, 2014

van-photo-with-wide-caption-600

In a presentation on Sept. 30, Harrah’s North Kansas City and its parent company, Caesars Foundation, presented a van to Don Bosco Senior Center to be used by its Meals on Wheels program.

After hearing that two vans were stolen from the senior center last summer, General Manager of Harrah’s North Kansas City Tom Cook and the casino’s HERO (Harrah’s Employees Reaching Out) program decided to help. Working with Midwest Ford, Harrah’s and Caesars Foundation donated the van to Don Bosco, which will use it to deliver more than 270 hot meals each day to seniors. Harrah’s also presented a check to the senior center for $10,000 to help support the work they do with older adults in the community.

Ellie Hollander, president and CEO of Meals on Wheels, spoke about the “hidden epidemic” of senior hunger, citing that 9.3 million homebound seniors go hungry, including 200,000 in Missouri. Ms. Hollander went on to say that the State of Missouri meets the needs of 50 percent, or 100,000 seniors, making them one of the top states responding to food insecurity among older adults. Thom Reilly, board member at Caesars Foundation, said that the foundation has donated 53 vans to Meals on Wheels, and that the organization is committed to supporting the program and helping older adults.

In addition to serving seniors through the Meals on Wheels program, Don Bosco Senior Center serves more than 170 congregate meals to older adults every day at the center. Don Bosco is supported by the Mid-America Regional Council.

MA4 Awarded Navigator Grant For 2014- 2015 Health Insurance Marketplace


Monday, September 8th, 2014

Jefferson City, Mo. — Catherine Edwards, executive director of the Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging (MA4), today announced the Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging (MA4) has been named by the Department of Health and Human Services as an official Health Insurance Marketplace “Navigator” organization for the second straight year. MA4 will incorporate its network of Area Agencies on Aging and senior centers throughout the state to help people make informed decisions when choosing among health insurance coverage options offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

“Last year, more than 150,000 Missourians chose health insurance options offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace,” said Edwards. “While most people accessed the Marketplace online at www.HealthCare.gov, many people selecting health insurance coverage for the first time benefitted from the in-person service our team of trained Navigators was able to provide.”

According to Edwards, individuals and small businesses will once again be able to shop for health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace in a variety of ways including online, in-person, by phone and at events and locations established by partner organizations during the open enrollment period.

For individuals wishing to explore new insurance options in person MA4 has established eight regional information centers in all parts of the state. Additional events will also be hosted throughout the state during the open enrollment period. The Open Enrollment period for individuals interested in Health Insurance Marketplace coverage for 2015 will begin this year on November 15. Additionally, Missouri has been named as one of 5 states that will allow businesses with fewer than 50 full-time workers to access the Small Business Health Options Program in late October, ahead of the regular open enrollment start date.

“Full details regarding plan options, pricing and participation are not yet available,” said Edwards, ”but, our network is in place and will be prepared to help once details for the 2014 enrollment period are released.”

Under the Health Insurance Marketplace system, affordable health insurance policies will be offered by multiple private insurance providers with tiered cost options. Coverage cannot be denied due to pre-existing conditions and many preventive health care services are provided under terms of the policies offered in the Marketplace. The system is designed to help currently uninsured Missourians find affordable health insurance options for themselves and their families.

About The Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging (MA4)

The Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging (MA4) was founded in 1973 to serve as a statewide advocate and resource for older Missourians.  MA4 is comprised of the state’s 10 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA), which were created under the 1973 amendments to the Older American’s Act of 1965.   For 40 years, these local agencies have been providing vital services, programs and information to millions of Missourians and their caregivers, including legal services, home-delivered meals, disease prevention and health promotion, transportation, public benefits counseling, senior center services and activities and in-home services. The 10 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) provide a coordinated network of care in implementing statewide initiatives, which are designed to help older Missourians maintain their independence and give them a voice in articulating their concerns and changing needs.

As the official statewide association of these agencies, MA4 is dedicated to carrying out its mission of service, information and advocacy to improve the lives of older Missourians and to plan for the changes that will take place as the aging population grows in number and importance in the next decade.

In 2013 MA4 was recognized as one of two Navigator organizations in Missouri charged with providing access to the newly formed Health Insurance Marketplace. Despite the organization’s focus on senior health and wellness, all services provided by MA4 under the Marketplace program will continue to be available to all Missourians, regardless of age.

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Missouri Veto Session Starts Wednesday


Monday, September 8th, 2014

Sikeston Standard Democrat - The Missouri General Assembly will have no shortage of issues to consider during its veto session that begins Wednesday.

The largely Republican Legislature and Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon clashed repeatedly over bills approved in the 2014 legislative session. Sales tax cuts, agriculture and an extended abortion waiting period are among the key issues that divided the two. They are among the more than 30 bills vetoed by the governor over the summer.

Budget cuts by the governor also will be considered in the veto session. While the Legislature could override some of the vetoed funds, there’s no guarantee they would be released, since the governor can withhold funds.

Read the complete story in the Sikeston Standard Democrat by CLICKING HERE.

MORx Enrollment Suspended Due To State Budget Constraints


Monday, July 7th, 2014

Missouri-RX-Program

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has announced that as of June 30, 2014 the MORx Program will be unable to approve new applications for enrollment due to state budget constraints. This suspension of approvals is expected to be temporary, but will remain in effect until further notice.

Applicants submitting applications after June 30, 2014 will receive a letter explaining the enrollment suspension and advising their application will remain on file and processed when the program enrollment suspension is lifted. If after 9 months MORx is unable to restart enrollment, the MORx enrollment form will be returned to the applicant and advised they will need to reapply by sending in a new application.

The budget restrictions will not affect members already enrolled in the program. Current members will continue to receive the same benefit of MORx paying 50% of the members out of pocket prescription drug copayment cost.

You may contact the MORx Program by e-mail or at 573-522-3064 should you have any questions about this notice.