Missouri Seniors Face Severe Funding Cuts From Senate Recommendations


Friday, April 10th, 2015

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“This week, the Missouri Senate Budget Committee proposed significant cuts to the Departments of Mental Health, Social Services and Health and Senior Services that in total will exceed $130 million in the FY 2016 budget. This action comes at a time when Missouri’s overall financial situation is getting stronger, particularly in light of the fact that tax collections for the year indicate that the State will have $80 million more in revenues than were available for last year’s budget.

These across-the-board cuts represent an unwarranted meat-axe approach to the budgeting process that will significantly damage core programs currently provided by the State to some of its most vulnerable citizens.

As the state’s premier advocate and resource for older Missourians, we strongly oppose cuts that will curtail the home-delivered meals program for seniors; investigations regarding elder abuse and financial exploitation; inspections of hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities serving the health needs of seniors; cutbacks in funding for mental health services and facilities; and cuts in programs that serve the needs of men and women who have the primary responsibility for the nutrition, health and safety of children.

To view MA4’s complete statement regarding suggested Missouri Senate cuts, please click the following link:

http://www.ma4web.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/MA4-STATEMENT-Budget-20151.doc

To view Governor Jay Nixon’s letter regarding these same proposed cuts, Please click the following link:

http://www.ma4web.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/gov_nixon_budget_letter_april_10_2015_0.pdf

 

ACTION ALERT: Across The Board Budget Cuts Will Impact Missouri Seniors


Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

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The Missouri Senate is currently considering across the board cuts to the Department of Health and Senior Services that could have profound and long lasting impacts to some of the most important services currently available to Missouri seniors. Becasue the proposed cuts are across-the-board and indiscriminate, they will affect services from Medicaid and mental health to elder abuse prevention and programs offered through Missouri’s Area Agencies on Aging.

Some people have characterized these cuts as being minimal in scope – only a small part of the overall budget – but the total dollar amount of these cuts will exceed $2 million and will come on top of a nearly 35% overall reduction in DHSS funding realized since the 2009 budget year. These cuts only represent the contribution by the State of Missouri and do not include the loss of additional federal matching funds that will be triggered by this action.

Please contact your elected representatives today to discuss this major action and ask your representative to reconsider this action.

For additional information and statistics related to this proposal, PLEASE CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK:

http://www.ma4web.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Impact-of-4-percent-cuts-on-DHSS-4-7-15.docx

CONTACT KEY SENATORS TODAY.

Sen Kurt Schaefer 573-751-3931. Fax 573-751-4320.Email Kurt.Schaefer@senate.mo.gov
Sen Ryan Silvey 573-751-5282. Email Ryan.Silvey@senate.mo.gov
Sen Dan Brown 573-751-5713. Fax 573-751-0733. Email Dan.Brown@senate.mo.gov
Sen Mike Kehoe 573-751-2076. Fax 573-751-2582. Email Mike.Kehoe@senate.mo.gov
Sen Mark Parson 573-751-8793. Fax 573-526-8793. Email mparson@senate.mo.gov
Sen David Pearce 573-751-2272. Fax 573-526-7381. Email David.Pearce@senate.mo.gov
Sen David Sater 573-751-1480. Email David.Sater@senate.mo.gov
Sen Rob Schaaf 573-751-2183 Toll free 855-663-3883. Email Rob.Schaaf@senate.mo.gov
Sen S.Kiki Curls 573-751-3158. Fax 573-526-3969. Email Shalonn.Curls@senate.mo.gov
Sen Jamilah Nasheed 573-751-4415. Email Jamilah.Nasheed@senate.mo.gov
Sen Gina Walsh 573-751-2420. Fax 573-751-1598

MO Senate To Debate Medicaid Expansion TONIGHT


Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

The Missouri Senate will debate the merits of expanding the Medicaid system in Missouri during a Wednesday evening (April 1, 2015) session. Coverage of this debate will be carried live via the Internet on the Missouri Senate website. If you would like to listen in, go to the following link for full audio coverage. A roll call vote on this issue is expected tonight.

MO SENATE LINK: http://www.senate.mo.gov/

Mid-East AAA Receives Grant To Extend Meal Program


Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

MEAAA has been awarded $120,000 from the Jefferson Memorial Foundation for providing hot meals on wheels for Jefferson County. The costs of providing hot meals on wheels have steadily increased over the years. MEAAA’s funding for meals has not kept pace with the increased cost and three areas of Jefferson County have been receiving frozen meals delivered once per week instead of a daily hot meal. Mary Schaefer estimates the grant will provide hot meals for one year if all expenses remained the same. MEAAA is developing a plan to sustain the hot meals beyond one year using the grant funds.

Spring Cleaning Is Perfect Time To Prevent Falls


Sunday, March 15th, 2015

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Time for spring cleaning again – and that’s the best time to fix up those little things around the house that can lead to accidental slips and falls. CLICK HERE  to get information on how you can make your home safe for all.

Insurance Special Enrollment For Some Without Coverage in 2014


Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

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As some of you may be aware, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced this week another special enrollment period (SEP).  This SEP is for individuals and families who did not have health coverage in 2014 and are subject to the penalty when they file their 2014 taxes.  The SEP will start on March 15 and continue through April 30.

At this time we know that this enrollment opportunity is open for people who meet the following criteria:

  • Currently are not enrolled in coverage through the FFM for 2015,
  • Attest that when they filed their 2014 tax return they paid the fee for not having health coverage in 2014 and
  • Attest that they first became aware of, or understood the implications of, the Shared Responsibility Payment after the end of open enrollment (Feb. 15, 2015) in connection with preparing their 2014 taxes.

MA4 will continue to pass along additional information as we learn more, and we’ll also plan to increase our awareness and education efforts during the SEP.  In the meantime, please let us know if you have any questions. The CMS press release is found here: http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-releases/2015-Press-releases-items/2015-02-20.html

RESOURCES FOR SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD

SEP FLIER.PDF DOWNLOAD

SEP TABLE TENT.PDF DOWNLOAD

SOME WILL SEE DELAY IN FILING TAXES

Due to errors made by HSHS, more than 800,000 individuals received an incorrect 1095-A tax form in the mail. Log on to HealthCare.gov to see if an individual is impacted. If so, they are asked to delay filing their taxes until new forms are distributed. Those who have already filed, will likely need to resubmit.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch story: http://www.stltoday.com/news/special-reports/mohealth/smoother-ride-but-road-still-bumpy-for-obamacare/article_d3170d27-6f45-57da-8c31-59e678cf39e0.html

Watch Out For Scams After Anthem Data Breach


Friday, February 13th, 2015

Jefferson City, Mo.  ­- The Missouri Department of Insurance says Anthem policyholders who may have had their personal data breached will be contacted by the insurer through the U.S. Postal Service. They should be suspicious of any other correspondence that appears to be from Anthem about the breach. The department has set up a Web pagewith information about the cyberattack.

“Anthem has said it will be notifying affected consumers by U.S. mail,” said Insurance Director John M. Huff. “Emails, telephone calls and any other form of communication purporting to be from Anthem are most likely going to be scams. Missourians should take appropriate action.”

Huff said consumers should stay calm and closely monitor the situation. Continue to watch banking, credit card and other financial accounts for fraudulent activity, and contact Anthem if they need additional information.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield reported to the department on Feb. 4 that it had been a victim of a cyberattack and that the personal information of its policyholders had been compromised.

An initial analysis by Anthem showed the accessed data contained member names and health identification numbers, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, home and email addresses, telephone numbers, and employment and income data.

Consumers who believe they may have been impacted by the security breach should call 877-263-7995, the toll-free number Anthem has established to assist consumers. Anthem has also set up a website at www.anthemfacts.comto answer questions. Keep this address for future reference, advises Director Huff. Do not click on links sent via email or social media: They may be a scam. Scam artists often will send “phishing” emails that appear to be from your bank or Anthem offering to help.

Consumers may also contact the Department of Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390.

About the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration

The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of financial industries and professionals. The department’s seven divisions work to enforce state regulations both efficiently and effectively while encouraging a competitive environment for industries and professions to ensure consumers have access to quality products.

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Schuyler County Nutrition Site Featured On KTVO News


Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

SCHUYLER COUNTY, MO. (KTVO-TV) — An organization that provides food for the elderly is starving for funds to keep its doors open, and help now appears to be on the way.

The Schuyler County Nutrition Site in Lancaster received $75,000 over the past two years from a grant provided by the state through the Missouri Health Foundation. That grant money ran out in July of last year, leaving organizations that are part of The Missouri Agency on Aging, like the Schuyler County Nutrition Site, collecting scraps to keep open.

On February 3, Governor Jay Nixon announced that $400,000 in previously withheld funds will be released for Missouri’s 10 area agencies on aging, and the Schuyler County Nutrition Site is included in that.

“It won’t cover the shortfall, but it will keep the doors open,” said Catherine Edwards, the Executive Director of the Missouri Association of Area Agencies On Aging.

The Schuyler County Nutrition Site provides meals on wheels to homes, as well as a free hot meal every day at their location in Lancaster.

“It’s on a donation basis, anyone 60 or older its donation, anyone under 60 it’s $7 a plate,” said Lori Williams, Director of the Schuyler County site.

The lack of funding, due to the loss of the grant, has caused the site to make some cutbacks in the services they provide. The site is only able to deliver 3 days a week instead of 5 like they used to, but they still provide one hot meal and one cold meal when they do deliver on those three days.

For the community members who depend on the site, the cuts have hit home.

“I don’t know how many times we’ve had drivers come in and find somebody down, and sent them to the hospital, where as if they hadn’t come around, nobody would have found them,” Williams said. ”The thought of that being cut gives me the chills, as well as them not being able to eat.”

The facility provides much more than just food for people like Sally Kearse who first came to grab a meal with her neighbor, and is now a member of the board.

“Well it gives me a purpose and something to do, and I feel that what I’m doing is helpful,” Kearse said.

Edwards said that the Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging has had stagnant funding since 2009, and that they are advocating for another $2 million.

Link to the full story at:http://www.heartlandconnection.com/news/story.aspx?id=1158786#.VNpUcxz8Plx

12th Annual Show Me Summit On Aging & Health Announced


Friday, February 6th, 2015

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The Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging is proud to announce preliminary details for the 12th Annual Show Me Summit on Aging & Health. This year’s event will be held at the Lodge of Four Season in Lake Ozark, MO – August 17 – 19, 2015. This year’s theme is “Set Sail For The Future”.

For additional information on the meeting and sponsorship opportunities call 573-634-2914.

The Call for Presentations has been issued. Watch this space for details as we continue to build this year’s agenda.

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS – 2015

SPONSORSHIP INFORMATION – 2015

EXHIBITOR INFORMATION – 2015

Governor Releases $400,000 For Senior Programs


Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

????????????????????????????????????????Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging has issued the following statement regarding Governor Jay Nixon’s announcement that $400,000 in withheld funding has been released for use by Missouri’s Area Agencies on Aging senior programs:

“The Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging applauds Governor Jay Nixon’s announcement that $400,000 in previously withheld funds will be released for use by Missouri’s 10 Area Agencies on Aging to provide meals and other critical services for Missouri seniors throughout the state.

These funds, which were allocated in a bipartisan fashion during last year’s legislative session, are critical in helping Missouri’s seniors receive critical support, e.g. homebound seniors will be able to receive proper nutritional support and an opportunity to interact with supportive community volunteers on a regular basis. This food and the social interaction provided to seniors helps these individuals maintain independent, healthy lives and actually decreases medical costs and institutionalization costs that are often times borne by the state. Additional services such as transportation help to ensure seniors’ ability to visit health care providers as well.

The release of these funds is timely and will allow us to continue to provide these much needed services into 2015. It should be recognized, however, that Missouri’s senior population continues to grow; the cost of programs continues to increase; and funding remains a critical concern for us during this new legislative session. We hope that the Governor and the Missouri Legislature will continue to look favorably on the programs provided to seniors by the Missouri Area Agencies on Aging and assure all lawmakers and citizens that these funds will be well managed, well-spent and targeted to seniors whose lives literally depend on this support.”

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