New Sponsors Announced For Summit On Aging and Health


Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Summit logo

The Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging will host the 12th Annual Show Me Summit on Aging and Health August 17 – 19 at the Lodge of Four Seasons at the Lake of the Ozarks. This year’s theme is “Set Sail For The Future” and the program promises to be better and more informative than ever.

Sponsorships at various levels are still available and are critically important to the success of this annual statewide meeting that examines issues of importance to Missouri seniors. For a complete sponsor packet and information about the program, please CLICK HERE.

Our most recent sponsor is Verizon Wireless. Through it’s HopeLine program, Verizon Wireless helps draw attention to the problems of domestic abuse and neglect. For the past four years, Verizon Wireless has helped MA4 provide training, information and techniques designed to combat elder abuse and financial exploitation of seniors. This year’s summit will continue that training and education through a series of workshops and special programming.

For additional information about Verizon Wireless and its HopeLine program, please CLICK HERE.

Missouri Budget Cuts Senior Services – Fails To Expand Medicaid


Thursday, May 28th, 2015

budget cuts(Missourinet) – Governor Nixon has signed the 13 bills that make up the $26-billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Nixon commended the legislature for sending him a balanced budget, on time.

“It’s not something we should take for granted. Just this year lawmakers in Florida and Washington adjourned without passing a budget at all,” said Nixon. “Not only did the legislature act in a timely fashion, they followed my budget outline in a couple of key areas.”
Key among those areas, said Nixon, was an $84-million increase in K-12 public schools over the current fiscal year’s budget and a $5-million increase in early childhood education, a $12-million increase in performance-based funding for public colleges and universities, and $13.9-million for services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Nixon said it was “disappointing the legislature unnecessarily cut $90-million from services including health care for seniors, people with disabilities, and kids.”

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) had argued during the budget process in the legislature, that social services and welfare programs were seeing high rates of year-to-year growth that needed to be stemmed, if the state would ever be able to fully fund priorities like education.

Nixon said the state would adopt the managed care expansion that Schaefer led the effort to add to the budget. The plan would move hundreds of thousands of Missourians in 61 counties to that system from fee for service care. Under managed care, a private company manages health benefits for consumers. Nixon said that transition would be transparent and be done responsibly.

“Under no circumstances will we implement this expansion at the expense of vulnerable Missourians like those with severe mental illness or include populations with special needs, like Missourians with disabilities and seniors, in managed care,” said Nixon.
Nixon did say he is frustrated that another budget process has gone by, and nearly another legislative session, without expansion of Medicaid eligibility in Missouri.

“We’re clearly seeing that the states that are moving forward are benefitting greatly from it and the states that don’t, their economies are dragging because once again, we’re sending $2-billion dollars to Washington that’s being used in other states,” said Nixon. “We’ll continue to push on that and would hope there would be a time at which I get to sign that measure.”

MA4 Offers Advice To Guard Against Financial Exploitation


Friday, May 1st, 2015

It’s a sad fact, but sometimes the people we trust the most make us their victims. A recent case of financial exploitation of an elderly man in hospice care in St. Louis brought this problem to the forefront within recent days. Allegedly, a care provider stole a patient’s credit card while on duty and subsequently charged thousands of dollars of unauthorized purchases to the man’s account.

KSDK TV News reported on the case and turned to the Mid-East Area Agency on Aging for tips on how to prevent this type of financial exploitation.

To prevent elder theft, the Agency suggests conducting background checks on caretakers, or hiring a health care company that requires background checks. They also say to lock up valuables and financial information, and have multiple people monitoring a potential victim’s financial records.

For more on this topic, and to view KSDK’s original report please click on this link.http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/crime/2015/04/24/woman-accused-of-stealing-from-hospice-patient/26332553/

And if you suspect that something is wrong in your household, do not hesitate to contact law enforcement officials. They can help.

Missouri Seniors Face Severe Funding Cuts From Senate Recommendations


Friday, April 10th, 2015

senior cuts

“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

 

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


Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

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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

fallsprevention1

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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