ALERT: Missouri House Proposes 20% Across The Board Cuts To Health And Senior Services


Monday, March 30th, 2015

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The Missouri House of Representatives is currently considering a proposal that will make a 20% across-the-board-cut in services offered by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Some people believe that across the board cuts seem like a fair way to approach tough economic times. But, this proposal does not take into account the real consequences. For instance, an across-the-board cut of 20% will result in the elimination of critical staff members who maintain and check the Employee Disqualification List – a list that helps seniors avoid known abusers as workers in their homes.

The move could also jeopardize $537. million in federal funds that Missouri seniors rely on for independent living programs.

Seniors have seen their program budgets cut repeatedly over the course of the past several years.

It’s time to tell legislators that senior citizens should be off limits this year. Send your legislator a message.

Download a contact form by CLICKING HERE: http://www.ma4web.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/SOS-DHSS-budget-cuts1.doc Or call your area legislators and talk to them in person. It’s critical – and other than silence – there is no reason for legislative measures that hit so heavily on Missouri’s senior population.

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.”

Problem Of Elder Abuse Addressed By Mid-East Area Agency On Aging


Thursday, January 29th, 2015

ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KSDK) – A case of alleged elder abuse in west St. Louis County is bringing attention to a problem that experts say is getting worse.

Fifty-six-year-old Timothy Barnes is charged with abusing his 82-year-old mother. Court documents show Barnes is accused of allowing his mother to live in total decay, among mold, feces, and broken glass. Police say she was deprived of food and clean water. And, the documents say she’d been bed-ridden for a year, and hadn’t bathed in six months. Those documents also say the victim’s other son would try and help, but Barnes would threaten him.

Experts say similar cases of alleged abuse go unreported all the time.

“It can be very devastating, to know that someone is either being treated like that, or has been treated in a manner that is inappropriate,” said Donna Jasper, a social worker at the Mid-East Area Agency on Aging in St. Louis County.

Jasper has been in the business for 20 years. While she says abuse cases are ‘not the norm,’ even one case is too many.

So, the Area Agency on Agency provides caretaker support groups. And, Missouri and Illinois have abuse reporting hotlines. Missouri’s hotline number is 1-800-392-0210. Illinois’ hotline number is 1-866-800-1409.

For the complete story and to view the video from KSDK TV, PLEASE CLICK HERE

Report: Medicaid Expansion In Missouri Would Yield Up to $100M In Annual Savings


Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

KCUR Radio – 89.3 (Kansas City) -Even as prospects appear bleak for Medicaid expansion in Missouri, a new report says the state would save $81 million right off the bat and $100 million annually later on if it expands the program.

The report by the Missouri Budget Project, a nonpartisan think tank in St. Louis, says the savings would come from money the state currently spends on Medicaid services provided to pregnant women, mental health patients and prisoners in need of medical care.

“This is a real asset to the state,” says Amy Blouin, executive director of the Missouri Budget Project, referring to expansion. “There were legislators who were concerned about the need to invest more state funding in health care services, but what we’re showing in the data is that not only do we invest more dollars overall in health care – not only is it a health care benefit – but because of the cost savings, we actually have a net benefit in general revenue that can be used to support other services as well.”

READ THE COMPLETE STORY HERE.

Missouri: 50,000 New Health Insurance Enrollees In First Month


Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

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St. Louis Post Dispatch – About 50,000 Missourians and 65,000 Illinoisans signed up for health insurance on HealthCare.gov for the first time, according to a federal report released Tuesday.

The report covered sign-ups between Nov. 15 through Dec. 15 — the first month of the enrollment season for 2015 coverage under President Barack Obama’s health overhaul. Those health plans will take effect Jan. 1, provided customers pay their first month’s premium.

Residents still have until Feb. 15 to visit the online insurance marketplace and select a health plan for 2015 coverage.

“Interest in the marketplace has been strong during the first month of open enrollment,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell in a written statement. “We still have a ways to go and a lot of work to do before Feb. 15, but this is an encouraging start.”

FOR THE COMPLETE ARTICLE, VISIT STLTODAY.COM BY CLICKING HERE.

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