Information On The COVID-19 Virus Is Available From DHSS


Friday, September 11th, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic continues into its sixth month, the information available to citizens and consumers seems to change on a frequent basis.

In an effort to put the most useful information to the most people in one place, the Department of Health and Senior Services has established a web page with a wide variety of resources from testing to breaking news to statistics for your area.

The site is easy to use and is completely free. It is also updated on a a daily and weekly basis, depending on the information being posted. Tocheck on the latest information for Missourians related to the COVID-19 outbreak, follow this link:

COVID-19 INFORMATION PAGE – DHSS

Governor Changes State Standards For COVID-19 Pandemic


Saturday, June 20th, 2020

Republican Gov. Mike Parson lifted statewide restrictions related to COVID-19 as of June 16, even as the number of cases in the state continued to increase. However, Parson also extended his executive order declaring a statewide “state of emergency” through the end of year. The order was slated to end on June 16. The extension is primarily to allow the state to continue receiving federal disaster aid. It also allows Parson to continue to have the power to waive certain state laws and regulations.

Despite touting Missouri as “fully reopen,” Parson still encouraged Missourians to maintain practices to limit the spread of COVID-19, even though the state no longer requires them to do so.

As of June 17, there had been 16,625 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Missouri and 909 confirmed deaths.

“We must remember COVID-19 is not gone,” Parson said in a June 11 news release announcing the easing of restrictions. “It is still extremely important for everyone to continue social distancing. Be proactive. Avoid large crowds, and if you can’t social distance, take extra precautions to protect yourself and those around you.”

You can read more about the governor’s decisions from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Governor Says Businesses Will Reopen May 4 With Some Restrictions


Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced that all Missouri businesses will be able to re-open on May 4 after many were closed due to COVID-19 Stay At Home rules. The Stay At Home statewide orders expire on Sunday night, May 3, however, many local governments will continue to have local rules in place that will require additional health and safety precautions be taken.

The new rules are expected to apply to all businesses, even if those businesses were not considered to be “essential” businesses under earlier rules. This will include beauty and barber shops, restaurants and general retail stores. Nursing homes and assisted living centers will continue to limit visitations by family members and friends, and appropriate social distancing measures will continue to be required.

For instance, while church services and funerals may once again occur, there will be limits on the numbers of people who may congregate at any one time, and seating arrangements will be more expansive than in the past. Similarly, not every table in restaurants may be filled and many restaurants will opt for single use condiments such as ketchup and mustard rather than featuring multi-use bottles and shakers on tabletops.

Every consumer should consider their own safety when visiting any business and should take care to protect themselves through appropriate distancing and the use of masks or antibacterial wipes. People over 60 who may be more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus should consider taking additional safety precautions or limit visits outside the home.

Always check with local officials for special regulations that may be in effect in your city or county.

TO READ THE ENTIRE STORY FROM THE COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN, FOLLOW THIS LINK.

President, Governor Declare Emergency. MA4 Supports Protection For Seniors


Monday, March 23rd, 2020

Both the President and Missouri Governor Parson have issued Declarations of Emergency effectively immediately. The declarations limit the congregation of people to 10 or fewer people and restrict the general operation of non-essential services in an effort to protect the general public health.

Included in the emergency are strict limitations on hospital and nursing home visits by family members and friends and limitations on gatherings of more than 10 people including church services, funerals and restaurant dining rooms. Although these are uncomfortable and inconvenient to all of us, the measures are designed to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The emergency declarations also allow the federal and state governments to disburse government funds to support both individuals and institutions who may be most impacted by the current situation. This includes funds that are earmarked for senior services and individuals who are faced with significant financial impacts.

To protect Missouri’s seniors, a population that is most vulnerable during the COVID-19 virus outbreak, MA4 supports these efforts and encourages all seniors to take appropriate precautions; ask for help if they are challenged in accessing food or medical care; and provide help to younger people who have not faced such a challenge before. Staying in contact with other people you trust – even if remotely – will help you get through this challenging time.

The Missouri Depart of Health and Senior Services has established hotline for questions relating to the current emergency. If you have questions, feel free to call .

24 hour hotline: 877-435-8411

To link directly to the Missouri DHSS website, please follow this link:
DHSS COVID-19 WEB LINK

Governor Proposes New State Budget


Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

Governor Parson unveiled his Executive Budget and delivered his State of the State address last week, and several hearings on Medicaid, the State Budget and Tax Issues were held last week and/or are scheduled for this week. Here are a few items of interest:

Medicaid Expansion – In his State of the State address, the Governor claimed that Medicaid expansion would cost Missouri taxpayers.

However, numerous studies have shown that expansion can actually result in savings to state general revenue funds. For example, a recent examination of the actual state budget impacts in five states that expanded Medicaid showed that “expanding Medicaid has either been a positive for the state’s general fund revenues or has not resulted in any additional cost to the state.”

Calls to expand Medicaid have increased this year due to the fact that since January 2018, 125,000 children and parents have lost Medicaid coverage in Missouri.

Budget EstimateGovernor Parson released his Executive Budget earlier this week, following the State of the State address. While the Executive Budget assumes 1.9% growth in FY2021, the House Budget Committee reportedly plans to develop its budget using a substantially lower estimate of state revenue growth.

In either case, the development of next year’s budget comes at a time of continued uncertainty and instability for Missouri. The growth shown in recent revenue collections may be misleading because they’re relative to a time of very weak collections.

In fact, when reviewed over just two years, MO collections didn’t even keep pace with inflation. That is, our state didn’t collect enough to pay for services at the same level they were two years ago, not accounting for an aging population that may need additional health, nutrition or caregiver services, or a larger number of kids in school.

The comparison to other states is even more glaring. Average revenue growth across the country was much higher than in Missouri, so those states were able to increase teacher pay, invest in workforce development, and save for a rainy day.

Medicare Open Enrollment Period Ends December 7


Friday, November 22nd, 2019

This is the time of year when people enrolled in the Medicare program have the option to change or modify existing plan coverage. It is known as the Open Enrollment period and runs from October 15 until December 7, 2019.

If you are satisfied with your existing plan, and that plan is still offered, you are not required to make any changes to your existing plan. However, if changes in your circumstances have occurred, you may want to change your basic Medicare coverage plan or your Medicare Part D plan which covers your prescription drugs.

If your current plan has been discontinued or changed, you will have received a notice advising you of that fact. If you are not sure about your status, you may want to visit the Medicare.gov website to compare the various plans currently available to you. Each plan has its own set of coverages and premiums.

If you do nothing, your current plan will automatically be renewed as long as that plan is still offered. If you want to make ANY changes, you must do so before the December 7, 2019 deadline.

Don’t delay. The deadline is just around the corner.

VISIT THE MEDICARE.GOV WEBSITE BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK

2019 Summit On Aging & Health Wraps Up In Branson


Monday, September 9th, 2019

The 16th Annual Summit on Aging & Health is officially over. Click the READ MORE button to get the latest news straight from Branson, MO. Program and registration materials also available at this link.

LINK TO PRELIMINARY AGENDA AND REGISTRATION MATERIALS

Day 3 – 2019 Summit on Aging & Health

It always seems like the shortest day of the Summit, but it was packed with great information. Paul Greenwood, a former prosecutor with the San Diego Office the District Attorney, opened the day discussing strategies to protect against elder abuse and economic security. Breakout sessions on Innovation, Leadership and Advocacy featured presentations from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services; the award-winning SeniorAge Area Agency on Aging; and a compelling presentation from Tommy Goode of the Moral Injury Institute.

Paul Greenwood addresses the assembled group on Day 3.

The final day wrapped up with an update on MA4 initiatives and future plans and a fan-favorite drawing for door prizes for participants who were able to stay until the very end.

Lisa Knoll sends participants home with a few special gifts.

Thank you to all of our great sponsors and speakers who offered their time, expertise and funding to make us all just a little bit smarter about the work we do everyday. See you in 2020 at the 17th Annual Summit. Details coming in February.

Day 2 – 2019 Summit on Aging & Health

Jessica Bax addresses the conference.
n4a’s Autumn Campbell presents an overview of national aging policy initiatives.

DOWNLOAD A COPY OF AUTUMN CAMPBELL’S PRESENTATION HERE

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft participates in the 2019 Summit on Aging & Health

Day 1 – 2019 Summit on Aging & Health

MA4 President David Sykora calls the 2019 Summit to order.
Missouri Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe discusses new senior legislation during the Opening Plenary Session.
n4a CEO Sandy Markwood takes a look at the national senior scene during her remarks to Summit participants.

Day By Day Updates From The Show Me Summit On Aging & Health


Monday, June 10th, 2019

The 16th Annual Summit on Aging & Health has just begun. Click the READ MORE button to get the latest news straight from Branson, MO. Program and registration materials also available at this link.

LINK TO PRELIMINARY AGENDA AND REGISTRATION MATERIALS

Day 1 – 16th Annual Show Me Summit On Aging & Health

MA4 Board members meet with n4a CEO Sandy Markwood before official summit begins.
MA4 President David Sykora kicks off the 2019 Summit on Aging & Health.
Missouri Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe discusses new senior legislation during the Opening Plenary Session of the 2019 Summit.
n4a CEO Sandy Markwood takes a look at the national picture during her address to Summit participants.

LINK TO INFORMATION REGARDING NURSING HOME ADMINISTRATOR CONTINUING EDUCATION HOUR CREDITS INFORMATION

New Medicare Cards Have Been Mailed


Sunday, January 20th, 2019

The Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) is alerting Medicare beneficiaries that they all should have received their new Medicare cards in the mail by now.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced in mid-January it had finished mailing new Medicare cards. The new cards have a unique identification number instead of the beneficiary’s Social Security number.

The move was made to protect people from identity theft. People in Missouri were among the last states to receive the cards in the mail.
If you have not received your new card, here are some steps you can take:

*Look around your house for old or unopened mail. New Medicare cards were mailed in a plain white envelope from the Department of Health and Human Services.
*Sign into MyMedicare.gov to get your new number or print an official card. You will need to create an account, if you don’t already have one.
*Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to verify your identity, check your address and help get your new card.
*Ask your health care provider, who may be able to securely look up your new number.
If you have not received your card, you may continue to use your current card to get health care services until you get your new card.

Alert: Don’t Shred Social Security Cards


Tuesday, December 25th, 2018

Medicare beneficiaries in Missouri should soon be getting new Medicare cards with a unique Medicare identification number. The new Medicare cards will replace the old ones that contain a Social Security number.

The Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) advises seniors to put the new card in a safe place and shred the old red, white and blue Medicare cards. The new card will look like this:

DO NOT, however, destroy your old Social Security card.Keep the blue Social Security card.

It looks like this:

Keep it in a safe place as always.The two cards are used for different purposes and you need to have a copy of both.

Remember: Red, White and Blue is the Medicare card. Blue and White is the Social Security card.

As always, if you suspect Medicare fraud, call the SMP at 1-888-515-6565.