NCOA Advocacy Alert

 

What you need to know about the nation's only jobs program for seniors

At 58, Patti Miller found herself with no home, just $10 in her pocket, and desperate for work. She had lost her husband to cancer, and her job and savings to the 2008 financial crash. 

What saved her was the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), the nation's only job training and placement program for low-income seniors. SCSEP gave her skills, confidence, dignity—and a paid position at a local Head Start.

SCSEP has been helping seniors like Patti since 1965. But under the Administration's FY18 budget, it is slated for elimination. Read why it's worth saving >>

Howard Bedlin

Vice President, Public Policy & Advocacy

n4a Legislative Update June 14, 2017

Legistlative Update

Senate Moving on Health Care Reform Details are Scarce, but Advocacy Necessary   June 14, 2017

For several weeks, a group of 13 Republican Senators have met regularly to hash out the Senate’s proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) following narrow House passage last month of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Unfortunately, because negotiations are happening behind closed doors, other lawmakers and stakeholders have not seen details of the Senate’s proposal.  

We understand that members of this health care task force are sending their proposal to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) piece-by-piece without disclosing those legislative components publicly. Because the CBO is required to weigh in on legislation before it comes to the full chamber for a vote, it is conceivable that leadership may bring a health care reform bill to the floor that their Senate colleagues and health care stakeholders haven’t seen.  

While the specifics and timing of a potential vote on this bill are still unknown, what is clear is that the Senate is likely to follow the House in proposing an ACA repeal and replace package that has significant implications for older adults and also drastically restructures and cuts the federal Medicaid program. We also know that once a bill is brought to the floor, it will likely move very quickly to approval, and there will be very little opportunity to make changes and improvements to the proposal. Should an ACA repeal and Medicaid reform bill pass the Senate, we fully expect that it would quickly pass the House and be signed into law.  

The time to act is now, and advocacy on this important issue cannot wait until details of the Senate bill are disclosed! Area Agencies on Aging and other aging advocates must continue to reach out to lawmakers about the importance of protecting Medicaid, especially for older adults. To assist local advocacy efforts, n4a will be releasing updated tools and resources next week that AAAs and other aging advocates can use to engage their lawmakers.  

We also encourage AAAs—and your organization/advisory board leadership—to join us for a conference call on Tuesday, June 20 at 11:30 a.m. ET to discuss our advocacy strategy in the Senate. Register for the call now! The call-in number is: 1-877-309-2074 and the access code is: 749-628-482.  

Recap on ACA Repeal & Replace Proposals  

As n4a’s May 25th Legislative Update detailed, the CBO estimated that the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which passed the House in early May, would cause 23 million people, including 14 million (17 percent) Medicaid beneficiaries, to lose health insurance coverage over the next 10 years. According to the CBO score, the bill would also significantly increase costs and reduce coverage options for poorer, sicker and older Americans.  

Furthermore, CBO estimated that the current version of AHCA would cut $834 billion—or nearly 25 percent—from Medicaid over ten years. Because AHCA restructures Medicaid from the current federal-state partnership, wherein the federal government guarantees to match state spending on the program regardless of cost or enrollment, to a per-capita cap or block grant structure that limits federal contributions, reduced federal outlays would shift significant costs and risks to states.  

n4a remains opposed to the American Health Care Act, as it does not adequately address the ACA issues we raised in our January ACA Policy Brief and goes beyond ACA-related provisions to fundamentally undermine federal support for Medicaid, weakening this key health and long-term care safety net for older adults.

There is still much legislative work to be done before any health care reforms are finalized. Stay tuned for more information and resources from n4a and join us for a conference call on Tuesday, June 20 at 11:30 a.m. ET to explore these important issues and necessary advocacy!

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This Legislative Update is an n4a membership benefit. For more information about these and other federal aging policy issues, please contact n4a’s policy team: Amy Gotwals (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Autumn Campbell (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), 202.872.0888.

 

I4A Network Alert

I4A Alert

Illinois Aging Network Alert

A periodic report of the impact of the state budget crisis on Illinois Seniors and Community Programs on Aging, from

I4A - Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Contact:  Joy Paeth 618-222-2561 or Jon Lavin 708-383-0258

Aging Network Continues to Lose Ground

Number of the Day – 12

According the Department on Aging, twelve different organizations have dropped Community Care Program Contracts since July 1, 2016.  Not all have completely left the program - some sold components of their business with the purchaser becoming the new contractor, some closed sections of their programs while keeping others, but most have laid off staff and stopped serving Illinois seniors because payment for half their clientele was not and is not forthcoming.  The costs of staff and the costs of doing business in Illinois must still be paid even though there is no State Budget resulting in payments are almost twelve months in arrear. 

Right now there are nineteen current Community Care Program Providers that are reporting severe financial distress, some delaying their payrolls.   This affects home care and adult day services staff who are already paid minimally. They are waiting for a paycheck, hoping their landlords will understand the delay in their rent, and dealing with reduced food and transportation budgets.

Here, in the last days of the 2017 General Assembly scheduled session, there seems to be some profiles in courage as bills have passed one or the other chamber to realistically and fairly deal with the Budget, but there also seems to be a willingness to permit the impasse to continue and to convince voters that someone else is to blame for the state situation, or even worse to say that Illinois can get out of this mess with smoke and mirrors. 

I4A asks that the General Assembly and Governor care enough about older persons to put aside the posturing and solve the budget mess.  We will have your backs if you step up and do what is right for Illinois – pass a budget, identify revenues to solve the current and long term challenges, and stop the politicking that tells the public “integrity and action” are mistakes.  Doing what is right is right – the current situation is wrong!

Distributed for I4A by:

Jonathan Lavin

Chief Executive Officer

AgeOptions

1048 Lake Street

Oak Park, Illinois 60301

708-383-0258

708-524-0870 fax

708-309-1361 cell

Medicaid Managed Care Transformation

Date:  Ap

Date: April 7, 2017

To: All Medical Assistance Providers

Re: Medicaid Managed Care Transformation

Date:  Dat
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) is transforming its current managed care program. HFS intends to extend its Medicaid managed care program into every county in Illinois beginning on January 1, 2018.
HFS has recently issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) with the intent to award contracts to no fewer than four (4) and no more than (7) qualified, experienced, and financially sound Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) to enter into risk-based contracts for the Medicaid managed care program.  
The program will expand managed care coverage to additional populations including special needs children and children under the care of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Through this transformation, more than 80 percent of Medicaid beneficiaries will transition into a managed care health plan, an increase from the 65 percent who are currently enrolled in a managed care health plan.
HFS recognizes that providers are an important part of the overall transformation process. HFS encourages providers to begin contract discussions when MCOs are reaching out to establish networks. Providers who have contracted with MCOs that are awarded a contract will be able to seamlessly serve Medicaid participants during this period of transformation. In addition, the only way for providers to ensure payment for services rendered to clients enrolled with MCOs under the transformed Medicaid Managed Care Program is to contract with the MCOs.
The RFP webpage can be accessed for additional information including the draft model contract and also includes Frequently Asked Questions. Continue to visit the Medicaid Managed Care Program RFP webpage for updates, including contract award notices and transformation timelines.
 
Thank you for your continued support of the Illinois Medicaid Managed Care Program.  
Felicia F. Norwood
Director

IMPORTANT: Molina HealthCare of Illinois MMAI coverage will end on 05/01/2017

This Molina Action affects Macon and Piatt Counties beginning May 1, 2017

 
Molina HealthCare of Illinois MMAI will no longer provide coverage through the Medicare-Medicaid Alignment Initiative (MMAI) program after April 30, 2017. However, you will still have Medicare and Medicaid benefits, including prescription drugs. You will be automatically enrolled in the regular Medicaid fee-for-service program. Unless you make another choice, you will be automatically enrolled in the Original Medicare fee-forservice program and a SilverScript Insurance Company Medicare Part D prescription drug plan effective May 1, 2017. If you do not want to be automatically enrolled in Medicare coverage, you have options, which are listed below.
What are my options?
1. Original Medicare and a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan
You can get your Medicare services, such as doctor visits, through Original Medicare. If you choose Original Medicare, you need to join a separate Medicare prescription drug plan, also known as a “Part D plan” to get prescription drug coverage. If you don’t choose a drug plan on your own, Medicare will enroll you in a SilverScript Insurance
Company Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.
 
2. Medicare Advantage
You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage health plan to get your Medicare services. A Medicare Advantage plan is offered by a private company that works with Medicare to provide benefits. Medicare Advantage plans cover all services that Original Medicare covers and may offer extra coverage such as vision, hearing, or dental. Most include prescription drug coverage as well. If you choose a Medicare Advantage plan, check with your current providers to see if they are part of the new plan. You should also ask the new plan to see if your current medications will be covered. You can call the new plan or look at the plan’s provider directory and prescription drug list online.
 
If you want help, you can get free, confidential assistance by calling the Senior Health
Insurance Program at 1-800-252-8966, or 1-888-206-1327 (TTY) Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
No matter what choice you make, you will still have Medicare and Medicaid benefits, including prescription drugs.
 

Get in touch

Location

ECIAAA
1003 Maple Hill Road
Bloomington, IL 61705-9327

Contact

Email: aginginfo@eciaaa.org
Phone: 309-829-2065
Fax: 309-829-6021

Opening hours

Mon-Fri: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Sat-Sun: CLOSED

Seniors

Seniors may call toll free:
Phone: 1-800-888-4456