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.
 

Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging Alert for March 15, 2017

I4A Alert

Illinois Aging Network Alert

A periodic report on the impact of the state budget crisis on Illinois seniors and community programs on aging from 

I4A- Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Prepared by: Southeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging

Week of March 13, 2017

Nuke Nightmare Continues!

 Nuke Nightmare

The devastation of budget warfare endures – “Without an appropriation or a court order, we will be unable to continue payments to nonprofits, social services and small businesses that are not covered,” then-Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger stated when the Legislature and Governor Rauner failed to agree on a budget in May 2015.

After waiting20 months and 2 weeks for a full budget to be enacted and implemented, disaster continues. Agencies continue to close their doors, and services are being sparsely funded. Older adults and persons with disabilities are still feeling the splinters of this explosion.

Southeastern Illinois is a very impoverished region. Many constituents have to decide between basic necessities such as food and medications in their cupboards, or electricity in their homes. They need and rely on nonprofit/social service agencies to assist them with any state-funded programs that meet their basic needs so they can live with dignity in their homes.

Impacts still looming without a budget!

  •  Reduced hours for remaining SWAN (Domestic Violence) staff

  •  Reduced hours for remaining Ombudsman agency staff

  •  NO (Domestic Violence/OMB) prospective planning due to insufficient funds

  •  Reduced or unavailable funding for services by community agencies

  •  Inability to donate for services by most of the older persons who are served

Illinois Needs a Rocket Reboot!

The time is now before any further destructive decreases in services or closures occur. Please act to thrust Illinois into prosperity. We owe those who have devoted themselves to Illinois all of their lives a state made great again!

Please contact Joy Paeth, President (618-222-2561) or Jonathan Lavin, Legislative Chair (708-383-0258) with questions.

Legislative Update: n4a Releases Analysis of ACA Repeal’s Effects on Older Adults and the Aging Network

Legistlative Update

n4a Releases Analysis of ACA Repeal’s Effects on Older Adults and the Aging Network

 

Policy Brief Outlines Key Considerations and Questions for Lawmakers

January 19, 2017

 

Last week, lawmakers in Congress took the first steps toward repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) when, four months into the current fiscal year, the House and Senate passed an FY 2017 budget resolution that included instructions to legislative committees to develop proposals to rescind key parts of the law. The resolution, which passed both chambers largely along partisan lines, makes no immediate changes to the law, but rather sets in motion the legislative process to repeal the ACA. Lawmakers have not announced details on the policies they intend to replace the ACA, but four key committees in Capitol Hill now have until January 27 to develop the legislative proposals to repeal and ultimately replace the law.

n4a has developed an issue brief that evaluates the implications that ACA repeal could have for older adults, caregivers and Aging Network entities—especially  AAAs and Title VI Native American aging programs—that serve these populations. We have also identified key issues and questions that Aging Network stakeholders and aging advocates should be asking their elected officials as ACA replacement proposals are discussed and introduced. Additionally, the issue brief highlights several comprehensive resources with more detailed information about the impacts that repealing the ACA could have on health care consumers and taxpayers.  

What Would ACA Repeal Mean for the Aging Network and Older Adults?  

Previous proposals to repeal the ACA have focused on both dismantling the federal insurance exchange Marketplace and rolling back state Medicaid expansion—particularly for low-income adults. However, ACA repeal proposals have also targeted both curbing efforts for delivery system reform promulgated through the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) within CMS and also eliminating funding for disease prevention and health promotion activities through the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF). Republicans crafting repeal proposals have also taken aim at efforts to rebalance state LTSS systems toward providing home and community-based options (HCBS). n4a details in our policy brief how each of these initiatives may affect both Aging Network agencies involved in ACA-driven driven programs and reforms and older adults.  

Additionally, while many older adults age 65 and over would not be directly affected by Marketplace or Medicaid changes in an ACA repeal and/or replacement effort, there are key coverage and financial protections that could be at risk in an ACA repeal. Specifically, n4a evaluates both what changes to Medicaid might mean for the pre-Medicare population ages 54 to 65 and how Medicare benefits and solvency might be affected by ACA repeal.  

Considerations for Policymakers in Developing ACA Replacement Proposals  

Details about both a timeline for ACA repeal/replacement, as well as specific policy proposals, are vague at this point. However, there are key considerations that stakeholders and advocates should be raising with lawmakers as they discuss both the implications for ACA repeal and the forthcoming replacement packages. n4a outlines a few key concerns and questions that we are asking lawmakers, and we encourage advocates to raise these questions as well.  

Primarily, Aging Network advocates should be asking both how ACA repeal efforts will preserve and continue to promote integration between health care and social services systems, as well as what lawmakers will do to continue to advance rebalancing efforts promoted through ACA.  

Next Steps in Health Care Reform and ACA Advocacy  

At this point there are many details still up in the air about exactly how Congress will move forward in reconsidering the ACA and any replacement provisions. National advocates, including n4a, remain focused on ensuring that Members of Congress understand the risks of repealing entrenched health care policy without sufficiently detailed replacement proposals. We encourage local agencies and advocates to echo these concerns to your Senators and Representatives, as well.  

It remains to be seen whether Congress—specifically the Senate—will have the votes necessary to pass a repeal package in the coming weeks. A legislative package to eliminate the ACA would not be subject to filibuster and would require only a simple majority vote in the Senate to move to then-President Trump’s desk for signature, although the anticipated timeline for ACA repeal and replacement remains notably ambitious. However, there are currently 10 Republican Senators who have expressed significant concerns with voting to repeal without a clear vision for replacement. More details on the Congressional budget and reconciliation processes that we expect to shepherd ACA repeal proposals are available in our recent n4a Legislative Update.  

We do know it is more critical than ever that local aging advocates weigh in with lawmakers and stress the need to protect key ACA provisions affecting older adults, caregivers and the Aging Network. We also encourage aging advocates to attend the 2017 n4a Aging Policy Briefing and Capitol Hill Day, April 3-4, to learn the latest in a rapidly changing landscape for aging and health care policy and to meet directly with your Members of Congress!  

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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.

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Weigh in on ACA Repeal Next Week!

advocacy.alert.benefit

Weigh in on ACA Repeal Next Week!

Call Congress Tuesday & Wednesday to Raise Concerns

January 27, 2017

As covered in our January 18 Legislative Update to members, one of the largest issues facing Congress right now is how exactly to repeal the Affordable Care Act and what exactly to replace it with (and when!).  

n4a’s recent Policy Brief, entitled “What Would ACA Repeal Mean for Older Adults, Caregivers and the Aging Network” details some of the programs at risk and issues at play. The Brief concludes with a list of questions for advocates to use when working with policymakers on any replacement legislation, as it’s important for all aging advocates to vocalize our concerns about ACA repeal.

As a first step, the Leadership Coalition of Aging Organizations (LCAO), of which n4a is an active member, is hosting two call-in days next week, sharing a toll-free number for all advocates to use to reach their Senators and Representatives.  

n4a encourages you to reach out to Congress on Tuesday or Wednesday (Jan. 31 and Feb. 1) and SHARE THIS ALERT WIDELY in your community to drive more calls.

Action Steps

1. STEP 1: On Tuesday or Wednesday, call 866-426-2631 and enter your zip code to be connected to your Senators’ and Representative’s offices.

Tell your Member of Congress why certain provisions in ACA are so important to older adults, people with disabilities and caregivers in your community!  

Here are some key talking points you may wish to use, but feel free to personalize your appeal with your own professional or personal experiences with the provisions in ACA that are critical to helping older adults, to mention local aging programs supported by the ACA or otherwise adapt your message.

    • Maintain successful programs in ACA that help seniors stay healthy, such as falls prevention and chronic disease self-management programs (funded by the ACA’s Prevention and Public Health Fund), care transitions innovations and multiple rebalancing efforts that create more home and community-based services.
    • Preserve Medicaid and Medicare for current and future older adults and people with disabilities.
      • Medicaid is the primary public source of funding for long-term services and supports and older adults and people with disabilities account for two-thirds of Medicaid spending. Program cuts, along with block grant or per capita cap proposals, would hurt people who have no alternative means of paying for essential services.
      • Medicare is a huge success story, with strong support from all Americans. Premium support and other restructuring proposals to shift more costs onto beneficiaries would make health care far less affordable and accessible to seniors and people with disabilities.

2. STEP 2: Engage your community! Please encourage your providers, advisory boards and partners, and consumers to take action by reaching out to Members in the House and the Senate today! 

(Note: If you don’t want to use the 1-800 number for any reason or want to call now or Monday, you can always use the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121 or send an email: www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.)

Thank you for your advocacy on this important issue! There will be more to come from n4a as ACA repeal and replace measures advance in the coming weeks and months.  

If you have questions or concerns about this Advocacy Alert or n4a’s policy positions, please contact Autumn Campbell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Amy Gotwals at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Illinois Aging Network Alert for January, 2017 (Not so Happy New Year Edition)

I4A Alert

Illinois Aging Network Alert

A 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

Unpredictable Budgets Lead to Real Loss to People

           At least 22,000 fell victim to the 2016 Budget Impasse

                                                 

Last year, Francis and Marcella, both in their 90s, testified in front of the Illinois House of Representatives advocating for the passage of a budget.  Since then, Marcella’s Meals on Wheels were reduced.  Francis saw the five day a week supports and services from her local senior center cut back. Francis depended on those services for a daily meal and transportation.  At age 90, it was as if she was told to find this help on her own! Below are preliminary statistics showing a number of people and services decreased in 2016.  Each one of these numbers represents people like Francis and Marcella.

lady in meeting

2 year Comparison of Seniors Served and Services provided

               Does not include all

                   Home/Comm. Services                                  Seniors Served                                                 Units of Service

              services provided n4a

          *Chicago Senior Services Area Agency on Aging data not included

Our state and country are experiencing unprecedented growth in the aging population.  Nine out of ten people over 65 want to stay in their homes as they age.  There is a financial benefit to taxpayers and return on investment inherent in supporting aging in place.  The cost of not offering this assistance is $1 for every $10 spent in a more restrictive environments such as a nursing home.  Investing in home and community based services are simple things that can help seniors age in place.

The statistics noted above are a telling story about Illinois and its ability to support its aging population.  This is the tip of the iceberg.  22,000 seniors impacted is low because not all services are included in this sample.  The Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging urges State government leaders to resolve their differences, enact a State Budget with sufficient revenues for FY 2017 to assure Illinois is a State that supports it seniors rather than a state which forces them out of their homes and into institutions. 

Don’t let budget unpredictability impact the lives of Illinois seniors again!

Distributed for I4A by:

Jonathan Lavin

Chief Executive Officer

AgeOptions

 

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