Oct 25

Silver Haired Legislature names top priorities

Date: October 25, 2016 | Category: News

The 43rd annual Silver Haired Legislature (SHL) has named its top five priorities for the 2017 session of the Missouri General Assembly.
Here are the priorities in order of importance:
• The Senior Services Growth and Development Fund. This fund would provide increased money for senior services without adding a tax or adding new governmental agencies. A small percentage of taxes already collected on insurance policies would be used to create the fund. The money would be distributed to Area Agencies on Aging (including Care Connection) through the state Department of Health and Senior Services.
• Increased funding for home-delivered and congregate meals in senior centers. The measure calls for a $3 million increase from the state general fund to go to the 10 Area Agencies on Aging, based on the number of meals each serves.
• Medicaid (MO HealthNet) Expansion. The measure could mean that 250,000 Missourians would gain medical insurance coverage.
• Financial assistance to seniors for medically necessary hearing aids, vision service and dental care through MO HealthNet (Medicaid). In most cases, Medicare and Medicaid do not cover such services.
• Reauthorization of funding for MoRx, which covers 50 percent of out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs for income-eligible Medicare beneficiaries. The program is set to expire next August and serves 242,000 people.
Some 118 delegates met at the conference of the Silver Haired Legislature at the State Capitol in Jefferson City on Oct. 18, 19, and 20.
Missouri’s Silver Haired Legislature was founded in 1973, the first in the nation after the Older Americans Act was amended to include advocacy groups. The SHL is composed of 15 volunteers from each of the 10 statewide area agencies on aging, including Care Connection for Aging Services. These 150 senior advocates, elected by their peers, identify and advocate for issues critical to older Missourians.
Care Connection for Aging Services, a non-profit area agency on aging serving West Central Missouri, operates 22 senior centers in 13 counties — including Bates, Benton, Carroll, Cedar, Chariton, Henry, Hickory, Johnson, Lafayette, Pettis, Saline, St. Clair and Vernon. Its mission is to provide resources and services that empower people to create healthy aging experiences. For more information, call 1-800-748-7826 or email us at information@goaging.org.