Date: June 21, 2017 | Category: News

A Missouri law that will eliminate about 64,000 Medicare recipients from the Missouri Rx prescription assistance program has prompted Care Connection for Aging Service’s options counselors to help a surge in clients who are losing coverage.
Effective July 1, Missouri Rx will no longer provide benefits for those with Medicare Part D or Advantage coverage only. The Missouri Rx Program will be offered only to those who enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid assistance.
“We have received an increased number of referrals as people are receiving written notices, and we are trying to answer the phone calls as promptly as we can,” said Rona McNally, Director of Special Projects for Care Connection.
Statewide, the change affects 64,000 people, who are receiving letters from the state notifying them of the coverage elimination this week. The program is expiring and has not been re-authorized Missouri General Assembly or governor.
Care Connection’s care managers and options counselors have been fielding phone calls from clients seeking alternate help to pay for medications. Care Connection works in partnership with CLAIM, the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, to provide free, unbiased insurance options counseling.
Only people who are losing Missouri Rx will be eligible for a special enrollment period for Medicare Part D plans. That enrollment period will be effective for two months after the expiration of coverage. Clients need to save their letters from Missouri Rx about the changes as proof of their special enrollment period eligibility.
Care Connection staff members can:
• Screen beneficiaries for extra help programs.
• Run a personalized computer search to ensure they know about their lowest-costs prescription options with a Medicare Part D plan or Medicare Advantage Plan with drug coverage.
• Make beneficiaries aware of alternative ways to get financial help for medications.
“If a new plan is not needed or the person is already in the best coverage available, we can try to find assistance programs that can help pay for some of the higher cost medications on their list,” Here are some of the patient assistance program websites:
www.rxassist.org – provides information and application links to assistance programs.
www.needymeds.org – provides information and application links to assistance programs.
www.rxoutreach.org — discount purchasing program website.
“If one of these programs does not work, the beneficiary could talk to his or her doctor or pharmacist about alternative, lower-cost medications to treat their conditions,” McNally said. “Also, some community health centers have sliding scale pharmacies with reduced prescription rates based on income. You would need to have at least one visit with one of the health center providers to be eligible for this assistance.”
Local community health centers can be found on the web at https://www.mo-pca.org/find-a-health-center.
Care Connection for Aging Services is an area agency on aging serving 13 West Central Missouri 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.

Date: June 19, 2017 | Category: News

Here is the July schedule for the Caregiver Teleconnection.

Date: June 14, 2017 | Category: News

Benton County residents were able to receive $132,674 in federal and state income tax returns and Missouri Property Tax Credits with the help of two volunteers from Care Connection for Aging Services.
Volunteers donated 196 hours to help seniors file 147 federal tax and 232 state tax returns, as well as 21 applications for the Missouri Property Tax Credit.
The volunteers worked through Care Connection’s Warsaw Senior Center in Harbor Village and Cole Camp Senior Center.
In all, Care Connection had 25 volunteers in its area who donated 1,394 hours to help 1,575 people in 13 West Central Missouri counties receive a total of $974,546 through its tax assistance program in 2017.
“This is important to the seniors individually, but the $132,674 is an incredible amount of money for the community, whether it is saved or used for goods and services,” said Care Connection Director of Tax Assistance Kathy Ray-Smith. “For the individuals receiving the property tax credit, a lot of them plan all year what they might spend that refund on, whether it be on improvements on homes, eyeglasses and dentures, or maybe to pay off a bill.”

Date: June 13, 2017 | Category: News

Care Connection understands how difficult it can be to navigate through personal finances, so we have created a monthly series called “Financial Focus.” We will feature different areas of personal finance and offer tips and information that you can use. This month we focus on the different types of debts and how to choose which ones to pay first. This information comes from the National Consumer Law Center.
There are two categories of debts: secured debts and unsecured debts. Secured debts are loans in which creditors have collateral for your loan. They know that if you do not pay, they can take the collateral from you and sell it to get their money. Loans in which creditors have no collateral are often referred to as “unsecured.” It is usually hard for these creditors to collect what they are owed unless you pay voluntarily. Because of this, unsecured debt collectors are usually very forceful and tend to harass people who are unable to pay. It is important not to let debt collection harassment force you to make decisions in the moment that may hurt you later. It is important to make your own choices about which debts to pay first based on what is best for you and your family.
Here are some tips on choosing which debts to pay first: Always pay family necessities first. This usually includes food and immediate medical expenses that are required up front for service. Next pay your housing-related bills. This includes your mortgage or rent and real estate taxes and insurance. Pay the minimum required to keep essential utility service. Pay car loans or leases next if you need to keep your car, and pay on any income tax debts you may owe. Loans without collateral are low priority. Do NOT move debt up in priority because a collector threatens to sue. Many threats to sue are not carried out. If they are, it will take a while for the collector to be able to seize your property, and much of your property may be exempt from seizure. On the other hand, nonpayment of rent, mortgage, and car debts may result in immediate loss of your home or car.
However you decide to prioritize your debts, be sure to make decisions that are best for you and your family. Do not let the pressure of a debt collector influence your decision. Care Connection has more information on debt collection, and are happy to share. Just call us at 1-800-748-7826 or ask our senior center staff.

Date: June 13, 2017 | Category: News

The Clinton Senior Center will be closed on June 27 for repairs. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Date: June 6, 2017 | Category: News

Cedar County residents were able to receive more than $94,000 in federal and state income tax returns and Missouri Property Tax Credits with the help of three volunteers from Care Connection for Aging Services.
Volunteers Lewis Carnes, Jim Olson and Dixie Nixon donated 99 hours to help seniors file federal tax and state tax returns as well as applications for the Missouri Property Tax Credit.
The volunteers worked through Care Connection’s Korth Center in Stockton and the El Dorado Springs Senior Center.
The Progress Club of El Dorado Springs donated $200 to pay for printer ink and paper for the program, which operated in Cedar County.
“The Progress Club contribution was important because they did underwrite all of the supplies for the volunteers for the whole county,” said Kathy Ray Smith, who directs the tax assistance program for Care Connection.
Care Connection Care Manager Melanie Shinn, a member of the Progress Club, made its 19 members aware of the need for the funding.
“We are very supportive of the community and the county,” said Progress Club President Susie Bruce said. “It’s good to give back.”
The club’s main fundraiser is its sale of Memorial Day flowers.
In all, Care Connection had 26 volunteers who donated 1,394 hours to help people in 13 West Central Missouri counties receive a total of $974,546 through its tax assistance program in 2017.
In Cedar, the volunteers donated 99 hours to assist with 31 federal tax returns, 47 state returns and 84 state property tax credit applications, Ray-Smith said. The resulting total refunds were $94,366.
“This is important to the seniors individually, but the $94,000 is an incredible amount of money for the community, whether it is saved or used for goods and services,” Ray-Smith said. “For the individuals receiving the property tax credit, a lot of them plan all year what they might spend that refund on, whether it be on improvements on homes, eyeglasses and dentures, or maybe to pay off a bill.”
Care Connection’s staff can help file Missouri Property Tax Credit applications year round. Call 1-800-748-7826 for more information.

Event Date: June 28, 2017 Event Time: Noon Event Location: Sedalia Senior Center, 312 S. Massachusetts, Sedalia

Free, informative presentation meant for people becoming eligible for and those new to Medicare — including those who are retiring and those who will continue to work. Lunch will be available for a contribution for those 60 and older and for the cost of the meal for others. To register, call Stacey at 1-800-748-7826.

Event Date: June 28, 2017 Event Time: 9 a.m. to noon Event Location: Cole Camp Senior Center at 206 W. Junge St. in Cole Camp

Are you concerned about memory loss? Want to find out how your memory is now and for future comparison?
Care Connection for Aging Services will conduct free, confidential memory screenings.
The National Memory Screening Program is an initiative of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

Event Date: June 30, 2017 Event Time: 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Event Location: RIVERS CROSSING LIFE CENTER 5215 BUSINESS HWY 13 Ne

Come out, and enjoy a delicious Cajun style dinner with a menu of gumbo, red beans and rice, and french bread. Donations will be accepted, and all proceeds go to the home-delivered meal program in St. Clair County.

Event Date: July 18, 2017 Event Time: 9 a.m. Event Location: Sedalia Senior Center, 312 S. Washington, Sedalia, MO

Representatives from the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office will discuss the new voter identification law and the rights and responsibilities of voters. The program will be at the Sedalia Senior Center at 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 18. It’s free and open to the public.

Event Date: July 18, 2017 Event Time: Noon Event Location: Warrensburg Senior Center, 445 E. Gay, Warrensburg

A Medicare 101 presentation geared toward those new to Medicare, whether they are retiring or continuing to work. This will be a free, informative session. Lunch is available. Call Stacey at 1-800-748-7826 to make your reservation.

Event Date: July 20, 2017 Event Time: Noon Event Location: McCarty Senior Center, Wheatland, Mo.

A Medicare 101 presentation geared toward those new to Medicare, whether they are retiring or continuing to work. This will be a free, informative session. Lunch is available. Call Stacey at 1-800-748-7826 to make your reservation.

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