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  Agenda Item # 9.C.       
Alamo Senior Advisory Committee
Meeting Date: 11/16/2017  
Benefits Counseling Report

TITLE:
Information Referral, Access, Intake and Benefits Counseling
 
PROGRAM REPORT:

Information Referral and Assistance:

The IR&A, Access and Intake and Benefits Counseling Group (the Group) provides IR&A services  incidental to the main tasks of providing intake services for the Agency’s Care Coordination group and for providing benefits counseling services pertaining to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.   A tabulation of calls received by both the Alamo Service Connection and the Group is included below.       
 

The  2018 Guide to Helpful Resources and Information is now available. Please call or E-mail Dan at 210-362-5567 dgoetz@aacog.com and I will have copies ready for you to pick up on the 16th.     
    
Access and Intake:
 

Callers with non-benefits counseling issues are received at the Alamo Service Connection (ASC) at 1-866-231-4922. Callers concerned with benefits counseling issues call the Agency directly at 210-362-5561 or toll free at 1-800-252-9240.
 

The Group receives referrals from the ASC and Long Term Supports and Services (LTSS) on-line system. Inquiring parties receive counseling with regard to available long term care services as requested by the caller or on the behalf of a loved one. The Group has the means to help older adults who are eligible for Long Term Medicaid to find the “no-cost”  services they need to remain in their own homes.    When services are available, the caller will receive assistance through the agency’s care coordination team. If appropriate, callers may be referred for private pay options.  
 
Benefits Counseling Program:
 

Benefits counseling services are provided through MIPPA, Title III of the Older American’s Act and the Administration for Community Living grants. The Group has met its performance goals for 2017, both in terms of the number of people served and the staffs’ average hourly rate.       
 

MIPPA  (Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act)
This grant is now funded through September of 2018.  A close out report for 2017 and initial report for 2018 have been provided to the Office of Area Agencies on Aging. The focus for the 2018 grant year will be MIPPA benefits enrollment and preventative care services not available through Medicare. If awarded the benefits, individuals or couples whose income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level could save significant amounts of money on medications and Medicare out of pocket expenses.     
 

COMMUNITY PARTNERS
The Alamo AAA is a Community Partner (CPP) with Texas Health and Human Services. As a result of this partnership, the Group is receiving more inquiries concerning enrollment into Medicaid, especially Medicaid for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities (MEPD).  All members of the Group are certified CPP Navigators. A new table computer is available for Navigators to use in the field to assist individuals to enroll into Medicaid benefits.  
 

Medicare
This grant is funded with State and Federal funds including a grant awarded by the Administration for Community Living (ACL).    The ACL grant will extent through March of 2018. Important information concerning Texas’ benefits counseling program was received by the State Unit on Aging (Office of Area Agencies on Aging) in July. Upon reviewing Texas’ grant application, the ACL found Texas AAAs were spending ACL funds on non-Medicare services such as the preparation of advance directives or assistance with appeals. These services are allowable only under Older American Act Title III (OAA-III) awards. A corrective action plan was issued to HHSC from ACL to implement updated service definitions (units) and how funds are processed from AAA's to HHSC. Alamo AAA is adhering to HHSC new requirements and is in the process of implementing how staff members enter units and processing of funds.  
 

Medicare Annual Open Enrollment

Counseling services for Medicare Open Enrollment are well underway. In addition to scheduling a one-on-one counseling session, Medicare members may call 210-362-5561 or toll free 1-800-252-9240.  

Open Enrollment ends Thursday, December 7, 2017. 
 

Scheduled Events at Counseling Sites: 

November 2017
11/01 – Driscoll Library – Devine TX – 11 am -2 pm
11/02 – Golden Hub Senior Center – Fredericksburg TX – 10 am-1 pm
11/02--  Evergreen Villa- Fredericksburg TX – 2:30 – 4 pm
11/03 – Castroville Library – Castroville TX 10 am -1 pm
11/06 – Hondo Library – Hondo TX 10 am – 1 pm
11/07 – Natalia Library – 12 noon – 3 pm
11/08 – Lakehills Civic Center – Lakehills TX – 11 am – 1 pm
11/08 – Pearsall Senior Center- Pearsall TX – 9 am - Noon
11/09 - Silver Sage Sr Center -  Bandera TX 10 am – 1 pm
11/10 – Seguin Silver Sr Center – Seguin TX – 10 am – 1 pm
11/13 – Poteet Library – Poteet TX – 10 – 2 pm
11/14 – Pleasanton Library – Pleasanton TX – 10 am -1 pm
11/14 – Dietert Sr Center – Kerrville TX  - 9 am – 3 pm (Claudia)
11/14 – Tye Preston Library – Canyon Lake TX – 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
11/15 – Wilson Cty Library – Floresville TX – 10 am – 2 pm
11/15 – Towne Park Apartments – Fredericksburg TX 10 am – 1 pm
11/16 – Dilley Library – Dilley TX – 10 am – 1 pm
11/16 – Dietert Sr Center – Kerrville TX 9 am – 3 pm (Claudia)
11/17 - Karnes Public Library – Kenedy TX – 10 am – 2 pm
11/20 – Golden Age Senior Center – Comfort TX – 10 am – 1 pm
11/21 – Bandera Library – Bandera TX – 10 am – 1 pm
11/22 – Comal Senior Center – New Braunfels TX 9:30 – 1:00 pm
11/27 – Medina Nutrition Center – Hondo TX  10 am – 2 pm
11/28 – Floresville Sr Center – Floresville TX  - 11 am – 1 pm
11/29 – McMullen Court House – Tilden TX 10 am – 2 pm
December 2017
12/01 – Castroville Library – Castroville TX 10 am – 1 pm
12/04 - Hondo Library – Hondo TX -  10 am – 1pm
12/05 – Pleasanton Library – Pleasanton TX - 10 am – 1 pm
12/05 – Dietert Sr Center – Kerrville TX 9 am – 12:30 pm (Claudia)
12/07 – Golden Hub Sr Center – Fredericksburg TX 10 am – 1 pm

Boerne Library (please call 210-362-5561 to schedule an appointment with Mrs. Gaylia Kelley)
Pearsall Court House (Ms. Sara Pichardo-  830-334-8766)
Registration information is available at each site.     
  
 

Alamo Service Connection (ASC) an Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC)
 

The mission for the ADRCs is to serve as a highly visible, trusted resource for assistance with access to the full range of community-based Long Term Support and Service (LTSS) options via a “no wrong door” model for all individuals regardless of age, income and disability.   The ASC can be reached at 855-937-2372.    
 

Summary Report of ASC and Alamo Area Agency on Aging
Calls received by County (including contacts made directly to the Alamo AAA) 

  Aug '17 Sep '17 Oct '17 Total Average
Atascosa 78 50 50 178 59
Bandera 12 18 19 49 16
Comal 77 64 70 211 70
Frio 16 9 12 37 12
Gillespie 4 15 22 41 14
Guadalupe 101 81 103 285 95
Karnes 16 26 16 58 19
Kendall 21 22 19 62 21
Kerr 40 36 34 110 37
McMullen 0 0 0 0 0
Medina 44 31 44 119 40
Wilson 39 20 49 108 36
Total 448 372 438 1258 419
CONTACT INFORMATION:
Daniel W. Goetz, LMSW-AP
dgoetz@aacog.com
210-362-5567
 

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