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Public Policy Priorities


2019 Public Policy Goals

As advocates, the 11 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) in Kansas, collectively serve all 105 counties in the state.  To meet the needs of Kansans requesting long term services and supports, the AAAs advocate for the following:

Senior Care Act. Thank you for restoring this important safety net for seniors.

Support of the Senior Care Act (SCA) program. The SCA program is a "smart dollar" common sense program:

  • State funded Senior Care Act services help keep people in their homes.  The SCA provides basic care such as attendant care, homemaker, case management and respite care.  These services are essential if Kansans are to stay in their communities, keep buying local goods and avoid or delay more costly services - such as nursing facility care or HCBS Frail Elderly services.
  • State funded Senior Care Act services help keep people off of Medicaid (KanCare).  Without funding for SCA services, seniors will do without services or apply for Medicaid (KanCare.) The FE waiver costs the State of Kansas much more than SCA monthly costs.  Once seniors enter nursing facilities, most spend down their resources and become Medicaid (KanCare) eligible within two years. The cost difference is $200 per month for SCA services compared to about $3,000 per month for care in a facility.
  • The Senior Care Act is based on a sliding scale fee. This means SCA customers pay for a portion of the services that they receive based on their income.

KanCare.  Thank you for providing funds to restore Case Management.

Administrative Case Management dollars in the KDADS’s budget will rebuild the bridge between Kansans applying for Medicaid (KanCare) and three of the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers:  Frail Elderly, Physical Disability, and Brain Injury.

With the implementation of KanCare in 2013, the critical service of Targeted Case Management (TCM) was eliminated for three waiver populations - Frail Elderly, Physical Disability and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Eliminating TCM for these three populations created a significant gap that needed to be filled. Administrative Case Management in the KDADS’s budget will rebuild the bridge.

Protected Income Level

Increase the Medicaid (KanCare) Protected Income Level (PIL) for HCBS. By increasing the PIL for the seven HCBS populations, individuals will be able to keep more of their income to cover the cost of rent, transportation, food and other important social determinants.

Adequate Nutrition

Full funding of the Nutrition program. Thank you for additional nutrition funds in 2019. We support current nutrition funding levels for seniors and people with disabilities. State dollars for nutrition services are highly leveraged with funding from federal and local sources and with donations from nutrition participants.  Also, hundreds of volunteers provide thousands of hours of service throughout the state.  These volunteers help keep nutrition program budgets in check despite increasing demand.

Employment Opportunities for Older Kansans

Continue to Grow the Older Kansans Employment Program (OKEP). Thank you for additional OKEP funds in 2019.  OKEP provides skills and career assessment, job-matching, specialized training and job search assistance to Kansans age 55 and older regardless of their income and facilitates the development of job opportunities for older Kansans in private industry.

AND

We support expansion of KanCare. Seniors below age 65 may find themselves without health insurance coverage for many reasons.  Caregivers of seniors and individuals with disabilities may also find themselves uninsured.

We support authorization of Dental Therapists in Kansas. Hundreds of thousands of Kansans lack access to dental care. Vulnerable Kansans – seniors, people with disabilities and children – are particularly affected.

We support and advocate for today’s seniors to maintain Medicare, as we know it. We also support future Medicare beneficiaries receiving today’s coverage and not being forced into private plans.

We support the step therapy efforts. We support the goal of making step therapy/”fail-first” protocols more reasonable, transparent and patient -and healthcare provider- friendly.

 

For Inquiries:

https://www.k4ad.org/area-agencies-on-aging/AAA%20Directory.pdf

Leslie Anderson, AAA Advocate and ADRC Administrator at 785-267-1336; leslie@k4ad.org

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