Senior Outreach Information and Assistance
The Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging (MNRAAA) provides seniors, their family members and professionals locate the services they need. A directory of local and regional organizations and service providers for senior services is maintained and updated constantly. The primary access to this information is by calling the Senior LinkAge Line® at: 1-800-333-2433. Senior services can also be found on the Internet at www.minnesotahelp.info. When an individual needs one on one assistance, the Information and Referral Specialist will see to it that a Senior Outreach Specialist, or a trained volunteer gets in contact with the individual.
The Senior LinkAge Line® is a free statewide telephone information, referral, and assistance service provided through the Minnesota Board on Aging. By calling the Senior LinkAge Line ®, the caller is connected with a Information and Referral Specialist who can determine the available service options in their community of interest.
A sampling of some of the information and assistance that can be provided to those who call the Senior LinkAge Line®: Chore Services, Transportation, Nutrition Services, Housing, Legal/Financial Services, Caregiver Support, In-home services, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Employment/Volunteer Opportunities, Support Groups, and Other Services
Please call the Senior LinkAge Line® if you also need assistance with Individual/Community Education, Medical Insurance Counseling, and Prescription Drug Expenses.
MNRAAA utilizes the Slayton office for providing staff for the Senior LinkAge Line®. Senior Outreach Specialists are located within each of the three MNRAAA offices located within the 27 county service area.
As was mentioned above, community resources can also be found on www.MinnesotaHelp.info. It is an online directory of services designed to help people in Minnesota identify resources such as human services, information and referral, financial assistance, and othr forms of aid and assistance within Minnesota. It is especially rich in resource information for seniors and their caregivers; people with disabilities and their caregivers; parents and families; and low income people.
Also available on www.MinnesotaHelp.info is a tool entitled “Long Term Care Choices”. It is a tool for seniors, families and caregivers who are looking for a way to determine what their needs may be, than connect the user to the appropriate resources and have a plan created for them on their needs identified.
MNRAAA’s Senior Outreach Specialists provide one-to-one information and assistance to older adults, caregivers, and persons with disabilities enrolled in Medicare. Examples of staff assistance include answering questions you have regarding Medicare enrollment, Medicare Advantage Plans, Part D Enrollment, health insurance, and billing issues. Please contact the Senior LinkAge Line® at 1-800-333-2433 to be connected to this one-to-one assistance. The Senior Outreach Specialists also conduct public education, advocate on behalf of older persons, and provide in home assessments and education for elders to help prevent injury within the home environment.
Senior Outreach Specialists must complete specialized training and become certified. The positions are filled by individuals who, at a minimum, have a Baccalaureate degree from an accredited program of social work, gerontology, or a related human services field.
RxConnect™ is a service that connects persons with the prescription drugs they need. The service is administered by the Minnesota Board on Aging and provided locally through the Senior LinkAge
(1-800-333-2433). The program was implemented in October of 2003 as a result of the 2003 State Legislative Session. The RxConnect™ program provides the information and assistance needed to make informed decisions regarding affordable prescription drugs. The program assists people, regardless of age, to access the best options for affordable medications, including discount cards and patient assistance programs offered by pharmaceutical manufacturers. Most patient assistance programs have both income and asset guidelines.
Medicare Yearly "Wellness" Exam
If you’ve had Medicare Part B for longer than 12 months, you can get a yearly wellness visit to develop or update a personalized prevention plan based on your current health and risk factors. The exam is covered once every 12 months and you pay nothing if your doctor accepts Medicare assignment. Exam includes the following:
- Review of medical and family history
- A list of current providers and prescriptions
- Height, weight, blood pressure, and other routine measurements
- A screening schedule for appropriate preventative services
- A list of risk factors and treatment options for you
When you schedule your exam, it is important that you ask for a “Medicare Wellness Exam” and not a “Medicare Physical”. Original Medicare does not cover an annual physical and you could be responsible to pay the entire cost. Some supplement policies and Medicare Health plans cover physicals. Check with your insurance provider to determine whether a physical is covered under your plan.
Call the Senior LinkAge Line®: A One Stop Shop for Minnesota Seniors at 1-800-333-2433 for more information on how we can help. The Senior LinkAge Line® is a free service of the Minnesota Board on Aging and Area Agencies on Aging Specialists provide one-to-one assistance with helping older adults age well, as well as all Medicare and health insurance issues as the Senior LinkAge Line® is the federally-designated State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for Minnesota. Call 1-800-333-2433 for assistance or go to www.MinnesotaHelp.info® to chat live with a Senior LinkAge Line® specialist.
Health Insurance Counseling
Please call the Senior LinkAge Line® at 1-800-333-2433 to be linked with a trained Health Insurance Counselor in your area. Thus, if you need assistance with medical bills, insurance claims, understanding medical coverage issues, paying for your prescriptions, or other health insurance counseling matters let our Health Insurance Counselors assist you.
The purpose of the Health Insurance Counseling Program is to serve Medicare Beneficiaries of all ages by assisting them, through individualized counseling and assistance, to obtain appropriate health care coverage and entitled Medicare/Medicaid or medical insurance benefits. The program also serves to educate the public about the health care reimbursement system.
The program serves people age 60 and older, Medicare beneficiaries of all ages and anyone needing prescription assistance. What the program will not do is recommend a specific insurance policy, offer legal advice or make decisions for you.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer health insurance counselor who provides one-to-one assistance to people with Medicare, please contact the LinkAge Line ®. You will receive appropriate training to be able to carry out your counseling duties.