Saturday, May 26 , 2018, 1:42 pm | Fair 67º


Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council Discusses Issues Afflicting Seniors at Recent Meeting

The advisory council of the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens, Area Agency on Aging, voted to request Congresswoman Capps and Senators Boxer and Feinstein to investigate the implementation of the mental health parity law.

“The Area Agency on Aging advisory council learned at its meeting that implementation of the 2008 law to achieve parity for mental health care has been unevenly implemented by health insurance companies,” stated Barry Marks, chair, AAA advisory council. "The members support the law passed by Congress in 2008 and want to see that its implementation by the health insurance industry and the government achieves the goal of parity.”

Many older adults face inequality in their healthcare, simply because low payouts from Medicare result in being turned away from the services they need.

“Medicare is one of America’s most important health programs, providing health insurance for millions of older adults and persons with disabilities," Marks said. “For Medicare beneficiaries it can be very difficult to secure mental health care in this two county region. Practitioners find the Medicare payment extremely low, and as a result many will not accept Medicare payment. The result is that needed mental health care for Medicare beneficiaries is not accessible.”

The AAA advisory council notes upsides from their most recent meeting.

“In addition, at their August meeting the council learned that the distribution of senior farmers market coupons to low income older persons is proceeding well. The council is sponsoring two more distributions at the farmers market in the City of San Luis Obispo on Aug. 29 and in the City of Arroyo Grande on Aug. 19,” Marks said.

“Additionally, the Council is looking for new members who are interested in issues affecting older adults,” concluded Marks. “This is an opportunity to work with others to review and discuss issues affecting older persons and advocating on behalf of older persons.”

For additional information contact Barry Marks or AAA Director Joyce Ellen Lippman, AAA Director at 805.925.9554 or 1.800.510.2020.

— Joyce Ellen Lippman is the director of the Area Agency on Aging.


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