Adult and Disability Resource Center
Southwest Montana Aging and Disability Services is a single point of entry into the long-term care services and supports system for older adults, adults with disabilities, caregivers and families. Our trained counselors help individuals and families identify their service and support needs, understand the options available to them and assist them to obtain those services. The goal of the Information and Assistance Program, I&A, under an Adult and Disability Resource Center is to provide education about the full range of available options, provide objective information, advice, counseling and assistance, empower people to make informed decisions and help them access public and private programs that will meet their needs.
The Southwest Montana Aging and Disability Services initiative is to improve access to long-term care services and supports so that an individual can receive the right service, at the right time and in the right setting. These services are person-centered and directed by the individual receiving the service. We implement two strategies to ensure that individuals avoid crisis situations or unnecessary institutional care by providing Options Counseling and helping to streamline the eligibility determination processes.
The Options Counselor utilizes a facilitated decision-support process which helps people weigh the pros and cons of various options available regarding long term care planning. The counselor can connect people to local resources that may meet their needs, as well as helping them access public benfits for which they may qualify. To make this program sustainable there is a charge of $50 per hour which includes a needs assessment, development of an action plan and follow-up to ensure that needs are met. The Options Cunselor will also help to implement the action plan if requested. Continued plan management is available upon request at a rate of $25/hr and cost sharing arrangements may be made for those who would struggle with the fees.
STREAMLINING ELIGIBILITY DETERMINATION:
Our counselors have access to a state-wide data base that allows us to fill out applications for up to eleven different programs such as Medicaid, LIEAP, SNAP, transportation and housing. We also screen Medicare beneficiaries for the Low Income Subsidy under Medicare Part D and the Medicare Savings Program which helps low-income individuals pay for their Medicare premiums and deductibles.
STATE HEALTH INSURANCE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM, (SHIP)
Southwest Montana Aging and Disability Services participates in the nation-wide State Health Insurance Assistance Program or SHIP. Under this program counselors are trained and certified to explain Medicare benefits, help beneficiaries find and enroll in Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plans, provide information on Medicare Supplemental Plans and are educated about how retirement and veterans health plans work with Medicare. SHIP counselors provide unbiased information about Medicare so the beneficiary can make an informed decision regarding their coverage. Available SHIP counselors in the area include three agency staff people, four contracted staff persons and six volunteers.
SENIOR MEDICARE PATROL, (SMP)
The Senior Medicare Patrol program recruits and trains volunteers to educate beneficiaries about their Medicare Benefits so they can help stop waste, fraud and abuse within the system. SMP volunteers demonstrate how to read a Medicare Summary Notice, provide ways to track medical appointments and teach how to manage health care information.
SMP volunteers can perform administrative duties for the program, provide educational outreach and/or counsel beneficiaries. The goal of the program is to empower Medicare beneficiaries to monitor their benefits in order to make sure that there are no descrepencies and be conscious of any billing errors.
LONG TERM CARE OMBUDSMAN
The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program provides advocacy for residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The Ombudsman works to resolve issues between residents and staff, family conflicts, plan of care concerns, transition assistance and financial options.
The Ombudsman works with Medicaid Waiver, Adult Protective Services, Licensing and Certification as well as other agencies in the community who are available to assist residents in obtaining a full range of care.
COMMODITY SUPPLEMENTAL FOOD PROGRAM, (CSFP)
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program is a federally funded program that provides food boxes for low-income individuals. Eligible participants must be 60 years of age or older, have an income below $1,316.00 a month for a single person or $1,784.00 for a couple, be a resident of the county where the program is offered and they cannot reside in an assisted living facility or nursing home. Commodities include canned fruits and vegetables, pasta, juice, milk products, canned meat, cereal and peanut butter or dry beans.
Southwest Montana Aging and Disability Services manages this program in Silver Bow County, but the program is also available in Beaverhead, Deer Lodge, Granite and Powell Counties.