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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

256.975 Minnesota Board on Aging.

Subdivision 1. Creation. There is created a Minnesota Board on Aging consisting of 25 members to be appointed by the governor. At least one member shall be appointed from each congressional district and the remaining members shall be appointed at large. No member shall be appointed for more than two consecutive terms of four years each. In making appointments, the governor shall give consideration to individuals having a special interest in aging, and so far as practicable, shall include persons affiliated with agriculture, labor, industry, education, social work, health, housing, religion, recreation, and voluntary citizen groups, including senior citizens.

The governor shall designate the chair. Other officers, including vice-chair and secretary, shall be elected by the board members.

Subd. 1a. Removal; vacancies. The membership terms, compensation, removal of members, and filling of vacancies on the board shall be as provided in section 15.0575.

Subd. 2. Duties. The board shall carry out the following duties:

(a) to advise the governor and heads of state departments and agencies regarding policy, programs, and services affecting the aging;

(b) to provide a mechanism for coordinating plans and activities of state departments and citizens' groups as they pertain to aging;

(c) to create public awareness of the special needs and potentialities of older persons;

(d) to gather and disseminate information about research and action programs, and to encourage state departments and other agencies to conduct needed research in the field of aging;

(e) to stimulate, guide, and provide technical assistance in the organization of local councils on aging;

(f) to provide continuous review of ongoing services, programs and proposed legislation affecting the elderly in Minnesota;

(g) to administer and to make policy relating to all aspects of the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended, including implementation thereof; and

(h) to award grants, enter into contracts, and adopt rules the Minnesota Board on Aging deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.

Subd. 3. Policy. The board shall recommend to the state legislature no later than January 1, 1977, a proposed state policy for citizens dependent on long term care and services. The proposed state policy shall address, but need not be limited to, the following:

(a) Developing alternatives to institutionalization in long term care facilities and other programs which will assist each citizen dependent on long term care and services to maintain the highest level of self-sufficiency and independence which the citizen's mental and physical condition allows;

(b) Developing methods for ensuring citizens dependent on long term care and services an effective voice in determining which programs and services are made available to them;

(c) Protecting citizens dependent on long term care and services from unnecessary governmental interference in private and personal affairs; and

(d) Informing citizens dependent on long term care and services of the programs and services for which they are eligible.

Subd. 4. Home-delivered meals. The Board on Aging shall take appropriate action to secure reimbursement from public and private medical care programs, health plans, and health insurers for home-delivered meals that are a necessary part of medical treatment for the elderly.

Subd. 5. Programs for senior citizens and handicapped persons. Any sums collected under section 325F.71 must be deposited into the state treasury and credited to the account of the state Board on Aging. The money credited to the account of the state Board on Aging is annually appropriated to the state board on aging and shall be expended for the following purposes:

(1) to prepare and distribute educational materials to inform senior citizens, handicapped persons, and the public regarding consumer protection laws and consumer rights that are of particular interest to senior citizens and handicapped persons; or

(2) to underwrite educational seminars and other forms of educational projects for the benefit of senior citizens and handicapped persons.

Subd. 6. Indian elders position. The Minnesota Board on Aging shall create an Indian elders coordinator position, and shall hire staff as appropriations permit for the purposes of coordinating efforts with the National Indian Council on Aging and developing a comprehensive statewide service system for Indian elders. An Indian elder is defined for purposes of this subdivision as an Indian enrolled in a band or tribe who is 55 years or older. The statewide service system must include the following components:

(1) an assessment of the program eligibility, examining the need to change the age-based eligibility criteria to need-based eligibility criteria;

(2) a planning system that would grant or make recommendations for granting federal and state funding for services;

(3) a plan for service focal points, senior centers, or community centers for socialization and service accessibility for Indian elders;

(4) a plan to develop and implement education and public awareness campaigns including awareness programs, sensitivity cultural training, and public education on Indian elder needs;

(5) a plan for information and referral services including trained advocates and an Indian elder newsletter;

(6) a plan for a coordinated health care system including health promotion/prevention, in-home service, long-term care service, and health care services;

(7) a plan for ongoing research involving Indian elders including needs assessment and needs analysis;

(8) information and referral services for legal advice or legal counsel; and

(9) a plan to coordinate services with existing organizations including the Council of Indian Affairs, the Minnesota Indian Council of Elders, the Minnesota Board on Aging, and tribal governments.

Subd. 7. Consumer information and assistance; senior linkage. (a) The Minnesota Board on Aging shall operate a statewide information and assistance service to aid older Minnesotans and their families in making informed choices about long-term care options and health care benefits. Language services to persons with limited English language skills may be made available. The service, known as Senior LinkAge Line, must be available during business hours through a statewide toll-free number and must also be available through the Internet.

(b) The service must assist older adults, caregivers, and providers in accessing information about choices in long-term care services that are purchased through private providers or available through public options. The service must:

(1) develop a comprehensive database that includes detailed listings in both consumer- and provider-oriented formats;

(2) make the database accessible on the Internet and through other telecommunication and media-related tools;

(3) link callers to interactive long-term care screening tools and make these tools available through the Internet by integrating the tools with the database;

(4) develop community education materials with a focus on planning for long-term care and evaluating independent living, housing, and service options;

(5) conduct an outreach campaign to assist older adults and their caregivers in finding information on the Internet and through other means of communication;

(6) implement a messaging system for overflow callers and respond to these callers by the next business day;

(7) link callers with county human services and other providers to receive more in-depth assistance and consultation related to long-term care options; and

(8) link callers with quality profiles for nursing facilities and other providers developed by the commissioner of health.

(c) The Minnesota Board on Aging shall conduct an evaluation of the effectiveness of the statewide information and assistance, and submit this evaluation to the legislature by December 1, 2002. The evaluation must include an analysis of funding adequacy, gaps in service delivery, continuity in information between the service and identified linkages, and potential use of private funding to enhance the service.

Subd. 8. Promotion of long-term care insurance. Within the limits of appropriations specifically for this purpose, the Minnesota Board on Aging, either directly or through contract, shall promote the provision of employer-sponsored, long-term care insurance. The board shall encourage private and public sector employers to make long-term care insurance available to employees, provide interested employers with information on the long-term care insurance product offered to state employees, and provide technical assistance to employers in designing long-term care insurance products and contacting companies offering long-term care insurance products.

Subd. 9. Prescription drug assistance. (a) The Minnesota Board on Aging shall establish and administer a prescription drug assistance program to assist individuals in accessing programs offered by pharmaceutical manufacturers that provide free or discounted prescription drugs or provide coverage for prescription drugs. The board shall use computer software programs to:

(1) list eligibility requirements for pharmaceutical assistance programs offered by manufacturers;

(2) list drugs that are included in a supplemental rebate contract between the commissioner and a pharmaceutical manufacturer under section 256.01, subdivision 2, clause (23); and

(3) link individuals with the pharmaceutical assistance programs most appropriate for the individual. The board shall make information on the prescription drug assistance program available to interested individuals and health care providers and shall coordinate the program with the statewide information and assistance service provided through the Senior LinkAge Line under subdivision 7.

(b) The board shall work with the commissioner and county social service agencies to coordinate the enrollment of individuals who are referred to the prescription drug assistance program from the prescription drug program, as required under section 256.955, subdivision 4a.

HIST: 1961 c 466 s 1,2; 1974 c 536 s 1; 1975 c 271 s 6; 1976 c 134 s 59,60; 1976 c 275 s 1; 1986 c 404 s 10; 1986 c 444; 1989 c 282 art 2 s 121; 1989 c 294 s 1; 1995 c 207 art 3 s 17; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 4 s 2; art 8 s 13; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 12 s 11