Hoosier seniors join Shackleford at Statehouse for first Indiana Senior Day

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Hoosier seniors from across Indiana joined Representative Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis) at the Indiana Statehouse today to talk with lawmakers and voice their concerns about the major issues they face every day.

“It is my hope that Indiana Senior Day will become an annual event during the legislative session,” said Shackleford. “Not only do seniors get the opportunity to speak directly with their state representatives and senators, they also get a chance to learn about some of the resources that are available to help them.”

Various organizations that participated in the event included CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions, Indiana Family and Social Services Agency (FSSA), Social Security Administration, Indiana State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Indiana Department of Insurance, Walmart, Eli Lilly, AARP Indiana, Hoosier Beverage Association, Clear Captions, American Senior Communities, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Caregiver Homes, Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging, All Senior Citizens Connect, Comcast, Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper, Leading Age Indiana, New Beginnings Fellowship Church, Fervent Prayer Church, and Eastern Star Church.

Among those who spoke at the event was Indiana Democratic House Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne), who talked about many of the issues now being discussed by lawmakers, including:

  • House Bill 1029, legislation authored by Shackleford that would enable a study of prescription drug transparency, particularly the effect drug prices have on the ability of Hoosiers to afford treatment. Nearly 1 in 4 senior citizens taking prescription drugs say it is difficult to afford their medications, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
  • House Bill 1600, authored by Representative Melanie Wright (D-Yorktown), would create a study committee to research the assignment of guardians and protection of Hoosier seniors’ financial assets. Approximately 1 in 10 Americans over 60 years of age have experienced some form of elder abuse, according to the National Catholic Educational Association. The bill would call for the interim study committee to determine regulated qualifications for a family guardian, require judges to follow those regulations and enforce banks to follow the power of attorney agreement.
  • An amendment adopted to the two-year state budget (House Bill 1001) would prevent insurance companies in Indiana from denying coverage based on pre-existing medical condition. According to AARP Indiana, 4 out of 10 adults from 50-64 years of age have a pre-existing condition that could deny them insurance coverage.
  • Millions of elderly adults are struggling to meet their monthly expenses and over 60 percent of adults over 60 years of age have some form of debt. Senate Bill 280, currently under consideration in the House, would increase the property tax deduction for those over 65 years of age and provide much needed financial relief to Hoosier seniors.

“It is important for us to give older Hoosiers the chance to advocate for themselves, because they offer the most compelling stories of the problems they face and the solutions that can help,” Shackleford said. “Through events like Indiana Senior Day, we can help engage them with ways they can stay informed and connect them with who can help achieve their goals. Today is the first step in empowering them and showing they can make a difference in their own lives.”

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