Archive for July, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Happy 49th Birthday, Medicaid!

July 30, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
CONTACT: Pati Urias
Press@enrollamerica.org | 480.322.2270

Happy 49th Birthday, Medicaid!
Medicaid, Medicare Signed Into Law on this Date in 1965

Phoenix, AZ – Considered to be at the end of the “Baby Boom” era, 1965 is known as a time for change in social issues and popular culture. For nostalgia’s sake, some trivia tidbits from that time:

  • “Bonanza” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show” were tops among television viewing audiences.
  • The number one song in America this week in 1965 was the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”
  • Gas cost 31 cents a gallon.
  • A first-class postage stamp cost 5 cents.
  • Medicare, established to provide a coverage option for the elderly and medically disabled, and Medicaid, created as a safety net program for low-income individuals and families, were signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 30, 1965.

Although gas is far more expensive now and music and television shows have changed dramatically, it’s good to know that some things, such as Medicaid, have only improved over time.

Known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or AHCCCS, in Arizona, Medicaid was established in this state in 1982 as a managed care program, and over the years has been lauded as an efficient way for patients to be in control of their own health and keep taxpayer costs down.

AHCCCS was expanded in January of this year to enable eligible, low-income, childless adults to enroll. Because income requirements have been recently updated, more Arizonans than ever might be eligible for AHCCCS: Arizonans with no dependents can earn up to slightly more than $15,000 a year to qualify, while a family of two can earn up to $22,000. AHCCCS provides high-quality health coverage through private insurers, giving consumers the option to choose their own plan.

“Every day, we reach out to consumers to let them know about their health insurance options; It is good that so many uninsured have access to coverage through AHCCCS,” said Cheryl O’Donnell, Arizona state director for Get Covered America. “Nearly 200,000 people – and counting – are now covered through AHCCCS as a result of the program’s expansion.”

Approximately half of Arizona’s one million uninsured are projected to be AHCCCS-eligible. There is no deadline for consumers to apply for AHCCCS, as enrollment is available for eligible Arizonans at any time. For basic eligibility requirements, click here. For final determination of benefits, Arizonans should set up an online account and fill out an application on the Health-e Arizona Plus website.

Nearly 1.4 million Arizonans are currently enrolled in AHCCCS.

About Get Covered America and Enroll America

Get Covered America is a national campaign of Enroll America that is focused on educating consumers about the benefits of health coverage and the new health insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act. With operations in eleven states (AZ, FL, GA, IL, MI, NC, NJ, OH, PA, TN and TX), our grassroots team is powered by passionate staff and volunteers with one motivating goal: to give Americans the information they need to choose an affordable health insurance plan that’s right for them and their families.

Enroll America is the nation’s leading health care enrollment coalition, bringing together community and health organizations, businesses and others to inform consumers about new health coverage options and how to enroll in them. It is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

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Quiz: Test Your Medicaid Knowledge!

Today is the 49th anniversary of Medicaid, a program that provides free or low-cost health insurance to those who qualify. But what do you really know about Medicaid? Test your knowledge with this quiz, and check your answers below!

  1. True or False: You can only enroll in Medicaid during open enrollment.
  2. True or False: Some states have their own name for their Medicaid and CHIP programs.
  3. True or False: If you didn’t qualify for Medicaid in the past, you could qualify now.
  4. True or False: You qualify for Medicaid based on your income.
  5. True or False: Some states don’t have Medicaid.

Answers:

  1. False. If you qualify, you can sign up for Medicaid at any time during the year.
  2. True. Some states’ Medicaid programs have their own names, such as California’s Medi-Cal or Oklahoma’s SoonerCare.
  3. True. There are new rules in place, so even if you didn’t qualify for Medicaid in the past, you or someone in your family could qualify now.
  4. False. Whether you qualify for Medicaid depends on your income, your family size, and where you live.
  5. False. Every state has some form of Medicaid. Some states’ programs cover more people than others.

Well, how did you do?

Help us spread the word — if you know someone who can’t afford health insurance, encourage them to see if they qualify for free or low-cost coverage today!

See what you might qualify for




49 Years Later…How Much Do You Know About Medicaid In Ohio?

Pop quiz: can you answer these questions correctly about Medicaid coverage? 

  1. True or False: Medicaid enrollees get coverage through private health plans.
  2. True or False: If one member of a household falls into the Medicaid coverage gap, nobody else in the household will qualify for Medicaid.
  3. True or False: Medicaid enrollment has grown even in states that did not expand eligibility for their program.
  4. True or False: You can only enroll in Medicaid during an open enrollment period.

Find the answers at the bottom! 

July 30th marks the 49th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid. Since January, over 273,000 of low- and moderate-income individuals and families in Ohio have secured health coverage through Medicaid thanks to the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid and increased awareness of eligibility through ramped up outreach and enrollment efforts. Still, too many people who stand to benefit aren’t aware of their health care options or are confused about how the law affects them. And they don’t know they may be eligible to enroll right now.

What You May Not Know About Medicaid Coverage

  • Who can receive coverage through Medicaid and CHIP?
    Medicaid provides low and moderate-income individuals and families with quality, affordable health coverage. Even in states that have not expanded Medicaid, certain low and moderate-income parents, children, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities are eligible. Because eligibility guidelines vary by group, children may be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP even when their parents are not. In fact, 1 in 3 children is covered by either Medicaid or CHIP.[i] Medicaid is also available to low and moderate-income pregnant women in every state, covering 40 percent of all births in the United States.[ii]
  • What do Medicaid recipients pay for their coverage?
    Individuals and families enrolled in Medicaid receive free- or low-cost coverage and care. Generally, Medicaid enrollees do not pay premiums for their coverage, and most are not subject to cost-sharing when they receive services.
  • What’s the difference between Medicaid and the plans consumers buy on the Marketplace?
    Just like marketplace plans, Medicaid enrollees receive comprehensive coverage from private health insurance plans that cover services like hospital stays, doctor’s visits, preventive care, and prescription drugs.
  • How did Medicaid expansion affect overall enrollment in expansion states?
    In states that did expand Medicaid, enrollment grew during the open enrollment period by even larger margins. In Ohio, Medicaid enrollment between September 2013 and June 2014 increased by 11.8%.
  • When can people enroll in Medicaid?

Unlike the Marketplace, Medicaid enrollment is open year-round, so people can sign up today if they qualify. To find out more information on enrollment you can visit www.GetCoveredAmerica.org or call a Get Covered America Ohio office, Cleveland (216-314-2392), Cincinnati (513-667-2304), and Columbus (614-636-0385).

Answers to Pop Quiz at top:

  1. True. Just like Marketplace enrollees, Medicaid enrollees get coverage through private health plans.
  2. False. One person’s eligibility does not determine the entire household’s eligibility. For example, even if an adult falls into the Medicaid coverage gap, their children or other household members could still qualify for Medicaid.
  3. True. Since October, Medicaid coverage has grown by about 3 percent in states that did not expand their program.
  4. False. Medicaid enrollment is year-round, so people can enroll today if they qualify.

 


[i] Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured/Urban Institute analysis of 2012 Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey.

[ii] Medicaid.gov: Keeping America Healthy, Pregnant Women, available online at:http://www.medicaid.gov/Medicaid-CHIP-Program-Information/By-Population/Pregnant-Women/Pregnant-Women.html.




Happy Birthday, Medicaid!

It’s been almost half a century since our nation established Medicaid, which is today #1 the health insurance source for Texas children and the health care many others in our state rely on for care and treatment.

In honor of Medicaid’s 49th birthday today, we are sharing the following:

  1. Good Medicaid news for Texas: Did you know that roughly 80,000 more Texans have received health coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program since the Affordable Care Act’s implementation in October? That’s important because Medicaid helps people lead healthier, more financially secure lives. Learn more about why from our recent partner email.
  2. Good Medicaid news for Texans: Each one of those 80,000 newly enrolled, like millions of other Texans who benefit from Medicaid and CHIP, has a story to share. Frances Acuña’s is just one story from our state about life-saving treatment made possible by the quality health care that Medicaid offers.
  3. Really important Medicaid facts if you’re uninsured: Is it possible that free or low-cost health insurance through Medicaid or CHIP is an option for you right now? Enrollment in both is open year-round. Learn more about enrolling in Medicaid or CHIP here.
  4. One super-important Medicaid fact for concerned Texans: If you’ve been involved with helping the uninsured in our campaign, you won’t want to miss out on volunteer opportunities coming up. That’s because the back-to-school season is a crucial time for Medicaid and CHIP enrollment. In fact, nearly all uninsured kids can get covered through Medicaid, CHIP or the Marketplace. Find an event where you can get involved in helping make sure Texas kids have coverage.
  5. Fun Medicaid facts for your day: What better way to celebrate today’s milestone than getting yourself informed? Take our pop quiz and learn more about Medicaid in Texas and the United States.



Young adults benefit from ACA

July 29, 2014

Dayton Daily News, 7/29/2014

As the famous line goes, “If you build it, they will come.” So we learned recently when findings were released from a new Commonwealth Fund survey. The Affordable Care Act is in fact working to help young adults secure affordable, quality health care. The survey found the uninsured rate for young adults aged 19-34 has dropped from 28 percent to 18 percent with an estimated 5.7 million fewer young adults uninsured. This jaw dropping decline in the uninsured rate is the greatest of any age group.

This is great news because it means young Ohioans are taking advantage of the new health care options available to them. As a father of four, I know firsthand the peace of mind that comes with knowing you and your children have insurance and don’t have to worry about whether or not you can afford necessary care when needed. Unfortunately for many, this is not always the case, and before the Affordable Care Act, this was especially true for young adults. Conventional wisdom suggested young adults may be the hardest to convince, but the numbers tell a different story. The law is extending access to health care for a demographic that traditionally had higher uninsured rates.

Through the online Marketplace, young people are taking responsibility for their health security and comparing their new options. Moreover, young Ohioans can now stay on their parents plan until they turn 26. That can be extended until 28 if they are single, an Ohio resident or full-time student, not eligible through insurance through their employer, and not eligible for Medicaid. Even though open enrollment has ended, students that are losing access to student health plans or moving off their parents’ health coverage are eligible to enroll through the Health Insurance Marketplace during a special enrollment period within 60 from the day they’re scheduled to lose coverage — which provides even greater flexibility at a formative point in early careers.

The fact is young people are more likely to have other life changing events that trigger a special enrollment period like moving or having a baby. Nearly 25 percent of Americans between the ages of 20-29 have moved — more than twice the national average, and around 83 percent of all babies born in the United States have mothers between the ages of 18 and 34.

Having more health care options is especially important for young people who are often more likely to be without coverage. In fact, 34 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 to 39 years old are uninsured at some point during the year….

Even though we have come a long way, there is still a lot of work to do to make sure young Ohioans know their new health care options. That’s why the Get Covered America campaign is not slowing down our outreach efforts in Ohio. We are gearing up for the next open enrollment beginning Nov. 15, and letting Ohioans know there is no deadline to enroll in Medicaid or CHIP and many young adults may qualify for a special enrollment period….

It’s clear the first year of the Health Insurance Marketplace was a success, and we want to make the uninsured rate among young adults and all Ohioans continues to drop.

TREY DALY, CINCINNATI, OHIO DIRECTOR OF ENROLL AMERICA




HHS Report Shows Significant Drop in New Jersey’s Insurance Premiums for Marketplace Shoppers

July 24, 2014

Get Covered America New Jersey State Director Justine Ceserano issued the following statement regarding premium affordability for New Jersey Marketplace consumers announced by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):

“Today’s announcement from HHS proves what we knew all along, the Affordable Care Act is driving down the cost of health insurance premiums to ensure that more New Jersey residents can afford quality health care. The great news is that the average cost of premiums in New Jersey is $127 per month after tax credits. In fact, one out of five New Jersey residents is paying $50 a month or less after tax credits. We are excited to see so many New Jerseyans realizing the benefits of the ACA and finally having the security that having health insurance brings. We will continue to hit the pavement in communities across the State to bring the message to even more of New Jersey’s under and uninsured that financial help is here! It is critical that every New Jersey resident is aware that 84 percent of New Jerseyans who found insurance through the Marketplace are receiving financial assistance with their plan.”

NEW JERSEY BY THE NUMBERS:

For all Marketplace Plans

Average Premium before Tax Credits: $465

Average Tax Credit Amount: $317

Average Premium after Tax Credit: $148

Average Percent Reduction in Premium after Tax Credits: 68%

Percent of Individuals Who Selected Plans with Tax Credits: 84%

 

Among those who chose ‘Silver’ Plans (the most popular plan selected in the marketplace)

Average Premium before Tax Credits: $457

Average Tax Credit Amount: $330

Average Premium after Tax Credit: $127

Average Percent Reduction in Premium after Tax Credits: 72%

Percent of Individuals Who Selected Plans with Tax Credits: 91%




Understanding Recent Court Rulings

July 23, 2014

Get Covered America Arizona State Director Cheryl O’Donnell released the following statement in response to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in Halbig v. Burwell on Affordable Care Act subsidies in the federal Marketplace:

“The courts’ actions today will have no impact on the 120,000 Arizonans who have benefited from health coverage purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace, and will have no effect on the work of  Get Covered America or our local partners who are assisting consumers seeking coverage…” Full statement below.

Cheryl spoke with Channel 12 news in Phoenix to discuss further. Click the picture below to watch the full interview.

Cheryl on Channel 12

Click here for the interview

 

 

 

 

 

Get Covered America Arizona Communications Lead Pati Urias also spoke about this issue with Telemudo.

Pati on Telemundo

Click here for the interview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full Statement:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
CONTACT: Pati Urias
Press@enrollamerica.org | 480.322.2270

Statement from Get Covered America – Arizona
on Halbig v. Burwell Court Ruling

PHOENIX – Today, Get Covered America Arizona State Director Cheryl O’Donnell released the following statement in response to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in Halbig v. Burwell on Affordable Care Act subsidies in the federal Marketplace:

“The courts’ actions today will have no impact on the 120,000 Arizonans who have benefited from health coverage purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace, and will have no effect on the work of  Get Covered America or our local partners who are assisting consumers seeking coverage. Arizonans who have purchased a plan through the Marketplace can continue to enjoy the benefits of financial assistance offered through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many of whom were without insurance for long periods of time. This ruling does not change what we do to reach out to Arizonans to help them get connected to health coverage, whether through Medicaid (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or AHCCCS) or the Health Insurance Marketplace.

“In our state, 76% of our residents who purchased in the Marketplace were able to qualify for financial assistance, while other uninsured individuals and families are still getting coverage at this time through special enrollment periods because of life-changing events. Our work will continue through the summer, as we gear up for the next open enrollment cycle, which begins November 15.

“These court actions will work their way through the judicial system, but for the time being, Arizonans can rest assured their cost benefits through the ACA are intact.”

About Get Covered America and Enroll America

Get Covered America is a national campaign of Enroll America that is focused on educating consumers about the benefits of health coverage and the new health insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act. With operations in eleven states (AZ, FL, GA, IL, MI, NC, NJ, OH, PA, TN and TX), our grassroots team is powered by passionate staff and volunteers with one motivating goal: to give Americans the information they need to choose an affordable health insurance plan that’s right for them and their families.

Enroll America is the nation’s leading health care enrollment coalition, bringing together community and health organizations, businesses and others to inform consumers about new health coverage options and how to enroll in them. It is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

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Enroll America Statement on Halbig v. Burwell Decision

July 22, 2014

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Today, Get Covered America Ohio State Director Trey Daly released the following statement in response to the DC federal appeals court panel’s ruling on Affordable Care Act subsidies in Halbig v. Burwell.

“The financial assistance made available under the Affordable Care Act played a key role in helping Ohioans find quality, affordable health insurance. Today’s ruling does not mean that financial assistance will end for the 84% of Ohioans who received financial help to sign up for coverage through the Marketplace. While the judicial process plays out, it’s important to know that thousands of Ohioans will continue to benefit from tax credits they may have received in signing up for health coverage.

“It’s clear the intention of the law is to make health insurance affordable for all Americans, regardless of what state they live in. That’s why two federal district court judges have found that the plaintiffs’ claims lacked merit and dismissed the case, and many experts predict today’s ruling to be reversed.”

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About Get Covered America and Enroll America

Get Covered America is a national campaign of Enroll America that is focused on educating consumers about the benefits of health coverage and the new health insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act. With operations in eleven states (AZ, FL, GA, IL, MI, NC, NJ, OH, PA, TN and TX), our grassroots team is powered by passionate staff and volunteers with one motivating goal: to give Americans the information they need to choose an affordable health insurance plan that’s right for them and their families.

Enroll America is the nation’s leading health care enrollment coalition, bringing together community and health organizations, businesses and others to inform consumers about new health coverage options and how to enroll in them. It is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.




A Report Out from Our Partner Convention

July 18, 2014

This week’s State of Enrollment Texas Outreach and Enrollment Partner Convention brought more than 70 partners from all over the state to Austin for a day of learning, networking, and planning.

Here’s a recap of Wednesday’s event:

  • The day began with U.S. Health and Human Services Regional Director Marjorie McColl Petty welcoming outreach and enrollment stakeholders. Director Petty congratulated each community on its unique successes in helping to enroll nearly 734,000 Texans in the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period.
  • Next, Enroll America Organizing Director Mario Castillo provided a look back with Lessons Learned from the First Open Enrollment Period and thoughts on the way forward.
  • The spotlight then shined on strong partnership models. Two leaders from the Enroll SA coalition in Bexar County, Andrea Guajardo, Regional Director with CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System and Enroll America Regional Organizing Lead Joe Ibarra, shared Coming Together: Partnering to Drive Enrollment Outcomes.
  • Following that spotlight, members of our national team shared some specific resources that can be helpful to partners:
    • Senior Data Analyst Ricky Gonzales shared data-driven evidence from the first enrollment period with the presentation What Worked and How We Know, complete with results from a randomized, controlled test of consumers!
    • Additionally, Deputy Training Director Elisabeth Salinas shared tools, strategies, and Resources for Partners, including the Partner training curriculum hub, an embeddable Calculator, and the Plan Picker.
  • Then Texas State Director Mimi Garcia provided some dates and opportunities to keep in mind with a presentation on the Road to Open Enrollment II, which starts November 15.
  • Finally, we had a series of breakouts for participants to get some hands-on training and support:
    • In A Communications Game Plan to Reach the Uninsured, discussion turned to how to use earned media strategically as part of your outreach, with tips for successful media interviews.
    • In Get Covered Data attendees got an introduction to the sophisticated database tool that drives consumer outreach for Enroll America and other enrollment partners.
    • In Planning for Outreach participants got a chance to roll up their sleeves and work in teams on setting plans for collaboration, outreach and enrollment in the weeks and months ahead.
    • In Getting the Most out of Your Enrollment Events discussion turned to best practices in conducting successful events that get Texans covered.

Contact us if you’d like to get copies of presentation slides. Huge thanks to everyone who made it out!




Get Covered Cleveland – Update on Year One of the Health Insurance Marketplace

July 17, 2014

Please join us for an update on the first year of the Health Insurance Marketplace. We will be discussing how you or your organization can play a role in helping Ohioans learn about their coverage options.

Monday August 11, 2014
Greater Cleveland Foodbank
15500 S Waterloo Rd
Cleveland, OH 44110-3800

Details on session agendas below. RSVP for Session 1, Session 2 or both.

Session 1 is designed for leaders of organizations interested in learning how to connect clients, patients, customers or employees with the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.

Session 2 is designed for individuals interested in learning how to provide one-on-one enrollment assistance to uninsured people in our community.

To RSPV call 216-314-2392 or click here for session 1 and/or here for session 2. The event is free and open to the public.

Agenda

Session 1: 10:00am – 1:00 pm

  • Overview Of Affordable Care Act Health Coverage Options

  • Results Of First Open Enrollment Period

  • Effective Partnerships To Increase Enrollment

  • What Role Can Your Organization Play To Increase Enrollment

  • Networking Lunch sponsored by CareSource

Session 2: 12:00 – 3:00 pm

  • Networking Lunch Sponsored by CareSource

  • How To Become A Certified Application Counselor

  • How To Enroll People In Ohio Medicaid

Presented by the Northeast Ohio Outreach and Enrollment Council,  CareSource, Cuyahoga Health Access Partnership, The Free Medical Clinic of Cleveland, Get Covered America, Greater Cleveland Food Bank, and the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Event Sponsors




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