ACA Turns Four: Recognizing Successes and Looking Ahead

By Xavior Robinson, Senior Manager, Health Care Access, NASTAD

Signing of the ACAMarch 23 marked the fourth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While it is undeniable that the ACA’s inaugural open enrollment period has had its share of challenges, it is important to recognize that the movement to ensure that all Americans have equitable access to health care transcends the technology failures of HealthCare.gov. Over the past four years, state HIV/AIDS programs have worked to adapt and innovate to meet needs of people living with HIV and co-occurring conditions in our evolving health care landscape. Through the use of innovative solutions (see Raising the Bars), support from colleagues and staff, and an enduring commitment to the broader public health imperative presented by HIV, state AIDS directors have leveraged the ACA to achieve remarkable results, including: Continue reading

Advocates Continue Push to Require Insurers to Accept Ryan White Payments

By Amy Killelea, Associate Director, Health Care Access, NASTAD

CMS ACA Ryan White Payment Guidance

Insurers in two states – Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Louisiana and North Dakota – have prohibited the acceptance of premium payments from the Ryan White Program/AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) on behalf of eligible low-income clients. These policies risk leaving hundreds of low-income people living with HIV unable to access Qualified Health Plan coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and have prompted a swift federal and state advocacy response.

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It’s All Happening: Open Enrollment Is Here!

0 Days to Open EnrollmentBy Amy Killelea, Associate Director, Health Care Access, NASTAD

After a three and a half year wait – and several near-death experiences along the way – open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is finally here. On October 1st, 2013 the Marketplaces officially open for business, and millions of people will begin to apply for new public and private insurance coverage options.  At this point, we all know the incredible opportunities to expand HIV and viral hepatitis prevention, care, and treatment that are at stake. Now is where the rubber meets the road as federal, state, and local advocates, providers, and programs roll up their sleeves and prepare for full implementation. Below are four action items the HIV and viral hepatitis community should be focusing on as we leap into open enrollment and beyond: Continue reading

Improving Health Equity for Gay Men through the Affordable Care Act

By Amy Killelea, Senior Manager, Health Care Access, NASTAD

Health Equity for Gay Men/MSM

HIV/AIDS disproportionately impacts gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), particularly gay men/MSM of color, in the form of higher infection rates, less likelihood of timely linkage to care, and less likelihood of viral suppression. To make headway against the epidemic and to meet the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), we need tools and strategies that are aimed at improving prevention, access to care, and retention in care for gay men/MSM.

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