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

Affordable Care Act News: Navigator Final Rule Released

By Marilyn Tavenner

Cross-posted from AIDS.gov

Marilyn TavennerOn July 15, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took the next step in moving toward implementation of the Health Insurance Marketplaces by finalizing a proposed rule outlining the standards for Navigators, the in-person assisters in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces. The rule identifies training, conflict of interest standards, and standards for serving people with limited English proficiency and people with disabilities. (Read more about the Marketplaces.)

Millions of Americans will be eligible for new coverage opportunities through the Marketplaces beginning January 2014. Navigators will be available to provide un-biased assistance to consumers about health insurance, the new Health Insurance Marketplaces, qualified health plans, and public programs including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as well as assist consumers in enrolling in coverage available through the Health Insurance Marketplaces. Continue reading

Increasing Flexibility for Ryan White Grantees Making 75/25 Core Medical Services Waiver Requests


Cross-posted from
AIDS.gov

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

Last week, HRSA published a Final Notice in the Federal Register, and invited comments, amending the uniform standards for requesting a core medical services waiver for fiscal year (FY) 2014 and beyond. This revision provides Ryan White grantees more flexibility in the timeframe for applying for waivers. The change in the standards will allow grantees to apply for a waiver at any time up to their annual Part A, B, or C application submission, at the same time as their annual Part A, B, or C application submission, or up to four months after their grant award for that funding year. It will also allow grantees to plan with certainty about the waiver and to make adjustments to their Ryan White Care funded systems in response to Affordable Care Act implementation in their areas. Continue reading