ACA Repeal Would Send Native American Uninsured Rate Soaring

by Jim McLean

The number of Native Americans without health insurance would increase sharply if Republicans in Congress succeed in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report.

The report, from the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, says that proposed cuts to Medicaid and to the subsidies that reduce out-of-pockets costs for low-income individuals purchasing private insurance in the ACA marketplace would jeopardize the coverage of more than 300,000 Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

The uninsured rate among Native Americans would climb by 27.4 percent in Kansas and 36.2 percent in Missouri, according to the report. Kansas is home to approximately 60,000 people who self-identify as either.... Read More

             

Q&A About the ACA for Diverse Elders

With the confirmation of Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), diverse elders may have more questions than ever about the future of the Affordable Care Act. The Diverse Elders Coalition will make protecting healthcare access a priority in the coming months, and as we learn more about the fate of the ACA, we will communicate that on our blog and social media.

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In the meantime, here are some questions and answers about the Affordable Care Act and where things stand right now. If you have additional questions, please reach out to the health navigators.... Read More

             

What the Repeal of the Affordable Care Act Means for My Wife and Me

We’ve all seen the pictures of the rich, powerful white men signing the repeal of Obamacare, despite the fact that most people are happy with their healthcare and no one seems to have a plan for what comes next.

For my wife, Mala, and me, this decision and the ensuing uncertainty is literally a matter of life or death. We’re middle-aged, self-employed elder caregivers. We’re not alone. Repealing the ACA puts people like us in a hopeless situation. As caregivers, we can’t take the full-time jobs that provide health care (even supposing they’d hire us so easily). But as self-employed people, we need access to affordable healthcare, or else we are one minor emergency away from.... Read More

             

Repealing the Affordable Care Act without a Replacement Hurts Seniors

by Jennifer Goldberg, Directing Attorney of the Justice in Aging Health Team. This post originally appeared on the Justice in Aging website.

Every day, whether seniors need to see a doctor, receive care in their home, or pay for prescription drugs, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are lifelines for older adults. However, the entire health care system upon which older adults rely is at risk in the new Congress. Changes to the ACA will dramatically alter the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and jeopardize the care seniors receive each day.

The ACA is under immediate threat in the next Congress. Over 30 million individuals risk losing coverage if the ACA is repealed. This includes over.... Read More

             

It’s Open Enrollment Season! Find a Health Insurance Plan Now at Healthcare.gov

It’s that time of year: Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment on Healthcare.gov. From now until January 31, 2017, Americans can elect to purchase healthcare coverage for 2017. And while there has been a lot of discussion about the cost of Obamacare for consumers, more than 70% of consumers will be able to find an insurance plan on the Marketplace that will cost them less than $75/month.

“Thanks to financial assistance, most Marketplace consumers this year will find plan options with premiums between $50 and $100 per month,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “Millions of uninsured Americans qualify for financial assistance, and so could as many as 2.5 million Americans currently paying full price for off-Marketplace coverage. I encourage anyone.... Read More

             

Winning Strategies to Protect Consumers from Surprise Medical Bills

This post originally appeared on the Community Catalyst blog.

by Amber Ma

Even consumers who do their best to get care from providers in their networks may still be charged unexpectedly for out-of-network care – an issue otherwise known as surprise medical bills or balance billing.

Currently, no federal standards on surprise medical bills exist, but the recently updated NAIC network adequacy model act and CMS’ proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (NBPP) for 2017 can bolster both federal and state action to protect consumers. However, because both the model act and the NBPP set a minimum floor even if implemented, state-driven protections are still the most effective way to shield consumers from unexpected.... Read More

             

Ringing in a New Year at the Diverse Elders Coalition

As we flip our calendars from 2015 to 2016 (assuming you still actually use a paper calendar, that is), I find myself really excited about the initiatives that the Diverse Elders Coalition will be working on in the coming year. This promises to be a milestone year for our elders and their communities, with a presidential election in the balance and the continued “graying” and “browning” of America as our population grows older and more ethnically and racially diverse.

Here are just a few of the things I’m looking forward to in 2016:

ACA Enrollment: January 31st is the last day on which Americans can enroll in health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. (Note that members of federally-recognized American.... Read More
             
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