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.
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
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
What Should We Hope To Achieve Through Health System Transformation?
This is the first in a blog series outlining Community Catalyst’s policy priorities for Health System Transformation. Each subsequent blog will take a deeper dive into one of the six areas we believe must be addressed to achieve better care, better value and better health.
Although much work remains to fully realize the coverage vision embodied in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), another aspect of the ACA—how we deliver and pay for health care—is receiving increasing attention. To date, the bulk of this attention has come from providers and public and private payers. But consumer advocates are coming to the table, increasingly recognizing that critical decisions about access, quality and affordability are being made.
November 1st marks the beginning of an open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace. From now until January 31, 2016, Americans can elect to purchase healthcare coverage from HealthCare.gov for 2016. (American Indian/Alaska Native members of federally recognized tribes can enroll in the Marketplace any time of year and are not subject to this deadline.) Additionally, eight out of ten people who enrolled in a healthcare plan through the Marketplace qualified for financial help to make their monthly premiums more affordable.
Why do we at the Diverse Elders Coalition care about the ACA and open enrollment? Research shows that people of color, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and LGBT people deal with significant physical and mental health disparities. An older.... Read More
Getting The Word Out: Obamacare Is For Native Americans Too
Landscape en route to Gallup, N.M., on Highway 491. (Photo by Heidi de Marco/KHN)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As a member of the Navajo tribe, Rochelle Jake has received free care through the Indian Health Service (IHS) her entire life. The clinics took care of her asthma, allergies and eczema – chronic problems, nothing urgent.
In collaboration with the National Indian Council on Aging and the Diverse Elders Coalition, Health Action New Mexico has released a resource to help explain how the Affordable Care Act affects Native Americans between the ages 50 and 64. “There is still a great deal of work to be done to raise awareness among tribal communities and urban Indians about new coverage options available through the new health reform law,” said Barbara Webber, Executive Director of Health Action NM. “Our hope is that this fact sheet will be helpful for Native Americans who need health.... Read More
The following is a press release from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. For more information on how health reform and the ACA have impacted our diverse elder communities, click here.
CMS Announces Special Enrollment Period for Tax Season
Eligible consumers have from March 15 through April 30 to enroll in coverage
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today a special enrollment period (SEP) for individuals and families who did not have health coverage in 2014 and are subject to the fee or “shared responsibility payment” when they file their 2014 taxes in states which.... Read More
As we have been encouraging our DEC constituents to #SignUpB4TimesUp and obtain health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, we also wanted to make you aware of some ACA tax implications that are new for this year. Please read on for messages from our friends at Community Catalyst about tax reconciliation, as well as a note from HealthCare.gov about 1095-A tax forms.
This year, for the first time, the Affordable Care Act will affect the tax-filing process for consumers – both those with insurance and those who are still uninsured. Consumers must either verify that they met the requirement to have health insurance in 2014 or claim an exemption, as well as report any amount.... Read More