Health Reform: What the Affordable Care Act Means for American Indian/Alaska Native Populations
Center for Health Care Strategies - Carolyn Ingram; National Academy for State Health Policy - Alice Weiss; New Mexico Human Services Department - Priscilla Caverly
The coverage expansions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could have profound impacts on American Indian and Alaskan Native (AI/AN) populations. In addition to special eligibility and enrollment rules, there are also considerations for the intersection of ACA coverage expansions with the existing Indian Health Service. Health reform not only provides an opportunity for increased access to care for American Indian populations but also promoting tribal engagement. This webinar addressed the impact of ACA provisions on AI/AN populations, with special insight from New Mexico regarding its ongoing work in this area. The slides emphasize the importance of promoting State-Tribal collaboration through tribal consultations and other mediums.
In February, Galen Benshoof underscored the importance of agents and brokers in ensuring robust enrollment and exchange sustainability. Recognizing this, the State Network funded programs in Illinois and Minnesota, led by Wakely Consulting Group (Wakely), to enhance in-person agent and broker engagement while expanding their capability to assist anyone who walks through their doors, even if they are eligible for Medicaid or other state coverage programs. These Lead Broker Agency programs were a success, and the states are planning to continue or expand the programs next year!
A new issue brief, prepared by Kathie Mazza at Wakely, describes the concept of these pilots and outlines how other states interested in partnering with insurance brokers can implement similar initiatives for future open enrollment periods.
Student health plans have long been a source of coverage for college students who do not have other options available. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services redefined student health plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), requiring that they be treated like individual health insurance. This means that students buying these plans through their college or university now have the same protections available to them as if they bought a plan in the individual market. It also means that states and the federal government have a new role in oversight of these plans.
The State Network team mourns the recent passing of our dear friend and colleague, Andy Hyman. Andy was the father of the State Network, seeing the value in connecting states with the expertise they need to achieve the vision of coverage that drove him every day.