Posted on April 8, 2013 by Arianne Slagle
A couple of months ago, the state-sponsored report (written by our friends at the Center for Popular Democracy) on how to reduce health disparities through the New York Health Benefit was released, outlining a myriad of recommendations culled from a stakeholder meeting held back in September. You can read the Center for Popular Democracy report here.
HCFANY commends the Exchange for its ongoing examination of many issues in regard to health disparities and the Center for Popular Democracy for airing some of the most critical topics in its report. However, we felt that some of the issues touched on in the report require further consideration by the Exchange and that the State needs to take this initiative a step further and reach policy conclusions, set concrete goals, and settle upon a practical mechanism for reaching those goals. Basically, we feel that the State’s implementation of an insurance Exchange is a once in a lifetime shot to make some serious systemic changes that can actually make a difference, and that the State isn’t doing enough to take advantage of this situation. To outline our concerns, HCFANY recently issued a series of comments to the State. You can read our comments here.
Lastly, this past Friday we received a response from the State to our comments. It doesn’t say much other than to acknowledge that they received it. But hey, at least it’s something to get the conversation started, right? You can click here to read the State’s response.
Filed under: ACA, Health Disparities | Tagged: disparities, Implementation, Insurance Exchange | Comments Off
Posted on April 1, 2013 by Arianne Slagle
Panel (from left): Joanne Bailey, NYC Office of Citywide Health Insurance Access (OCHIA), Sara Rothstein, NYS Health Benefit Exchange, Martine Apodaca, Enroll America, Lois Uttley, Raising Women’s Voices, Dr. Jaime Torres, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Thanks to everyone who came to last week’s HCFANY briefing in NYC – was a great success and we ended up with a turnout of over 130 people.
Many attendees have been asking for copies of the presentations and materials we had available at the meeting, so we are posting them up here for anyone who is interested. Here is a quick recap:
- Sara Rothstein, Assistant Director for Policy and Planning for the New York Health Benefit Exchange presented an update on implementation of the NYS Health Benefit Exchange including a very broad overview of the State’s outreach and marketing plan, information on the Navigator RFA. You can view Sara’s presentation by clicking here.
Martine Apodaca, Director of the Public Education Campaign for Enroll America presented a profile of the uninsured in New York and their findings on messaging around the new health insurance options based on a national survey. You can view Martine’s presentation by clicking here.
Joanne Bailey, Director of Policy and Research at the New York City Office of Citywide Health Insurance Access (OCHIA) presented on the timeline for health reform implementation in the New York, including a profile of the uninsured in New York City, and the potential challenges and opportunities brought by the ACA. You can view Joanne’s presentation by clicking here.
In addition, we had several publications and handouts available:
Filed under: Consumer Assistance, Insurance Exchange, New York Health Benefit Exchange, Small Business, Uninsured | Tagged: disabilities, Federal health reform, HCFANY Events, Insurance Exchange, small business, uninsured | Comments Off
Posted on March 29, 2013 by Arianne Slagle
[***WARNING*** THIS SONG WILL GET STUCK IN YOUR HEAD]
How clever is this? The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum has made an educational video on the ACA and open enrollment via the Exchange that plays off of the extremely popular and infectious K-pop single “Gangnam Style” by PSY.
It’s almost as goofy as the original (it even has a dancing baby!), which is great, because it gets people’s attention. This is what we want! Anything that makes ”open enrollment” and “October 1st” stick into people’s heads is a good thing. It also introduces the concept of the Exchange as an online marketplace for affordable insurance.
Check it out when you get a moment! I am hoping to see and blog about many more of these types of creative PSA’s around the ACA and the push for Open Enrollment in the coming months. Hopefully this video inspires more advocates to get creative!
Filed under: ACA, Federal health reform, Insurance Exchange, New York Health Benefit Exchange | Tagged: cool stuff, Federal health reform, Insurance Exchange, young adults | Comments Off
Posted on March 25, 2013 by Arianne Slagle
Big changes are coming this October! New York’s Health Benefit Exchange will open, giving uninsured individuals and families a place where they can compare and buy healthcare plans that are quality and affordable. Some will even qualify for tax credits that will make these plans cheaper. Public insurance plans like Medicaid and Child Health Plus will also be available on the Exchange.
But with millions of New Yorkers eligible for coverage through the Exchange, and many of them living in New York City, how can we make sure people get the right information? What type of outreach and enrollment will be happening during the summer and fall months? How can your organization help in this effort?
To find out more, join Health Care for All New York at our New York City briefing on Thursday, March 28th from 9:00-11:30 am (registration and light breakfast at 8:30 am). Speakers will include Rachel Klein from Enroll America and Sara Rothstein from the New York health Benefits Exchange.
Filed under: ACA | Tagged: ACA, HCFANY Events, Implementation, Insurance Exchange | Comments Off
Posted on March 22, 2013 by Arianne Slagle
Tomorrow marks the 3-year anniversary of the ACA and – wow – what a journey it has been!
Despite its youth, the ACA has already succeeded in helping millions of Americans get access to affordable care. For example, children with pre-existing health problems can no longer be turned down for coverage. Small businesses have access to tax credits to help pay for health insurance for their employees: 4 in 5 New York small businesses are eligible. Preventive care is now available without co-pays, seniors who hit the Medicare “donut hole” are paying less for prescription drugs, and health insurers now have strict guidelines on how much of your monthly premium must be used on medical care rather than their own administrative costs.
A few numbers give a picture of just how much the ACA has helped people in our state:
- New Yorkers with Medicare have saved over $407.6 million on prescription drugs since the law’s enactment. In 2012 alone, 226,569 individuals in New York saved over $170.4 million, or an average of $752 per beneficiary.
- 4.4 million New Yorkers gained access to free preventive health services in 2011 and 2012. 1.5 million seniors with Medicare received free preventive health care in 2012 alone.
- This year, 1 million New Yorkers with private insurance coverage will get $86,526,642 in rebates from insurance companies who have overcharged them, with an average rebate of $138 per family.
And the best is yet to come: In 2014, annual limits on insurance coverage will be banned, adults with pre-existing conditions will no longer be denied coverage, and tax credits will be available to help individuals and families pay for health insurance. And, individuals and small businesses will be able to get health insurance, including public programs like Medicaid, through the New York Health Benefit Exchange. This will save New Yorkers who buy insurance on their own an average of over 60% and people who get it through their small business over 20%. Enrollment will begin October of this year!
Because of the ACA, affordable, quality health care will soon be woven into the fabric of American society, making us stronger and healthier as a nation. And that’s something we can ALL look forward to!
So, Happy Third Birthday, ACA! May you live a long, happy (and healthy) life!
Filed under: ACA, Comprehensive Coverage, Federal health reform, Insurance Exchange, New York Health Benefit Exchange, Small Business, Uninsured | Tagged: ACA, Federal health reform, Insurance Exchange, small business | Comments Off
Posted on March 21, 2013 by Arianne Slagle
While we haven’t seen all the fine print, HCFANY is delighted to report that this year’s budget deal includes important protections for New York’s health insurance consumers. The new budget deal includes:
- Co-premium assistance for people between 138-150% of poverty (people with children that are currently eligible for Family Health Plus ). Those who enroll in the Exchange with Silver-level plans will pay no premiums. This measure is NOT conditional on federal financial participation.
- Protection for people who currently have out-of-network coverage in the individual market. These consumers will have the option to pay for a Platinum-level plan on the Exchange with an out-of-network rider and be “risk pooled” with the rest of the State’s individual market.
- A requirement for SDOH to create a workgroup to study whether New York should adopt a Basic Health Plan
- Fair consumer protections on the State’s new Navigator program
- Funding for consumer assistance for New York’s health insurance consumers through Community Health Advocates
- Still waiting details on Medicaid budget, but it looks like most optional benefits have been saved….
A special thanks to everyone who added their names to our sign-on letter, called the Governor’s office, and worked hard to get these important consumer protections. These budget victories would not be possible without you!!!
Stay tuned for more on the budget!
Filed under: Consumer Assistance, Governor Cuomo, New York State Budget, Premiums, State budget | Tagged: FHP, Medicaid, NYS Budget, OON | Comments Off
Posted on March 15, 2013 by Arianne Slagle
The Assembly got it right in their one house budget bill by including a “premium wrap” for those people eligible for Family Health Plus to make a seamless transition into the new Health Insurance Exchange. The Assembly is also “authorizing” the Basic Health Plan – but we hear the Governor’s office isn’t going for EITHER in final budget negotiations.
We all must make calls TODAY!
First, urge the Governor and Department of Health to accept the Assembly’s changes to the phase out of Family Health Plus and help all those eligible pay for premiums on the new health insurance exchange come 2014. The Governor’s Executive budget got us started by helping those currently enrolled in Family Health Plus be able to make a seamless transition to the Exchange in 2014 – but left out all those at the same income levels who aren’t currently enrolled. They’ll need to enroll come 2014 and they should get the same deal! The Assembly budget got it right.
Tell the Governor & The Department of Health: Provide a “premium wrap” for the entire Family Health Plus eligible popultion, not just those currently enrolled.
The Governor’s office also does not want to move forward to even authorize the state to look into implementing a Basic Heath Plan to receive additional federal funding to help provide quality, affordable coverage for families and individuals who make less than 200% of poverty a year (that’s around $22,000 a year for an individual and $47,000 for a family of four). Why would we wait to create a program the Affordable Care Act sets up as a great way to help those who need it most!?! There is NO reason to wait.
Tell the Governor & the Department of Health: Include authorization for the Basic Health Plan in the final budget negotiations so ALL low income New Yorkers will have access to affordable health coverage.
Final budget deals will be made this weekend. We need ALL groups making these calls and sending off emails and letters TODAY!!!
- Governor Cuomo: (518) 474-8390
- Director of Healthcare Redesign James Introne: (518) 408-2500
- NYS Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson: (518) 474-3018
- Commissioner of Department of Health Dr. Nirav Shah: (518) 474-2011
Email us if you have any questions: Elisabeth Benjamin: email@example.com and Jessica Wisneski: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your very important actions today.
UPDATE: Click here to view HCFANY’s Memorandum of Support/Opposition on the 2013-2014 NYS Executive Budget and One-House Budget Bills
Filed under: ACA, Accountability, Disability, Governor Cuomo, New York State Budget | Tagged: Andrew Cuomo, BHP, budget, FHP, NYS Budget | Comments Off