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News and Updates on the ACA

Several recently released studies indicate that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) helped reduce the number of uninsured Americans by between 8 and 11 million in the first year of the Marketplaces. Other key points from one report¹:

  • Many of the previously uninsured have used their new coverage to obtain needed care
  • The uninsured rate for people ages 19-64 declined from 20% in the period July – September 2013 to 15% in the period April – June 2014
  • Young men and women (ages 19-34) made up a significant portion of the decline
  • In states which expanded Medicaid coverage, the uninsured rate for people in poverty declined at an even higher rate (28% to 17%)

Instructor with students on computers

A new Kaiser Family Foundation survey of Navigators and Assister programs nationwide found that an estimated 10.6 million people received personal help from Navigators and Assisters during the Open Enrollment Period (Oct. 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014). In total, more than 4,400 Assister Program provided assistance for enrollment. Most Assister programs reported that people looking for health insurance sought help because they did not understand the ACA or health insurance and lacked confidence to apply on their own. In addition, the survey showed that 90% of Assister Programs have already been re-ontacted by consumers with post-enrollment questions and problems.²

The next Open Enrollment Period for insurance coverage will begin on November 15, 2014. If your organization is a community health center or other health care provider, hospital, a non-federal governmental or non-profit social service agency in a state with a Federally-facilitated Marketplace or a State Partnership Marketplace, and your organization would like to help by training your staff to assist people applying for coverage through the Marketplace, you can apply to be a Certified Application Counselor (CAC).  Attend an informational webinar on July 23rd at 1:00 p.m. CT for clarification regarding eligibility requirements. For more information on the CAC program, visit: http://marketplace.cms.gov/help-us/cac.html

Information on the webinar:

From Coverage to Care (C2C) is a national initiative from CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services), specifically designed to help people with new health care coverage understand their benefits and connect to primary care and the preventive services that are right for them. It also seeks to give healthcare providers the tolls they need to promote patient engagement. An overview of the full range of resources included in C2C will be presented in a webinar on Wednesday, July 30th, at 11:00 a.m. CT: http://ow.ly/zpUfo

¹Gaining Ground: American’s Health Insurance Coverage and Access to Care After the Affordable Care Act’s First Open Enrollment Period

²Kaiser Family Foundation Survey of Health Insurance Marketplace Assister Programs

Health Insurance Marketplace

 

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