September 17, 2013 | In just two weeks, people across the country will begin to access affordable health insurance through the new health insurance marketplace, and Michigan’s Health Centers are training and preparing to help link Michigan residents with new coverage options.
More than 175 Health Center outreach and enrollment staff members are becoming Certified Application Counselors (CACs) to learn how best to assist their patients and community members in understanding the Marketplace and enrolling in a health plan; many already assist their patients with applications for Medicaid, CHIP, prescription assistance and more.
“The Affordable Care Act and Healthy Michigan Plan combined will help hundreds of thousands of our neighbors have a way to access health care they can afford,” said Michigan Primary Care Association CEO, Kim Sibilsky. “As they seek information about programs, they’ll turn to trusted sources in the community, and our Health Centers stand ready to be that trusted resource and provide hands-on assistance in the community.”
The Affordable Care Act, signed into law in 2010, provides tax credits for working individuals and establishes the Health Insurance Marketplace for consumers to buy private insurance. Health insurance plans in the Marketplace, which opens on October 1, are required to cover basic things like preventive care, maternity care, prescriptions, and emergency care, as well as other essential health benefits. The Healthy Michigan Plan, signed into law yesterday by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, reforms and expands Medicaid to Michiganders earning up to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Coverage in both plans will begin in 2014.
Governor Snyder held a press conference yesterday to sign the legislation and recognize lawmakers and coalition members who worked on creating the plan and getting it passed by the Michigan legislature. Snyder said the thousands of people seeking care in emergency rooms often do so when a condition is out of control and more expensive to treat.
“Finally we had the opportunity to do something about it, to step up and say they deserved a better answer,” Snyder said.
Snyder said that the work wasn’t finished with just the passing of this legislation and it will take health care workers to make sure people are educated on their coverage options, understand their personal responsibilities and work toward wellness.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department awarded 31 Michigan Health Centers funds to hire nearly 70 new outreach and enrollment workers. Those workers, combined with the more than 100 already working at Health Centers across the state, are already helping their communities by promoting information on how to prepare for the impending health care changes. Trained Health Centers along with Navigators and other assisters will be listed on HealthCare.Gov so Michigan residents can access in-person help in their community.
“Our Health Center outreach and enrollment workers have spent the past several months creating outreach plans that will benefit their communities,” Sibilsky said. “As we work toward a healthier Michigan, people throughout the state can benefit from the teams on the ground at Health Centers – from education and enrollment assistance to clinical services.”
Source: Michigan Primary Care Association
Source link: http://mpca.net/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=96#houseconcurshb4714