July 29, 2013

July 29 Washington Update


GREETINGS FROM THE NATION'S CAPITAL!

[Please note:  This will be the last Washington Update for the summer.  It will resume when Congress returns from its August recess after Labor Day.]

This week in Washington...

The President and other administration officials recognized the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the administration and various organizations are continuing to prepare for the beginning of the health insurance enrollment period on October 1 (73 days and counting!).  These resources and more are mentioned below and will be listed on the new and improved Family Voices ACA webpage.

UPCOMING WEBINARS AND CALLS

Health Insurance Marketplaces: Preparing to Assist People with Disabilities.   On Wednesday, August 7, 3pm - 4pm ET, the Friends of NCBDDD (National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities) will hold a webinar aimed at answering some of the most frequently asked questions regarding health insurance Marketplaces and their impact on coverage and access to care for people with disabilities.  For more information and registration go to https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/239265048.

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities will continue its "Beyond the Basics" webinars on the ACA on Wednesday, August 7 at 2 pm Eastern (11 am Pacific) in which it will cover what counts as income for purposes of eligibility for premium tax credits and Medicaid.  Details will be announced later.

Federally Facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces. The next round of CMS quarterly calls about the operation of Marketplaces (Exchanges) will begin the week of July 29, 2013, in each state with a Federally-facilitated (FFM) or State Partnership Marketplace (SPM). Individuals and organizations that will interact with and utilize the Marketplace are encouraged to join these calls. CMS will provide an update on the implementation of the Marketplaces and listen to feedback. View dates and sign-up information here.

Health Insurance Marketplaces (Exchanges).  Additional "Health Insurance Marketplace 101" webinars will be held on:

July 31 at 1:00 - 2:00 pm ET https://webinar.cms.hhs.gov/himp073113/event/registration.html and

August 7 at 3:00 pm ET The Health Care Law - Health Insurance Marketplace 101.

Other August and September webinar dates and registration links can be found at http://marketplace.cms.gov/newsevents/webinars/spring-summer-2013-health-insurance-marketplace-training-schedule.pdf.    

For more information on these and other events hosted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, email the CMS National Training Program at training@cms.hhs.gov. Marketplace information and training materials for partners is available at Marketplace.cms.gov.

But that's not all...In addition, there are webinars in both Spanish and English sponsored by the HHS Partnership on July 29 (Spanish) and 31 (English), and several dates in August.  See the end of this update for the complete list and registration links.

ACA NEWS

Described below are several new resources about the ACA.  A number of other resources can be found on the new and improved Family Voices ACA webpage.

More on Certified Application Counselors

As reported in the past two updates, there will be several types of individuals trained to assist consumers to select and apply for health insurance through the Marketplaces (Exchanges) established under the ACA.  These include Navigators, Non-Navigator Assisters, and Certified Application Counselors (CACs).  Friday's blog of the Georgetown Center on Children and Families includes a post explaining the responsibilities of CACs and the processes for designating them.

State-by-State Information from the Catalyst Center

The Catalyst Center has updated its web-based state data pages on coverage and financing of care for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) for each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.  Now available are the most recent data on selected topics from the 2011-12 National Survey of Children's Health, Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and other sources.  In addition, they incorporate a new health care reform section covering state health insurance market (Exchange) decisions, benchmark plans, and approved health home state plan amendments.  Also included are new data indicators on oral health care for CSHCN, percentage of CSHCN in families with income below 200% of the federal poverty level, and underinsurance for children

Explore the improved and updated state pages at http://data.catalystctr.org, and see

Dancing with Data for useful tips on using data to support messages about health care for children with special health care needs. 

New Video from the Kaiser Family Foundation

"The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare" is an animated video aimed at helping people to understand the health care system changes about to take place.  The video is narrated by former ABC News anchor Charlie Gibson, a member of the Kaiser Family Foundation's Board of Trustees, intended to inform consumers about what will and what will not change under the ACA and what they can do to prepare for open enrollment starting October 1, 2013. A Spanish-language version of the video will be released in the future.  The Foundation invites other organizations to embed the video on their websites or blogs.

The Foundation's website also provides a health insurance subsidy calculator, an interactive ACA implementation timeline, frequently asked questions, and a ten-question quiz about the law, among other resources.

OTHER NEWS

ADA anniversary

The President issued a proclamation, and Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius released a statement in recognition of the 23rd the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The Census Bureau also released some interesting data about people with disabilities in the US, available here.  The Bureau reports that there were 56.7 people with a disability living in the United States in 2010, representing 19 percent of the civilian non-institutionalized population.  Among children under age 15, 8 percent had disabilities.  

The Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice has a webpage, http://www.ada.gov/, providing a wealth of information about the ADA, including links to resources and the toll-free number for an ADA information line.  The Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Jocelyn Samuels, also issued a message in commemoration of the ADA's enactment, and blogged on Friday about the ADA as a "Gateway to Health Care," discussing ways that the ADA has helped to address obstacles to basic health care faced by individuals with disabilities, including communication barriers and exclusionary policies. 

On a related topic, advocates continue to work toward ratification by the US Senate of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UN CRPD).  The US International Council on Disabilities (USICD) has gathered over 550 organizational endorsements of the treaty.  Family Voices is among them. Others can join this group by clicking here.

Justice Department sues Florida over children placed in nursing homes

As it announced on Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed suit last week against the state of Florida, asserting that it violated the ADA, as interpreted in the Olmstead Supreme Court decision, by placing nearly 200 children with significant disabilities in nursing homes when they could have been served at home or in other community-based settings.  The Department seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as compensatory damages for affected children.  The Department's investigations had found that some children have spent years in a nursing facility before receiving legally required screening to determine whether they actually need to be in a nursing facility.  The Department claims that the state has "[d]eficient transition planning processes, lengthy waiting lists for community-based services and a lack of sufficient community-based alternatives...".  More information can be found in this article in Disability Scoop.

DoD revises new policy limiting Applied Behavioral Analysis

  [Please NOTE:  This article is from last week's "Capitol Insider," a publication of The Arc].


On July 18, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced that its new restrictions on Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) for the 23,000 military kids with autism will only apply to non-active duty members covered under the Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) program or TRICARE Basic.  On July 21, DoD issued further guidance stating that the new restrictions would also apply to active duty family members receiving ABA after July, 25, 2013. The ABA coverage restrictions will now apply to a pilot program for the families of non-active and retired personnel and to active duty family members receiving ABA after July, 25, 2013. The pilot program, created in section 705 of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, was intended to study the feasibility of coverage for the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) by comparing coverage under the TRICARE and its ECHO Program. (TRICARE is the military's health care program for active duty, activated guard and reserves, retired members of the uniformed services, their families, and survivors. It does not cover ABA services. TRICARE's separate ECHO program provides coverage for military family members with disabilities. While ECHO covers ABA services for ASD, the program is limited to active duty military and has an annual coverage cap.)

The proposed changes, scheduled to take effect July 25, require parents to arrange standardized testing every six months for their children in order to continue receiving care, and demonstrate "measurable progress."   The Arc will advocate for the removal of the coverage restrictions for all active duty personnel and for the pilot program that was created to study the feasibility of providing a comprehensive ABA benefit to children of military personnel in both the Tricare and ECHO programs.   For more information on the proposed policy changes, see the letter from Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Patty Murray (D-WA).

IN CONGRESS

F2F Funding

Current cosponsors of the Senate bill (S. 423), sponsored by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), are Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Al Franken (D-MN), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The House bill (H.R. 564), sponsored by Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), is cosponsored by Representative David Cicilline (D-RI). If you would like to contact your Representative and/or Senators to urge them to cosponsor one of these bills, you can find their contact information at http://www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb/index.htm.

UPCOMING CMS WEBINARS ON HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACES

New! Webinars on the Health Care Law

July and August 2013

The HHS Partnership Center continues to host a series of webinars for faith and community leaders. All webinars are open to the public and include a question and answer session.

To participate in one of the webinars, please select your preferred topic from the list below and submit the necessary information. Please click on the title of the webinar and fill out the registration form. After registering you will receive an e-mail confirmation containing information about joining the webinar. Please contact us at ACA101@hhs.gov  if you have problems registering or if you have any questions about the health care law. All webinars are one hour.

Please note that the first 1,000 people who join each webinar at the start time are able to attend. If there is significant interest in a webinar, we will do our best to schedule another session for the following month. If possible, please use your computer speakers to listen to the audio portion of the webinar.

The Health Care Law - Health Insurance Marketplace 101 (In Spanish)

La Ley del Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio - El Mercado de Seguros Medicos (En Español) 

July 29 at 4:00 pm ET

29 de julio a las 4:00 pm ET

Una presentación sobre la ley de la salud (La Ley del Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio) y como puede encontrar atención medica en su comunidad. Los temas incluyen el Mercado de Seguros Médicos, cómo inscribirse en un seguro medico y cómo aprender más sobre la ley. También habrá tiempo para proporcionar respuestas a las preguntas más frecuentes.

A presentation on the main provisions in the health care law (the Affordable Care Act) and how to access care in your community. Topics include the Health Insurance Marketplace, how to enroll in health insurance, and how to receive updates on implementation of the law. A brief question and answer session will provide answers to commonly asked questions.

New Health Insurance Marketplace Resources, Tour of the Newly Re-Launched HealthCare.gov and Q and A on the ACA  (In English)

July 31 at 4:00 pm ET

HealthCare.gov was recently re-launched to include new information on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Join us for a brief tour of the website, of other key websites on the Health Insurance Marketplace and a question and answer session. Please send any questions to ACA101@hhs.gov prior to July 2 at noon ET.

The Health Care Law - Health Insurance Marketplace 101 (In English)

August 7 at 3:00 pm ET

A presentation on the main provisions in the health care law (the Affordable Care Act) and how to access care in your community. Topics include the Health Insurance Marketplace, how to enroll in health insurance, and how to receive updates on implementation of the law. A brief question and answer session will provide answers to commonly asked questions.  

New Health Insurance Marketplace Resources, Tour of the Newly Re-Launched HealthCare.gov and Q and A on the ACA (In English)

August 20 at 2:00 pm ET

HealthCare.gov was recently re-launched to include new information on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Join us for a brief tour of the website, of other key websites on the Health Insurance Marketplace and a question and answer session. Please send any questions to ACA101@hhs.gov prior to July 2 at noon ET.

 Tour of the Newly Re-Launched CuidadoDeSalud.gov and Q and A on the ACA (In Spanish)

¡Prepárese para el nuevo CuidadoDeSalud.gov! (En Español)

August 22 at 1:00 pm ET

22 de agosto a las 1:00 pm ET 

www.CuidadoDeSalud.gov fue recientemente renovado para incluir nueva información sobre el nuevo Mercado de Seguros Médicos. Únase a nosotros para aprender más sobre el sitio web y como inscribirse en cobertura. También habrá tiempo para preguntas y respuestas. Este webinar será en español. Por favor envíe sus preguntas a ACA101@hhs.gov antes del 22 de agosto.

www.CuidadoDeSalud.gov was recently re-launched to include new information on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Join us for a brief tour of the website, of other key websites on the Health Insurance Marketplace and a question and answer session. Please send any questions to ACA101@hhs.gov prior to close of business on August 21.