Message from Tom Van Coverden

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Released: July 23, 2013

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

As you know, major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will soon begin implementation with the promise of health coverage for millions of uninsured Americans through state Marketplaces (exchanges) and expanded Medicaid eligibility in some states. Access to insurance coverage will represent a major step toward making access to health care a reality for many people all over the country. To that end, we – Community Health Centers, Primary Care Associations (PCAS), Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs) and NACHC – must work together to ensure that health center patients, and others in the communities we serve, fully understand the new protections and benefits afforded to them under the ACA and to assist them in gaining the coverage they need and deserve.
 
Surveys show that more than three-fourths of uninsured Americans who are most likely to qualify for coverage are unaware of their new options. The critical and immediate task now is to help educate people about their coverage options in each state before enrollment begins on October 1. NACHC stands ready to assist health centers and S/RPCAs in these efforts. 
 
Grant funding totaling $150 million has been awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help health centers provide enrollment assistance to individuals in their communities. This funding will enable centers to hire staff, train existing staff, and conduct community outreach and other educational activities. In addition, PCAs will receive $6.5 million in supplemental funding for coordination and outreach and enrollment activities. Also, to assist in outreach and enrollment efforts, NACHC is:
 
Working with national partners, such as the Enroll America, to ensure that health centers can coordinate effectively and efficiently with local and state stakeholders, and develop outreach and application assistance plans in their communities. Likewise, NACHC is working with our national partners to assure state level activities are coordinated with our PCAs.

  • NACHC, in conjunction with the Robert Graham Center, is including new data in the UDS Mapper that will identify uninsured populations in your geographic area eligible for either state exchanges or Medicaid expansion.  This new data should be available for use by August 23.
  • Establishing a central repository for the latest information and materials on outreach and enrollment, from innovations to best practices on the NACHC website.
  • Designating specific NACHC staff to assist health centers/SRPCAs with outreach and enrollment questions in key areas as they arise.
  • Developing message points and other communication tools to help explain the role of health centers and outreach and enrollment to external audiences, such as members of the media and legislators.
  • Creating a Medicaid Calculator tool to help determine the financial impact of a Medicaid expansion on health centers in a given state.

In the coming months, NACHC will work diligently to keep you informed and assist you in any way we can so that together we can bring access to both coverage and health care to greater numbers of people. We look forward to working with you.

Sincerely,

Tom Van Coverden, President and CEO, NACHC