Below are some more updates from HHS on the work we have been doing on ACA Outreach to African American communities. Please be sure to join us for our twitter chat this Wednesday! Thanks and please let me know if you have any questions.
I. Updated African Americans and the ACA Fact Sheet
II. Navigator Announcements
III. Certified Application Counselors
IV. Champions for Coverage
V. Twitter Chat with African American and Latino Organizations
I. New Fact Sheet on HHS.gov
The Affordable Care Act will help make health insurance coverage more affordable and accessible for millions of Americans. For African Americans, like other racial and ethnic minorities, the law will address inequities and will increase access to quality, affordable health coverage, invest in prevention and wellness, and give individuals and families more control over their care. Find more information on African Americans and coverage here.
II. Navigator Announcements
In case you missed it last week, navigators who will work in the communities to help enroll Americans across the country, were just announced. CMS awarded $67 million to organizations across the country. A full list of navigator grant recipients is here.
Press release is below:
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced $67 million in grant awards to 105 Navigator grant applicants in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces. These Navigator grantees and their staff will serve as an in-person resource for Americans who want additional assistance in shopping for and enrolling in plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace beginning this fall. Also today, HHS recognized more than 100 national organizations and businesses who have volunteered to help Americans learn about the health care coverage available in the Marketplace.
Today’s announcement builds upon the significant progress in outreach and education made this summer. Consumers can learn about and enroll in coverage later this fall through HealthCare.gov. HHS launched 24-hours-a-day consumer call center ready to answer questions in 150 languages. More than 1,200 community health centers across the country are preparing to help enroll uninsured Americans in coverage, and a partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services will help trusted local libraries be a resource for consumers who want information on their options. In addition, HHS has begun training other individuals who will be providing in-person assistance, such as agents and brokers and certified application counselors.
Navigators are trained to provide unbiased information in a culturally competent manner to consumers about health insurance, the new Health Insurance Marketplaces, qualified health plans, and public programs including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The Navigator funding opportunity announcement was open to eligible private and public groups and people who are self-employed who met certain standards to promote effectiveness, diversity, and program integrity.
Navigators will be required to adhere to strict security and privacy standards – including how to safeguard a consumer’s personal information. They’ll be required to complete 20-30 hours of training to be certified, will take additional training throughout the year, and will renew their certification yearly. All types of enrollment assisters – including in-person assisters, Certified Application Counselors, and agents and brokers – are required to complete specific training and are subject to federal criminal penalties for violations of privacy or fraud statutes, on top of any relevant state law penalties.
III.Certified Application Counselors (CAC’s)
For organizations that are interested in serving as In-person Assisters, applications for CAC’s are still being accepted. More information on the program can be found here: http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Files/Downloads/marketplace-ways-to-help.pdf
Interested organizations can view the sample application here.
IV.Champions for Coverage
The growing list of Champions for Coverage is one more example of businesses and organizations across the nation pitching in to help consumers understand the coming options for quality, affordable coverage. Champions for Coverage, among others, include:
Click here to learn more about organizations participating in Champions for Coverage: http://marketplace.cms.gov/help-us/champions-for-coverage-list.pdf.
To become a Champion of Coverage, visit: http://marketplace.cms.gov/help-us/champion-apply.html.
V. Twitter Chat: The Affordable Care, The Health Insurance Marketplace and Racial/Ethnic Minorities
Join the Office of Minority Health on Wednesday, 8/22 at 2 ET for chat on #ACA & Communities of color! Use this hashtag #ACAMinorities and tweet us @MinorityHealth
The Health Insurance Marketplace will open Oct. 1, allowing people to choose health insurance options that work for them. But making sure people enroll is a key part of improving the health of our nation. Before the enrollment period begins, bring your questions and suggestions to our Twitter chat Thursday Aug. 22 from 2 to 3 p.m., ET and discuss the impact of the Affordable Care Act on minority communities.
If your organization is interested in participating in the twitter chat, please email me as soon as possible, so we can mention you in our tweets and look for you during the twitter chat.
Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
(202) 690-7035 (office)