Health Reform Hub

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State Specific ACA Resources for Pediatricians

Since it took effect in 2010, the Affordable Care Act has made important changes to the way health care coverage works for children and families. Starting October 1, 2013, people can compare insurance options in state marketplaces. The American Academy of Pediatrics has developed state-specific resources for pediatricians and parents to help them find a health insurance plan that meets the needs of children and families.



The Basics - The Commission on Long Term Care: Background Behind the Mission

As part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA, P.L.112-240), Congress created a Commission on Long-Term Care that is charged with developing a plan for "the establishment, implementation, and financing of a comprehensive, coordinated, and high-quality system that ensures the availability of long-term services and supports for individuals who need such services and supports, including elderly individuals, individuals with substantial cognitive or functional limitations, other individuals who require assistance to perform activities of daily living, and individuals desiring to plan for future long-term care needs." The newly established Commission is the latest federal effort to propose viable options to improve the way long-term services and supports (LTSS) are financed and delivered. Congress's most recent comprehensive review of financing options was in 1990 by the U.S. Bipartisan Commission on Comprehensive Health Care, known as the Pepper Commission after Rep. Claude Pepper (D-Florida).

pdf File Basics CommissionLTC 08-07-13.pdf [download]


Moving to High Quality, Adequate Coverage: State Implementation of New Essential Health Benefits Requirements

With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the Urban Institute is undertaking a comprehensive monitoring and tracking project to examine the implementation and effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010. The project began in May 2011 and will take place over several years. The Urban Institute will document changes to the implementation of national health reform in Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Virginia to help states, researchers and policy-makers learn from the process as it unfolds. This report is one of a series of papers focusing on particular implementation issues in these case study states. In addition, state-specific reports on case study states can be found at and The quantitative component of the project is producing analyses of the effects of the ACA on coverage, health expenditures, affordability, access, and premiums in the states and nationally.

pdf File rwjf407484.pdf [download]


New resources available to help consumers navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace

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.



The President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) Report Now Available in Spanish

This report provides recommendations regarding Managed Long-Term Services and Supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Translation of this document is courtesy of the Puerto Rico UCEDD.



ACA Medicaid Expansion: State-by-State Map with Stats

Hover over legend to see expansion status and over states to see the impact of the expansion of Medicaid eligibility on the uninsured; data courtesy of the Kaiser Family Foundation.



Many Tune into Medicare for Medicaid Advocates Webinar

Nearly 400 people attended the NSCLC Medicare for Medicaid Advocates webinar on July 24, 2013. The free webinar, featuring NSCLC's Directing Attorney Georgia Burke and Medicare Rights Center Director of Education Doug Goggin-Callahan, was targeted to Medicaid advocates whose clients include dual eligibles and low-income older adults. It included not just basic information about Medicare, but also a discussion of Medicare managed care and key differences between the Medicare and Medicaid programs, especially in relation to beneficiary rights and appeals. You can both view and hear the webinar as well as download the power point.



AARP unveils websites to help consumers navigate ObamaCare

AARP announced Monday that it has launched two websites - and - ahead of the enactment of the healthcare reform's major provisions. The group said the efforts are part of a wider campaign to educate consumers about the law, which it has supported in the past.



WebMD launches online ObamaCare guide

The leading online health site WebMD has launched one of the most comprehensive consumer guides to ObamaCare available so far. WebMD on Tuesday announced its new "Health Care Reform Center," which guides users through the basics of the Affordable Care Act and how to purchase health insurance on the new exchanges. WebMD is part of a growing group of healthcare stakeholders working to educate the public before ObamaCare's major provisions take effect on Jan. 1.



HHS Releases New Information To Show How the Affordable Care Act Benefits Americans

On July 29th, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released new information showing how the Affordable Care Act benefits the Americans. According to HHS, over 6.6 million people with Medicare have saved over $7 billion on prescription drugs as a result of the Affordable Care Act. These savings average $1,061 per beneficiary in drug costs while a beneficiary is in the "donut hole" (a coverage gap currently built into Medicare Part D) that the law closes over time. HHS also announced that 16.5 million people with traditional Medicare took advantage of at least one free preventive service in the first six months of 2013.



The Arc Releases A Guide For Non-Profit Employers On ACA

The Arc, an organization that advocates for and serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, recently released the guide, "The Affordable Care Act: What Non Profit Employers Need to Know," which explains the basic provisions of the law for employers. The publication provides an overview of what the ACA requires of employers, what penalties are imposed on large employers, an explanation about whether employers keep their current health insurance, how non-profits can apply for tax credits, and what additional provision apply to non-profits.

pdf File ARC ACA.pdf [download]


New "Zooming In" Interactive Tool Provides Detailed Estimates of Potential Changes In Medicaid Enrollment and the Uninsured at the Local Level Under the Affordable Care Act

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A new online tool released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation provides detailed projections of the impact of the Affordable Care Act on Medicaid enrollment and the uninsured in local communities across the nation. The tool is one of several interactive offerings on the Foundation's recently redesigned website that can help people understand the key elements of the health reform law, its implications and its implementation.



Proposed Marketplace Integrity Guidelines Outlined

CMS has released a proposed rule outlining program integrity guidelines for the Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace) and premium stabilization programs. Through the Affordable Care Act, consumers and small businesses will have access to new Marketplaces where they can access quality, affordable private health insurance. Consumers in every state will be able to buy insurance from qualified health plans directly through these Marketplaces and may be eligible for tax credits to lower the cost of their health insurance. Many of the provisions in the proposed rule build on guidance previously issued to states and other key stakeholders. These policies offer clarity on the oversight of various premium stabilization and affordability programs, build on state options regarding the Small Business Health Options Program, and provide technical clarifications. is the official national website of the Health Insurance Marketplaces. Open enrollment in the Marketplace begins October 1, 2013, with coverage to begin January 1, 2014.

pdf File 2013-14540.pdf [download]


Building State Capacity to Implement Integrated Care Programs for Medicare-Medicaid Enrollees

The success of integrated care initiatives for Medicare-Medicaid enrollees will depend in large part on the skills and knowledge of state Medicaid staff. Expertise in Medicare policy; the ability to conduct robust managed care oversight, data analysis and reporting; and the development of new communication strategies will be critical to program implementation. This technical assistance brief, made possible through support from The SCAN Foundation, examines key areas where states will need to build their internal capacity as they pursue integrated care programs for Medicare-Medicaid enrollees. Focus areas include: basic organizational capacity (leadership, staffing, and knowledge); contract development; data analysis and information systems; stakeholder communication; rate setting; and quality measurement.

pdf File Building State Capacity.pdf [download]


Deciphering The Health Law's Subsidies For Premiums

Tax credits to help low- and moderate-income Americans buy health insurance will become available in January under the health law, when for the first time, most people will be required to have coverage or pay a fine. The process could be complicated for some consumers, but information about how the system will work may help.

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