AUCD Legislative News In Brief

August 12, 2013

AUCD Legislative News In Brief
  August 12, 2013   |  Vol. XIII, Issue 32
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Special Edition on ACA Implementation Resources

August recess is in full swing, and AUCD is taking advantage of this break in legislative news to provide a brief update on the many ACA implementation tools and resources recently made available. Today marks 50 days until October 1 when open enrollment starts for the Health Insurance Marketplaces. The resources below provide information on Marketplaces, the Medicaid expansion, enrollment, outreach, and other aspects of health reform that will go live in the coming months.

With Congress in recess for the month, many members are back in their states and districts holding town hall meetings and other events, including discussions of the Affordable Care Act. These resources will be useful as implementation continues and enrollment beings October 1, as well as in these continuing community conversations about the law.

For Everyone is the first stop for anyone looking for more information on their state's Health Insurance Marketplace, as well as the portal that individuals or small businesses will use to access Marketplaces. It provides links directly to the Individual and Small Business Marketplaces through the "Get Insurance" tab. Enter your state on this page to be directed to your state's Marketplace or the Marketplace that the federal government has created for your state. The site also provides more information about Marketplaces in general, answering questions like "Will I qualify for lower costs on monthly premiums" and "What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?" is in Spanish. Information is also available in Chinese, French, French Creole, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Tagalog, and Vietnamese at is complaint with Section 508 accessibility rules, but any accessibility questions or comments can be reported on

To Support Outreach and Enrollment

The CMS Marketplace website is the primary resource for organizations looking for resources on the Health Insurance Marketplaces. It provides opportunities to partner with CMS to encourage enrollment as a "Champion of Change" or Certified Application Counselor. It houses training materials, including basic training on the Marketplaces to the more advanced training that will be available to Navigators and In-Person Assisters. Federally funded Navigators will be announced August 15 and recent CMS documents have indicated that the Navigator training will be open to the public. Finally, the site provides official resources, including multimedia, widgets and badges for your websites, logos and infographics, and official publications . Most resources and materials are available in English and Spanish.

Enroll America is a nonprofit organization that provides resources and information that organizations need to help people understand and enroll in affordable health insurance. Their state profiles map can take you directly to consolidated information in your state, including the geographic distribution of uninsured residents, the type of Marketplace planned, federal support dollars allocated, consumer assistance grants, public education efforts, and links to other organizations' state-based information.

Get Covered America is aimed at individuals seeking information or willing to volunteer to support enrollment efforts. They organize house parties and neighborhood canvassers to encourage education about affordable health insurance options.

Detailed Regulatory and State-Based Information

State Refor(u)m provides detailed information on state implementation efforts. It is an effort of the National Academy of State Health Policy and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to create an online network of people deep into the details of health reform implementation. It employs national policy analysts to provide information and connects state health officials looking to learn from each other. It provides information and discussion forums key topics on state-level implementation, including consumer assistance programs and training, essential health benefits (including habilitation), health program coordination, qualified health plan certification, and many other topics.

The Kaiser Family Foundation has been the traditional source of high quality health and health policy information, a role that they have continued in the health reform effort. They provide resources for understanding the law's policy impact, from basic information on the law to analysis of how regulatory guidance will shape implementation. They will provide state-specific information on major issues, like the Medicaid Expansion, creation of Health Insurance Marketplaces, and demonstrations to integrate care for dually eligible beneficiaries. For a fun way of explaining the law, see their Health Reform Hits Main Street video, which was produced in 2010 and explains the basics of the law, and the follow up The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare, which explains the changes since 2010 and what will happen on October 1, 2013 and January 1, 2014.

Health Reform GPS provides briefs and overviews of final rules, recently released reports, and other executive branch guidance. It has the best summaries and analyses of detailed CMS decisions, including a regular emphasis on people with disabilities. Don't have time to read CMS's latest 600 page final rule? Wait a few days and they will explain the most important parts and provide context to the decision.  

For Small Businesses

Buisiness.USA.Gov/healthcare is the official portal for small businesses in the US who have questions about the Affordable Care Act.

For Individuals

AARP has two new tools and to provide basic information, including an interactive feature that helps an individual determine his or her status under the law. It pays special attention to Medicare and will be helpful reaching out to seniors who are unsure how the law will affect them.

WebMD has launched a primer on the law with videos, a "quick start" guide for those looking for insurance, and key questions from consumers. As a well-known source of health information online, WebMD will be a particularly good resource for those who don't have specific health questions but are confused about health insurance and ACA changes broadly.

Wall Street Journal's "Prescribed" feature is an interactive video following one man as he wakes up on January 1, 2014 and the potential health care changes (or lack of changes) awaiting him. It provides basic ACA information in an interesting way, particularly for people who already have health insurance and don't know if the law will affect them. 

For more policy news, follow Kim and Rachel on Twitter at @kmusheno and @racheljpat

 For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD's Glossary of Legislative Terms.

For copies of this and previous issues of Legislative News In Brief please visit the Public Policy Page of the AUCD website:

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