Opportunities to Expand Access to Coverage and Care

Currently, there are proposals in Congress which are being considered which could increase access to both coverage and care and two new reports highlight the benefits that those proposals could have.

Justice in Aging has released a fact sheet along with the Medicare Rights Center which highlights the benefits that would come from increasing the funding for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS). The fact sheet highlights the fact that over 800,000 individuals are on the waiting list for HCBS and increasing the funding could provide access to this care for many of these individuals who desperately need it.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has a new report which looks at the effect that closing the Medicaid coverage gap would have for older adults. Medicaid coverage gap exists in those states who have still not expanded Medicaid as is allowed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The CBPP report estimates that over 350,000 individuals who were uninsured in between the ages of 55-64 could gain access to coverage if Congress were to close the Medicaid gap.

With the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, states have extended Medicaid coverage through increased federal funding which ends at the end of this year. Once this coverage ends, states will need to redetermine Medicaid benefits for over 80 million Americans. These redeterminations could disproportionately affect marginalized communities such as Black/Latinx Americans and people with disabilities. The Commonwealth Fund has a new report which examines this issue and provides recommendations which states can consider to reduce potential coverage losses.

For those that do have coverage, now is the time to make sure that people are making the most out of their coverage. In an effort to highlight health insurance enrollment, AAHD has a project with Community Catalyst in conducting outreach to educate individuals about health insurance enrollment through the ACA Marketplace and Medicaid. This outreach includes graphics like the one below which highlight the benefits of coverage. These graphics are available in the Community Catalyst Outreach Hub.

It should be noted that while the COVID SEP did end for the federally facilitated marketplace and some state-based marketplaces, there still are some state-based marketplaces (SBMs) which are running a COVID SEP. You can find out what SBMs are still running a COVID SEP by checking out our blog post.
Last week, we highlighted the updated Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (NBPP) for 2022 which CMS recently released. Check out our news item if you want to learn more about the updated NBPP or get access to links to the final rule, CMS press release and CMS fact sheet. The Georgetown Center on Health Insurance Reforms (CHIR) released a blog post which looks at what the updated NBPP could mean for states.
The CHIR also has another recent blog post which addresses new rules on an issue that we have written about before – the No Surprises Act. CHIR’s blog post looks at new rules related to air ambulances.
For OE9, AAHD is working with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) again to provide technical assistance to navigators and other health insurance enrollment assisters. CBPP is conducting its fall “Beyond the Basics” webinar series consisting of nine webinars. The webinars will continue this Tuesday, October 5 addressing plan selection strategies. The full schedule of webinars as well as links to view the archives and register for future webinars can be found in our news item. The webinar series runs through the middle of October, ending with a webinar on October 14 which AAHD will be presenting on “Best Practices for Assisting People with Disabilities”.
Archives of weekly updates are available on the NDNRC website.
For more information visit the National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative at https://nationaldisabilitynavigator.org/.