Affordable Care Act Update

New Report Shows Real Benefits of the Affordable Care Act for the People of Arizona

 

 On July, 31 of 2013 the Obama Administration issued a new report highlighting the benefits of the Affordable Care Act for the people of Arizona.  Thanks to the health care law, the 82% of Arizonanswho have insurance have more choices and stronger coverage than ever before.  And for the 18%of Arizonans who don’t have insurance, or Arizona families and small businesses who buy their coverage but aren’t happy with it, a new day is just around the corner. 

 
“Soon, the Health Insurance Marketplace will provide families and small businesses who currently don’t have insurance, or are looking for a better deal, a new way to find health coverage that fits their needs and their budgets,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.   
 

Open enrollment in the Marketplace starts Oct 1, with coverage starting as soon as Jan 1, 2014.  But Arizonafamilies and small business can visit HealthCare.gov right now to find the information they need prepare for open enrollment.

 The health care law is already providing better options, better value, better health and a stronger Medicare program to the people of Arizona by:

Better Options
 

The Health Insurance Marketplace

Beginning Oct 1, the Health Insurance Marketplace will make it easy for Arizonansto compare qualified health plans, get answers to questions, find out if they are eligible for lower costs for private insurance or health programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and enroll in health coverage. 

By the Numbers: Uninsured Arizonans who are eligible for coverage through the Marketplace. 

·         947,878 (18%) are uninsured and eligible

·         695,083 (73%) have a full-time worker in the family

·        [...]

Legislative Day 2013

Tyler Pulleys Experience
 
 

 

I went to the Lunch on the Lawn to meet with some legislators to help educate them on bleeding disorders.  We also wanted to see if they were in support of the Governors expansion of Medicad.  My mom and I met with 3 representatives.  One was with Rep. Larkin.  He was very interested in my factor and how much it costs every month.  All of the Representatives were very surprised at how much factor costs.  We invited them all to lunch on the Senate Lawn where we had mexican food and a mini Salsa Challenge.  It is important for us to go to Lunch on the Lawn every year so our legislators remember us and can help us with issues we might have.  And my dad had the best salsa for the 2nd year in a row!!!
Tyler Pulley- 12

Legislative Day 2013

 

 
Vickie Parra’s Experience

 

Alyssa and I were hesitant, to say the least, to attend the Legislative Days Lunch on the Lawn.  This was our first time attending and really didn’t know what to expect.  It was quite intimidating thinking about sitting down with Senators and Legislators, especially when you are not very political!  We arrived early and attended a meeting so that we would have some idea of what to expect.  That meeting was a breeze, raised my confidence and off we went to our meetings.  Only to have both meetings cancelled, I was disappointed but not for long!  While having lunch on the lawn, the Senator and Representative from our district sat with us and we were able to discuss the Medicaid Expansion.  We were invited into the Senate Session, were introduced and had a very pleasant experience.  We look forward to attending again next year!  As intimidating as it may sound, it is a fun/informative experience, and there are plenty of people around that are willing to help you. 

Washington Days Reflections

Diane Lee’s Experience

(from left to right, Josh Schmidt, Yleana Hughes, Jessica klass,

 Sarah Fey, Jim Durr, and Diane Lee)
March 13, 2013It was an honor to be selected to attend the National Hemophilia Foundation’s Washington Days on behalf of the Arizona Hemophilia Association this year.  The trip is a chance to really feel part of our democratic system of government while participating in a process advocating for our bleeding community.  This year the NHF had over 300 members attend to meet with the congressional leaders from all around the United States.  This was the largest turn-out for Washington Days they have ever had.  From Arizona, we were able to send a team of six and were able to meet with many of the Representative offices and Senatorial staff from Arizona. 
Our primary focus this year was to lobby for support of HR 460, The Patients’ Access to Treatment Act which would set regulations on insurance companies preventing them from creating a Tier IV prescription drug list in which they could charge a co-insurance of ten to thirty percent.  As you can imagine, this amount of co-insurance would make much of our factor and medications cost prohibitive to us even with insurance.
We also told our personal stories of how the local Hemophilia Treatment Centers (HTC)have benefited our families and requested that any cuts that may be made to budgets either spare or at least be fairly distributed across agencies.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) are agencies that fund and support our Hemophilia Treatment Centers and they have suffered deep cuts already.  We do not want any further cuts.

 
I was impressed at how receptive and respectful [...]

Cindy: Healthcare Reform Update

Healthcare Reform Update

As you may know, the Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) was constitutional. What that means is that the government can require that individuals have health insurance. However, the Supreme Court also ruled that the states do not have to expand Medicaid from 100% federal poverty level (FPL) to 133% (FPL) as was required in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Why does all of this matter to you? The ACA has certain requirements for the states. Arizona has to decide:

I.              What the Essential Health Benefits benchmark plan will be and report to the federal government by September 30th. Governor Brewer chose the State Employee Benefit-United Healthcare EPO with pediatric dental and vision coverage supplemental by the FED-VIP plan as the benchmark plan. It will be important to understand what is included in this plan regarding pharmacy benefits, factor product choices, etc. The plan is about 80 pages long. We are currently assessing it and will make sure to make our voices heard on any concerns for our community.

II.            Whether Arizona will operate its own Health Insurance Exchange or opt to have the federal government run it.  The exchanges are designed to help small businesses provide coverage for their employees and for individuals who are not insured through their employer. On November 28, 2012, Governor Brewer notified the feds that Arizona will not create a state-run health insurance exchange. Arizona is one of 17 other states that have rejected a state-run exchange. The federal government has the authority to step in and create exchanges in states that do not build their own.

III.           Whether to expand Medicaid from 100% FPL to 133% FPL. Children are automatically increased but [...]

Our Advocacy Hero

Cindy Komar, our executive director here at the association, was featured in Biogen Idec’s Advocacy Spotlight. Read the article here: http://biogenidechemophilia.com/hemophilia-community/advocacy-spotlight-advocate-cindy-komar.htmlCindy’s key advocacy tips are so helpful to me. I had the chance to go with her to Washington Days in DC and she really knows how to make an impact! I especially appreciate the “Create a team” lesson; I know I would have never had the courage to talk to those legislators without the rest of our Arizona team.Here is a picture of us :)

What are some experiences you have had? Do you have any tips for talking to legislators, doctors, teachers, or anyone of authority?

-Amanda