Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Period Closing Today

March 31st marks the closing of the open enrollment period for private health insurance provided through the marketplaces.  The Department of Health and Human Services has estimated that over 6 million people have signed up for health insurance coverage.  Some people may qualify for a special extended enrollment period if they have had problems signing up for insurance coverage before the deadline.  If you think you qualify but haven’t been notified, you can ask for a special enrollment period by calling the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 and letting them know your circumstances.  The call center will ask a series of questions to see if you qualify.  Make sure you have evidence that you’ve tried to enroll but were not successful.

New Affordable Care Act Resources From The National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative

The National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative (NDNRC) has released two more fact sheets to help navigators and other assistors better work with people with disabilities.   The most recent fact sheets address prescription drugs and working with disability organizations.   In addition to the series of fact sheets being produced by the collaborative, NDNRC also developed a disability guide.

The NDNRC is comprised of seven national disability organizations which represent unique cross-disability experiences.  The seven cross-disability organizations that are part of the collaborative include the American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD), the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), The Arc, and United Spinal Association. The NDNRC is funded through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Obama Administration Issues Regulations Making Adjustments to the Affordable Care Act

The Department of Health and Human Services announced regulations last week that would allow states and insurers the option to renew plans that do not meet the consumer protections and other Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements.  Specifically, it allows renewal of non-compliant plans until October 1, 2016.  This means that non-compliant plans could potentially remain in effect until well into 2017 as long as the policy year began before October 2016.  Thus far 27 states, plus Puerto Rico and Guam, have allowed insurers to renew these plans. The Administration also announced that it was extending the 2015 open enrollment period to run from November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015.

Affordable Care Act Provisions Delayed for Small Employers

Last week, the Administration published final rules implementing the employer shared responsibility provisions of the ACA.  The rules included another one year delay in the implementation of the employer responsibility provisions for employers with 50 to 100 full time employees.  The provision that these employers provide health insurance coverage to full time employees or pay a penalty will take effect January 2016.  The final rules allow employers to offer coverage of 70% to their full time employees without triggering a penalty.  The amount will be raised to 95% in 2016.   The proposed rule included a number of transitional provisions that have been extended through 2015, including delaying the requirement that employers make available coverage for their full time employees’ dependents as long as the employer is taking steps to arrange for the coverage to begin in 2016.

New Affordable Care Act Resource Available

The National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative has released the first of several fact sheets entitled “Comparing Health Plans’ Benefits and Coverage Summaries.”  This fact sheet is intended to inform navigators and other enrollment specialists about what people with disabilities need to look for in the Summary of Benefits and Coverage.  The entire list of upcoming fact sheets is also available at their website.  This information complements the earlier publication by the collaborative, “Guide to Disability for Healthcare Insurance Marketplace Navigators”, designed to inform navigators and other enrollment specialists about special considerations people with disabilities may face as they shop for healthcare coverage.  The Collaboration is a project of the American Association on Health and Disability and is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  The Arc is one of the seven national organizations participating in the collaboration.  The Arc encourages chapters and members to share the availability of the guide and other resources with Affordable Care Act navigators in their community.

How Has the Affordable Care Act Helped You?

As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to roll out, it’s important to show its impact on the disability community.  The best way to show the benefits of the ACA is by sharing stories of individuals who are benefiting from the consumer protections provided in the law.  And there are many: An end to preexisting condition exclusions, elimination of high cost insurance because of a disability or medical condition, and an end to annual and lifetime limits to coverage.

We are looking for stories of individuals with disabilities who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act and need your help. Please share your story or the story of someone you know!

How Has the Affordable Care Act Helped You?

As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to roll out, it’s important to show its impact on the disability community.  The best way to show the benefits of the ACA is by sharing stories of individuals who are benefiting from the consumer protections provided in the law.  And there are many: An end to preexisting condition exclusions, eliminates high cost insurance because of a disability or medical condition, and ends annual and lifetime limits to coverage.

We are looking for stories of individuals with disabilities who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act and need your help. Please share your story or the story of someone you know!

New Affordable Care Act Resource Released

The National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative has released a “Guide to Disability for Healthcare Insurance Marketplace Navigators” designed to inform navigators and other enrollment specialists about special considerations people with disabilities may face as they shop for healthcare coverage.  The Collaboration is a project of the American Association on Health and Disability and is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  The Arc is one of the seven national organizations participating in the collaboration.  The Arc encourages chapters and members to share the availability of the guide and other resources with Affordable Care Act navigators in their community.