Today I am headed to Evanston to talk to legislators about our concerns over Phase 3 of the Integrated Care Pilot. Phase 3 moves all developmental disability day and long term care services into managed care. The Arc is strongly opposed to Phase 3. Bonnie Dohoge has made arrangements to meet with Senator Schoenberg, Rep Biss and Gable. I am always willing to meet with our Arc members and their legislators if my schedule is open.We continue to wait for the Supreme Courts ruling on the President’s Affordable Care Act. There is much at stake for people with disabilities and the general public with this case. Already I have heard from families that they have received letters from their insurance companies that they will once again impose lifetime caps for their children with special health care needs should the Supreme Court rule in their favor. Right now, because of the ACA those caps are prohibited.
The Supreme Court will rule next week.
In addition to being the State Chapter of The Arc, we are also the State Chapter of Family Voices. Below is their summary of health care reform updates.
Supreme Court. It’s getting closer to Decision Day, Stakeholder groups, political party leadership, and no doubt the White House, are all developing press releases and talking points in anticipation of the Supreme Court decision regarding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) individual mandate (requirement to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty) and Medicaid expansion. Most people are betting on the Court’s announcement of its decision to come on Monday, June 25, although it is possible that it could come as early as this coming Monday. Family Voices’ Communications Director, Melanie Rubin, is working in conjunction with other children’s health groups to develop a coordinated response to the decision. A great summary (3+ pages) of the legal issues before the court can be found here.
Insurers’ announcement. Speaking of the Supreme Court decision, three large insurance companies – UnitedHealth Group, Aetna, and Humana – announced that they would continue to follow some of the ACA’s reforms even if the law is struck down. Specifically, they said that they would continue to allow young adults up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ health insurance policies, would continue to cover preventive care without copayments, and keep the third-party appeals process for denials of coverage mandated by the ACA. See http://www.philly.com/philly/health/20120617_UnitedHealth__Aetna_react_before_
ACA implementation information. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services continues to issue regulations on the ACA and (some) states continue their efforts to implement the law.
There are several resources for figuring out exactly where your state stands in the process of ACA implementation. The State Refor(u)m team, of the National Academy for State Health Policy, has compiled a chart that highlights states’ ACA implementation activities in seven areas, including: exchanges, eligibility systems, rate review, and public engagement. View the state activity chartordownload state activity maps.In addition, the State Refor(u)m team has compiled a chart highlighting state activity around selecting essential health benefits benchmark plans, which states will be required to establish based on one of four options outlined in an HHS bulletin and FAQ.
The Kaiser Family Foundation has also developed a tableshowing the status of state creation of Exchanges under the ACA. You can click on your state to get more details and an explanation of the terms used in the table.
Another resource is a series of HHS-sponsored interactive conference calls for the public to discuss the benefits and provisions of the ACA. People can submit questions to be addressed on the calls to ACA101@hhs.gov. To participate in one of the conference calls, you can select a date from the list below and submit the necessary information. Call-in information will be made available 24 hours in advance. Calls will be held on June 19 at 2:00 pm ET– The Health Care Law 101 (in Spanish); June 21 at 4:00 pm ET– Tour of www.HealthCare.gov; July 19 at 12:30 pm ET– The Health Care Law 101 (in English); July 24 at 2:00 pm ET– The Health Care Law 101 (in Spanish).
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423