Health Care Blog
- Posted byon February 28, 2014 at 1:00 AM EDT
This week, the President announced two new manufacturing hubs, and his "My Brother's Keeper" initiative, toured a new light rail system in St. Paul, Minnesota, and spoke on the importance of supporting American infrastructure jobs. The First Lady celebrated the fourth anniversary of her "Let's Move" Initiative with both Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler, while the Vice President kicked off the inaugural episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers.
- Posted byon February 27, 2014 at 9:17 AM EDT
The Region 5 Regional Interagency Working Group (RIWG) of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) partnered with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the State of Illinois to host a Health Care Roundtable in February. Panel presenters from federal, state, and community sectors discussed the latest updates, successes, and challenges regarding enrollment initiatives under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The roundtable was a unique convening of federal and state leaders, in-person counselors, navigators, and others on the frontlines of health care access issues in Chicago’s AAPI community, including event co-sponsors South Asian American Policy & Research Institute (SAAPRI) and Asian Health Coalition (AHC).
Participants were given an overview of the Chicago area’s AAPI population, a rapidly growing group that faces unique health disparities. AAPIs are the fastest growing racial group in Illinois, with Indian Americans as the largest subgroup. Representatives from community-based organizations discussed successful outreach and enrollment strategies. They shared anecdotal examples of effectively connecting with Asian and other immigrant communities, including outreach at religious institutions and social events in collaboration with key leaders who have strong relationships with ethnic communities.
Community advocates detailed the enrollment challenges and discussed potential solutions with federal representatives. For example, WHIAAPI provided ideas of private-public partnerships that may support the efforts of the community organizations that are often the best point of contact for AAPI applicants. Participants suggested that language assistance resources used in the Health Insurance Marketplace call center should also be made available in the identity verification process, to assist applicants with limited English proficiency.
As the March 31 open enrollment deadline approaches, this regional roundtable provided a critical forum for agencies and community leaders to share successful strategies, describe challenges, and formulate solutions. For those who would like to apply for health coverage through the Marketplace, there are four basic ways to apply. Besides going online, you can use a paper application, visit a trained assistor in your community, or call our Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 to apply and enroll over the phone. Learn more about how to enroll.
Following the roundtable, the RIWG members provided resources for participants to access additional information about federal government programs. The community leaders appreciated the opportunity to explain their concerns directly to state and federal officials. We look forward to building off this event and continue these candid conversations between federal officials and the AAPI community in the Chicago region.
Doug Nguyen is the Deputy Regional Communications Director for the Social Security Administration in Region 5. He is also a member of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders’ Regional Interagency Working Group.
- Posted byon February 26, 2014 at 6:26 PM EDT
Crime doesn’t pay when it comes to defrauding Medicare or Medicaid. But our crime-fighting efforts do.
Over these past three years, every dollar we’ve invested to fight fraud and abuse has returned $8.10 to the American taxpayer. We recovered a record-breaking $4.3 billion last year and $19.2 billion over the last five years.
Today, we released a joint HHS-Justice Department report that tells more of this story. Click here to read it.
- Posted byon February 21, 2014 at 6:43 PM EDT
Millions of Americans have already signed up for affordable health insurance through HealthCare.gov.
But millions more are eligible for new or improved coverage. And if you're one of them, make sure you get covered before March 31st.
President Obama recorded a message just for you -- watch it now, then go to HealthCare.gov. Make sure you stick around for the end for a special surprise:
- Posted byon February 21, 2014 at 10:47 AM EDT
As a former NBA point guard, I know a thing or two about assists. And with just over a month of open enrollment left, I know how important it is to assist one another and reach out to friends, family, and neighbors to let them know that they need to get covered.
In my city of Sacramento and across the country, millions of Americans have already taken the time to look out for their health and enroll in coverage.
But we still have lots of work left to do in the coming weeks to make sure everyone out there knows their options and gets the health insurance they need.
As an athlete and mayor, I know how important it is to prepare for the unexpected. It’s important for folks to get covered so they can get the care they need without losing everything they’ve worked hard for.
Take a look at my video and visit HealthCare.gov to explore your options and sign up for coverage. Folks can still enroll through March 31, so help get the word out to people in your community that it’s not too late to get covered.
New Funding to Increase Access to Mental Health Services and New Protections Under the Health Care LawPosted byon February 18, 2014 at 8:22 PM EDT
So far this year, the Administration has taken three key steps as part of our ongoing effort to increase access to mental health services.
First, the President signed an omnibus appropriations bill, securing $115 million for new mental health initiatives that the President and Vice President proposed in January 2013 as part of their comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence. This funding will have a real impact in communities across the country, where it will be used to train more mental health professionals and help educators and other adults who work with youth recognize the early signs of mental health problems and refer young people to appropriate help when needed. The funds will also be used for a new initiative which will support innovative state-based approaches to making sure young people ages 16 to 25 who are at high risk for mental illness don’t fall through the cracks of our mental health system when they leave school or home.
Second, on January 31, with funding from the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services made $50 million available to help Community Health Centers across the country establish or expand mental and behavioral health services for people living with mental illness or addiction. Using these funds, Health Centers can hire new mental health professionals and add mental health and substance use disorder services. This new funding was first announced by Vice President Biden last December. At that time, the Vice President also announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has set a new goal of financing $50 million for the construction, expansion, or improvement of mental health facilities in rural areas over the next three years.