A recent CMHS enrollment presentation provided valuable information on Affordable Care Act (ACA) changes to eligibility and enrollment. This presentation also highlighted the SAMHSA Enrollment Coalitions Initiative, Enrollment Training Efforts, and changes that will take place in 2014. For example, currently the application process requires different applications for different programs. If the application is denied, the applicant starts the process over. However, once ACA is implemented, a single streamlined application will serve as the gateway to all coverage programs. Additionally, the in-person interview requirements that are currently in effect will be eliminated.
The ACA will also include a number of enrollment assistance activities, including:
- The Navigator Program, which will include at least one consumer-focused non-profit and will be required for and financed by each Exchange
- In-person assistance personnel for State-based or State-partnership Marketplaces
- Certified Application Counselors
SAMHSA’s Enrollment Coalitions Initiative allows for opportunities to collaborate with national organizations whose members/constituents interact regularly with individuals with behavioral health conditions. The activities of this Initiative include the creation and implementation of enrollment communication campaigns, the provision of training and technical assistance in developing enrollment communication campaigns, and the channeling of feedback and evaluation of success. SAMHSA’s Office of Behavioral Health Equity is working with African American, Latino, Native American, and Asian American organizations to develop and promote best practices for Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to enroll eligible populations. CMHS’ SOAR project (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery Technical Assistance) will provide enrollment training to assist in accessing entitlement programs for homeless populations.
The relaunched Healthcare.gov site is a vital resource. This site will be the premier destination to help consumers prepare for the new coverage opportunities coming this fall. Consumers will be able to compare and enroll in affordable, qualified health plans. Grantees are encouraged to visit this website for important, regularly updated information and offer feedback on what is working in the field and what changes are needed.
The following websites offer additional information on enrollment resources:
The Marketplace homepage
HHS Partners Resources website
SAMHSA Health Reform Resources website
Behavioral Health Needs Assessment Toolkit for States website
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