Pennsylvania Association of

Community Health Centers

Supporting Pennsylvania's health centers in increasing access to quality primary health care for all

Latest News About Pennsylvania's Health Centers

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April 23, 2021 Outreach and Enrollment News

Author: Amanda Tekely/Monday, April 26, 2021/Categories: Outreach News

New Assister Policy and Reporting Changes

David Thomsen, Pennie Policy Director, will highlight changes for consumers and assisters enrolling in coverage with the new American Rescue Plan on the Pennie platform during PACHC’s April 28 Outreach and Enrollment Monthly Assister Call at 10:00 am. Click here to join. Cognosante will also be introducing a new Assister/Ambassador reporting tool which will be effective May 1, 2021. This session will be recorded and posted on PACHC's Outreach and Enrollment Slack page. 

Federal Marketplace States Receive Increase in Navigator Funding

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that to continue its efforts to increase access to enrollment assistance for consumers, the Centers for Medicare and Services (CMS) will make $80 million available in grants to Navigators in Federal Marketplaces for the 2022 plan year. The funding, which will be used for outreach and education efforts, is the largest allocation CMS has made available for Navigator grants to date and represents an eight-fold increase in funding from the previous year. CMS invested $10 million annually in the Navigator program beginning with funding awarded in 2018 for the 2019 plan year. CMS awarded $36.2 million in 2017 for the 2018 plan year, down from a high of $63 million awarded in 2016 for the 2017 plan year. Pennsylvania is a state-based marketplace and is not included in this funding. Read more.

 

Most Uninsured Americans Eligible for Coverage

According to Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 60% of individuals who are uninsured in the U.S. and 80% of uninsured Pennsylvanians are eligible for Medicaid, other public coverage or ACA subsidies. This includes about 34 percent who are likely eligible for tax credits. The American Rescue Plan Act—which expands tax credits, allows individuals who are eligible for COBRA to enroll at no cost through the end of September and gives those who are uninsured the ability to enroll in coverage during the Special COVID-19 Open Enrollment Period through August 15—is contributing to the increase in eligibility for patient and consumer coverage.

With the World Opening Up, Don’t Lose Sight of Enabling Services

Health center enabling services include a wide range of services that support and assist primary care and facilitate patient access to care. Case management, assistance with scheduling transportation, outreach, patient and community education, eligibility assistance (including pharmacy assistance program eligibility) and translation/interpretation services support everyday interactions at health centers. With more vaccines being given, patients and consumers are accessing more health center services and the need for these additional services will increase. In 2019, with funding from HRSA, NACHC published four case studies on health centers and primary care associations that took innovative approaches to providing enabling services in their communities: Focus on ApprenticeshipsFocus on Behavioral HealthFocus on Field-Based Enabling Services and Focus on Food Insecurity. As part of HRSA base-grant funding, health centers are expected to provide outreach and enrollment assistance. According to the 2019 UDS BPHC Program Health Center data, more than 53,000 instances were recorded of enrollment assistance from trained assisters at Pennsylvania FQHCs. 

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