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Maryland Health Connection invites community-based organizations, advocates, health care providers, state and local agencies, and others reaching uninsured Marylanders and eligible Medicaid recipients to join us for this informative event. We will discuss health reform in Maryland, the state-based insurance marketplace, health disparities, consumer assistance and innovative approaches to outreach.
Date/Time: June 5, 2013, at 8:30am-noon
Location: UMBC University Center Ballroom
Address: 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250
Join us to:
- Learn more about Maryland Health Connection.
- Meet the six Connector Entities that will serve the six regions in Maryland. They will discuss their approach to outreach, education, eligibility, and enrollment.
In addition, please join us to hear the latest from these leading experts:
Lynn Quincy, Senior Policy Analyst with the Consumer Union, specializes in affordable health care coverage, better health insurance choices and tax credits. Lynn will explain tax credits and how these credits will help consumers pay for health insurance.
Patrick Holland, Director, Wakely Consulting in Massachusetts, is an expert in providing guidance to public and private entities navigating through the Affordable Care Act. Patrick will discuss his experience with other state exchanges and what Maryland can expect.
Melinda Dutton, a partner within the healthcare division of Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, LLP, specializes in the legal, regulatory and political challenges of Medicaid and other public programs. Melinda will discuss what role Maryland Health Connection navigators and assisters will play before and during the enrollment process.
A panel of authorities with a wealth of information relating to health reform and Maryland Health Connection will also speak, including: Becca Pearce, executive director of Maryland Health Connection; Dr. Carlessia Hussein, R.N. Ph.D., director of Minority Health and Health Disparities (MHHD) in the office of the Maryland Secretary of Health; and Carolyn Quattrocki, executive director with the Governor’s Office of Health Care Reform, who provides oversight and coordination of Maryland's implementation of health care reform.
Please RSVP on the Maryland Health Connection website.
New Analysis Shows Maryland's Share of Seniors Living in Poverty is at Least Double the Official Rate
Maryland's Supplemental Poverty Rate is 17%, compared to the official rate of 8%. See news release below from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
New Analysis Finds Share of Seniors Living in Poverty at Least Double the Official Rate in 12 States Under Census Bureau's Supplemental Poverty Measure
The Census Bureau's official poverty measure estimates that 9 percent of seniors nationally live in poverty. However, some have criticized that measure for not taking into account health care costs, the impact of taxes, and in-kind government assistance (such as assistance with energy costs) and for not varying poverty standards regionally based on the cost of living. To address those concerns, the Census Bureau in 2011 released an alternative "supplemental" poverty measure that shows 15 percent of seniors nationally living in poverty. The increase in the poverty rate is largely due to the consideration of health care costs in the supplemental measure.
A new Kaiser Family Foundation analysis presents state-by-state poverty rates among seniors, based on the supplemental measure. Under this measure, the share of seniors living in poverty is higher in every state than under the official measure, and is at least double the official rate in 12 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The District of Columbia has the highest rate under the supplemental measure, with about one in four (26%) seniors living in poverty.
The study includes examples that show how a senior who is not classified as living in poverty under the official measure is considered to be living in poverty under the supplemental measure, because of high out-of-pocket medical costs or because of high housing costs where they live, for example.
The analysis provides context for assessing the implications of proposals under consideration in the deficit-reduction debate that would affect seniors with modest incomes, including proposals that would raise costs for people on Medicare or scale back Social Security benefits. Proposals to raise Medicare cost-sharing requirements or premiums, if enacted, would likely contribute to higher poverty rates for seniors under the supplemental poverty measure. The work is part of the Foundation's Project on Medicare's Future.
According to a new report issued last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States, 1 in 5 children have mental disorders and estimates are increasing. “Mental Health Surveillance among Children in the United States - 2005-2011,” is the first CDC report to track the number of U.S. children age 3-17 years who have specific mental disorders or indicators of mental health.
The report, a supplement to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, documents that millions of U.S. children have mental disorders. Boys and girls of all ages, regions, ethnic and racial backgrounds experience these health issues. The report is an important step to better understand childhood mental disorders, identify gaps in data and develop strategies to help children reach their full potential in life.
(excerpted from the AoA newsletter)
From the Baltimore Sun:
Interesting column for those who wonder - will health care reform work? This is a historic opportunity ....
From the National Health Law Program:
Today, HHS released the Enhanced Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards. The Enhanced CLAS Standards update and expand the original CLAS Standards from 2000. The guiding principle for the 15 standards is to Provide effective, equitable, understandable, and respectful quality care and services that are responsive to diverse cultural health beliefs and practices, preferred languages, health literacy, and other communication needs.
The Standards and other infomration on providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services are available on the Office of Minority Healths website Think Cultural Health. A Blueprint accompanies the new standards, offering additional information and resources.
HHS press release is available here.
Webinar: What You Need to Know About SSI
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
What is the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program? Who qualifies for SSI benefits? What are the eligibility rules of the program? And how are SSI benefits the same as, and different from, other benefits from the Social Security Administration? We will answer these questions and explain what you need to know to be more informed and effective in assisting SSI recipients.
Presenters are Kate Lang, Staff Attorney and Gerald McIntyre, Directing Attorney of the National Senior Citizens Law Center.
Additional sponsorship for this Webinar is provided by a grant from the Administration on Aging/Administration for Community Living. This webinar is part of a series of National Elder Rights Training Project webinars for the National Legal Resource Center.
There is no charge for this webinar. If you have any questions about this webinar, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To register -
The Associated Press/Washington Post: US Hospitals Send Hundreds Of Immigrant Patients Back To Home Countries To Curb Cost Of Care
In interviews with immigrants, their families, attorneys and advocates, The Associated Press reviewed the obscure process known formally as "medical repatriation," which allows hospitals to put patients on chartered international flights, often while they are still unconscious. Hospitals typically pay for the flights (4/23).
The White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) will host the fourth in a series of regional meetings on the implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) in Baltimore, Maryland. This series of meetings is designed to promote awareness and understanding of local-and state-level efforts as they relate to the implementation of the NHAS and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The goal is to engage key stakeholders about ongoing challenges and successes of NHAS/ACA implementation.
Date: Monday, April 29, 2013
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (EDT)
Site: Vollmer Center Auditorium, Clyburn Arboretum, 4915 Greenspring
Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland
This meeting is free and open to the public, but if you wish to attend, you must RSVP. Once you submit your RSVP, you will receive a detailed confirmation letter via e-mail.
If you have questions about registration or other logistics, please contact Marjorie Burdetsky at email@example.com.
On Monday, April 22nd from 2:00 to 3:00 pm the Coalition is hosting the first in its webinar series on Cultural Competency and Health Literacy. These are two of the pillars to ensure that we create a Culture of Health in Maryland where everyone will receive health care services that meet their individual needs. Consumers must understand not only what it means to have an insurance card, but also how to use it effectively.
In this first webinar we will discuss the basics as an introduction to the future webinars. Topics we discuss will include::
- Definition of the terms - cultural competency and health literacy; and
- The framework for integrating these into Maryland's health care reform initiatives.
Our two dynamic speakers are:
- Laura Herrera MD, MPH serves as the Deputy Secretary of Public Health Services at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). In this capacity she oversees local public health, prevention and health promotion, and health systems and infrastructure. Prior to this she served as the Chief Medical Officer (DHMH) and Acting Deputy Chief Patient Care Services Officer in the Veterans Administration. She also served as an advisor for the Coalition's Issue Brief - Health Equity: The Promise of Health Care Reform.
- Maria Rosa Watson DDS, DrPH is currently the epidemiologist and Research Director for the Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County. She has a broad background in health disparities, public health, Latino health, health literacy, health promotion and disease prevention, barriers to access to care, and qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis.
HHS Intergovernmental and External Affairs Notification
April 3, 2013
From: Paul Dioguardi
Director, Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
RE: CMS proposes help for consumers navigating the Health Insurance Marketplace
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule today outlining standards that Navigators in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces must meet, and clarifying earlier guidance about the Navigator program.
Navigators are organizations that will provide unbiased information to consumers about health insurance, the new Health Insurance Marketplace, qualified health plans, and public programs including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
“Navigators will be an important resource for consumers who want to learn about and apply for coverage in the new Marketplace,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.
Millions of Americans will be eligible for new coverage opportunities in 2014. For those who are not familiar with health insurance, have limited English literacy, or are living with disabilities, Navigators will serve an important role in ensuring people understand the health coverage options available to them. Navigators will provide accurate and impartial assistance to consumers shopping for coverage plans in the new Marketplace.
Navigators are a significant component of efforts to enroll Americans in the Marketplace. And CMS will ensure that all consumers who need customer service can receive it from trained professionals. In addition to Navigators, consumers will have access to assistance through services such as a call center, where customer service representatives can provide referrals to the appropriate state or federal agencies, or other forms of assistance programs including in-person assistance personnel, certified application counselors and agents and brokers.
Open enrollment in the Marketplace begins Oct. 1, 2013, with coverage to begin Jan. 1, 2014.
To access the proposed rule released today, visit: http://www.ofr.gov/inspection.aspx
Please contact HHSIEA@hhs.gov if you have any questions.
From the Kaiser Family Foundation:
The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program is a more than two-decade old federal effort that provides care and services to more than half a million people with and affected by HIV each year.
With its current authorization set to expire in September, policymakers are weighing the program’s future at a time when scientific advances in antiretroviral treatment, the passage of the Affordable Care Act and the release of the country’s first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy have significantly altered the environment in which the program operates. The brief, Updating the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program For A New Era: Key Issues & Questions for the Future, identifies key issues and questions facing the program and explores a range of potential changes for policymakers and others to consider. These fall into four broad, intersecting areas:
- Supporting people with HIV at each stage of the treatment cascade, from diagnosis to viral suppression;
- Building HIV care networks in underserved communities;
- Integrating HIV care expertise into the mainstream health care system effectively and fairly allocating Ryan White resources.
|Ryan White kff.pdf||5.83 MB|
Free Training on Pension Rights! Learn from the experts at the National Pension Rights Center how to advise clients so they can get the most out of their pensions. We all know that many legal problems stem from the fact that our clients simply don't have enough money to pay their bills. By helping clients understand their pension rights, you could be helping them increase their income every month! From helping clients understand pension statements to finding lost pensions, some basic advice can go a long way. This training is appropriate for many types of advocates: including folks who handle intake, consumer law, elder law, family law, and more. Legal Aid staff, other legal services advocates, and pro bono or volunteer attorneys are all welcome!
So, join us on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 10:00 am- 2:00 pm, for What Our Clients Really Need is Money! Helping Clients Make the Most of their Pension. The training will be held at the Charles Ecker Business Training Center located at 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia, MD 21046. Lunch and materials will be provided.
To sign up for this free training opportunity, go to http://understandingpensions.eventbrite.com
- overview of basic features of employer sponsored retirement savings plan
-basic rules and terminology
-issue spotting pension problems
As with all Legal Aid trainings, if you are a Maryland Legal Aid staff member please consult with your supervisor and obtain approval to attend prior to registering for the training. If you have any questions please contact Yoanna at firstname.lastname@example.org .
What: What Our Clients Really Need is Money! Helping Clients Make the Most of Their Pension
When: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 10:00 -2:00 p.m.
Where: Charles Ecker Business Training Center located at 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia, MD 21046
From the Department of Health and Human Services:
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a final rule that will make purchasing health coverage easier for consumers. The policies outlined today will give consumers a consistent way to compare and enroll in health coverage in the individual and small group markets, while giving states and insurers more flexibility and freedom to implement the Affordable Care Act.
Today’s rule outlines health insurance issuer standards for a core package of benefits, called essential health benefits, that health insurance issuers must cover both inside and outside the Health Insurance Marketplace. Through its standards for essential health benefits, the final rule released today also expands coverage of mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment, for millions of Americans.
A new report by HHS, also released today, details how these provisions will expand mental health and substance use disorder benefits and federal parity protections for 62 million more Americans.
In the past, nearly 20 percent of individuals purchasing insurance didn’t have access to mental health services, and nearly one third had no coverage for substance use disorder services. The rule seeks to fix that gap in coverage by expanding coverage of these benefits in three distinct ways:
1. By including mental health and substance use disorder benefits as Essential Health Benefits
2. By applying federal parity protections to mental health and substance use disorder benefits in the individual and small group markets
3. By providing more Americans with access to quality health care that includes coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services
To give states the flexibility to define essential health benefits in a way that would best meet the needs of their residents, this rule also finalizes a benchmark-based approach. This approach allows states to select a benchmark plan from options offered in the market, which are equal in scope to a typical employer plan. Twenty-six states selected a benchmark plan for their state, and the largest small business plan in each state will be the benchmark for the rest.
The rule additionally outlines actuarial value levels in the individual and small group markets, which helps to distinguish health plans offering different levels of coverage. Beginning in 2014, plans that cover essential health benefits must cover a certain percentage of costs, known as actuarial value or “metal levels.” These levels are 60 percent for a bronze plan, 70 percent for a silver plan, 80 percent for a gold plan, and 90 percent for a platinum plan. Metal levels will allow consumers to compare insurance plans with similar levels of coverage and cost-sharing based on premiums, provider networks, and other factors. In addition, the health care law limits the annual amount of cost sharing that individuals will pay across all health plans – preventing insured Americans from facing catastrophic costs associated with an illness or injury.
Policies in today’s rule also provide more information on accreditation standards for qualified health plans (QHPs) that will be offered through the Health Insurance Marketplaces (also known as Exchanges), one-stop shops that will provide access to quality, affordable private health insurance choices.
Together, these provisions will help consumers compare and select health plans in the individual and small group markets based on what is important to them and their families. People can make these choices knowing these health plans will cover a core set of critical benefits and can more easily compare the level of coverage based on a uniform standard. Further, these provisions help expand choices and competition on the Marketplaces.
For more information on today’s rule, visit: http://cciio.cms.gov/resources/factsheets/ehb-2-20-2013.html.
To view the rule, visit: http://www.ofr.gov/inspection.aspx.
For more information on how today’s rule helps those in need of mental health and substance use disorder services, visit: http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/mental/rb_mental.cfm.
Please direct questions to HHSIEA@hhs.gov.
Dear Health Disparities Partner:
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and its Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities have placed priority on the elimination of health disparities among the State’s population. We are pleased to provide you with a copy of the third “Maryland Chartbook of Minority Health Disparities Data”. The attached Chartbook provides essential information for identifying and measuring disparities, determining the causes of disparities, planning interventions that work, and tracking progress. This document is also accessible on our website at http://dhmh.maryland.gov/mhhd/SitePages/Home.aspx
Use this Chartbook like a dictionary, search for diseases, population groups, and local communities to answer your questions. There is some information on most disparities data-related subjects as well as recent website references that lead to other sources and further information.
Having done all that, let us know how this document helps you, what questions remain to be answered, and suggestions for future publications. Send comments to:
|Maryland Health Disparities Data Chartbook 2012 021413.pdf||3.62 MB|
The recent tragedies in Connecticut, Colorado and Arizona have sparked debate over the link between mass shootings, gun control, and persons with psychological and psychosocial disabilities. A panel of experts will examine new trends in gun control legislation from a human rights perspective, discussing whether this type of policy is necessary to prevent tragic shootings and how to ensure protection of the rights of persons with mental disabilities to liberty, equality and nondiscrimination. Speakers include:
Prof. Robert Dinerstein, Professor of Law and Director of the Disabilty Rights Law Clinic, WCL
Ira Burnim, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Sherry Trafford, Mental Health Division of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
Moderator: Lauren E. Bartlett, Project Director, Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
Lunch will be served!
Managed Long-Term Services and Supports: Measuring Outcomes
Tuesday, February 26, 3:00-4:30 PM Eastern
Outcomes measurement is critical to the implementation of state managed long-term services and supports systems to ensure that the needs of older adults and individuals with disabilities are being met. This webinar sponsored by the Administration for Community Living will examine core principles and criteria for selecting measures, possible data sources, and methods for building infrastructure capacity to monitor the quality of managed long-term services and supports.
Mary Lou Breslin, Senior Policy Advisor, Disability Rights, Education and Defense Fund
Eric Carlson, Directing Attorney, National Senior Citizens Law Center
H. Stephen Kaye, Director, Center for Personal Assistance Services, University of California San Francisco
To register for the online event
1. Go to https://aoa-events.webex.com/aoa-events/onstage/g.php?d=667837564&t=a
2. Click "Register".
3. On the registration form, enter your information and then click "Submit".
Once your registration is approved, you will receive a confirmation email message with instructions on how to join the event.
Please note: Space is limited, so please register as early as possible. This webinar will also be recorded and posted on our web site (http://www.aoa.gov/Aging_Statistics/Health_care_reform.aspx#webinar ) soon after the webinar.
Title: What's in Store for Older Adults (50-64) Under Health Care Reform
Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
2014 marks a new era for health insurance in the United States. The establishment of health insurance exchanges, or marketplaces, and the expansion of Medicaid eligibility in many states will enable millions of people to access affordable insurance. Prior to health reform, older adults, between 50 and 64, faced significant challenges accessing insurance, including limited coverage in Medicaid, unaffordable premiums on the private insurance market, and policies on pre-existing conditions that render many effectively "uninsurable." This webinar will focus on how key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as "Obamacare," can help older adults access the insurance and benefits they need, such as:
- Expanded Medicaid eligibility to 138% Federal Poverty Limit (FPL) for adults under 65;
- Access to federal subsidies to help pay for insurance premiums for individuals and families up to 400% FPL;
- Required Essential Health Benefits, including no cost sharing preventive screening and annual wellness visits;
- Limitations on how much extra a plan can charge for premiums based on the beneficiary's age;
- Guaranteed issue insurance that forbids health plans from denying coverage or charging extra for pre-existing conditions;
- Delivery system innovations, including initiatives to coordinate care like the health homes
Presenters are: David Machledt, Ph.D., policy analyst at NHeLP; and Leonardo Cuello, J.D., Director of Health Reform at NHeLP
Additional sponsorship for this Webinar is provided by a grant from the Administration on Aging/Administration for Community Living . This webinar is part of a series of National Elder Rights Training Project webinars for the National Legal Resource Center.
There is no charge for this webinar.
All time listings are in Eastern Standard Time.
If you have any questions email email@example.com
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