ACAP Applauds Introduction of Medicaid and CHIP Continuous Quality Act in U.S. Senate
ACAP applauds the introduction of S. 1980, the Medicaid and CHIP Continuous Quality Act of 2014, which was introduced in the United States Senate by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) on the five-year anniversary of the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act. The bill will provide twelve-month continuous enrollment for people eligible for Medicaid and CHIP and direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish standardized quality measures of the care provided to Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries.
“ACAP applauds Senator Rockefeller for his efforts to provide Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries with reliable health insurance coverage and establish uniform quality measures for the Medicaid and CHIP program,” said Murray. “This bill will lead to more efficient, effective use of scarce public health care resources... [p]roviding 12-month continuous enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP brings these critical programs in line with private health plans, Medicare and other health care programs. We call upon all Senators to join Senator Rockefeller and promptly pass the Medicaid and CHIP Continuous Quality Act.”
More about the MCQA bill > | Press statement >
Dennis Heaphy Named Winner of 2014 Leadership in Advocacy Award
ACAP honored Dennis Heaphy, a health care analyst for the Disability Policy Consortium in Massachusetts and co-chair of Disability Advocates Advancing our Healthcare Rights with 2014 Leadership in Advocacy Award. Mr. Heaphy was recognized for his efforts to assure key consumer protections for persons with disabilities as aspects of the Affordable Care Act were implemented, including demonstration projects designed to serve persons dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.
Mr. Heaphy was cited for his leadership role in advocating for improvements to care for individuals living with disabilities through the design of the One Care “duals demonstration” program in Massachusetts. Among the consumer protections arising from Mr. Heaphy’s advocacy are the establishment of a coordinator for independent living long-term supports and services to help medical providers understand the role of non-medical care in overall health and an implementation council comprising a wide range of stakeholders—including persons with disabilities—to monitor the implementation of the OneCare program.
“Dennis exemplifies the kinds of partnerships that Safety Net Health Plans seek as we work to deliver top-quality care—especially for populations such as dual eligibles,” said ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray. “We rely on input from advocates such as Dennis to make the transitions to the demonstrations as seamless as possible.” Read more >
ACAP Analysis: 4 in 10 Issuers Participating in Marketplaces Also Offer Coverage Through a Medicaid Managed Care Plan
Note: Data updated November 26, 2013.
Issue Brief | List of Issuers (Excel)
A new ACAP analysis examines a comprehensive list of issuers offering Qualified Health Plans (QHP) in Marketplaces across the country and notes which issuers also offer health coverage through a Medicaid managed care plan in the same state. The analysis counts 287 separate QHP issuers in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, counting issuers once for each state in which they participate in a Marketplace.
Of those 287 issuers, more than 4 in 10—117 overall—also offer coverage through a Medicaid MCO in the same state. This suggests that there is significant overlap between Marketplace plan offerings and Medicaid managed care in many states, which would help to limit the impact of “churn.” “Churn” is a term used to describe enrollees entering and exiting Medicaid due to unforeseen loss of coverage; it can be caused by minor fluctuations in income, clerical errors, or failure to renew enrollment on a timely basis, among other factors. Studies have found churn to raise administrative costs to providers and governments, and to lead to negative health outcomes. Read more >
Meg Murray: Health Insurance Marketplaces Hold Promise For Low-Income Families and Workers
In a statement issued on the eve of the launch of open enrollment for Health Insurance Marketplaces, ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray lauded the new coverage option. “October 1, 2013 has been circled on our calendars since March 23, 2010—the date the Affordable Care Act was signed... It brings affordable coverage options to millions of working Americans who were either priced out of the market for insurance, or shut out of the market entirely owing to a pre-existing condition." Read More >
Four of the 10 Top-Ranked Medicaid Health Plans in the U.S. Are ACAP-Member Safety Net Health Plans
New rankings of health insurance plans from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) count four Safety Net Health Plans, all members of ACAP, among the top ten Medicaid insurance plans in the United States. The plans were ranked in NCQA’s Medicaid Health Insurance Plan Rankings 2013-2014 based upon their performance against metrics of clinical quality and member experience. Read More >
H.R. 1698 Would Bring Enrollment Stability to Medicaid, CHIP Programs
Representatives Gene Green (D-Texas) and Joe Barton (R-Texas) recently introduced H.R. 1698, the Stabilize Medicaid and CHIP Coverage Act of 2013, which would provide for 12-month continuous enrollment for Medicaid and CHIP. Every year millions of people enroll in the two programs, only to subsequently lose their coverage despite still being eligible. Many otherwise-eligible beneficiaries are continuously disenrolled and reenrolled in the program owing to bureaucratic and paperwork problems, or small and often temporary changes in income. These income changes can stem from items as simple as getting a few extra hours of overtime in a week. Such interruptions have an adverse effect on the continuity and quality of care.
“ACAP applauds Representatives Green and Barton for their leadership in seeking to provide Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries with a source of coverage they can count on,stabilizing health care services for those who need it most," said ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray in a statement. “Providing 12 months of continuous enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP brings these critical programs in line with private health plans, Medicare and other health care programs.We call upon other Members of Congress to join Reps. Barton and Green and promptly pass the Stabilize Medicaid and CHIP Coverage Act."
ACAP has developed a Web site that provides a wide range of resources on "churn" and its ill effects, including maps detailing the variance in enrollment continuity rates among various subgroups and from state to state. For more details, visit coverageyoucancounton.org.
Research Update: Higher Continuity of Coverage in Medicaid Leads to Lower Monthly Costs
A new update on research released by the Association for Community Affiliated Plans makes the connection between higher continuity of coverage in the Medicaid program and lower average monthly costs. The report, authored by health policy researchers Leighton Ku, Ph.D., M.P.H. and Erika Steinmetz, M.B.A. of George Washington University, used new data to calculate the average monthly costs for persons enrolled in the Medicaid program. It found that the average monthly cost to the Medicaid program is $345 for adults enrolled in Medicaid for 12 months of the year,compared with $597 for those who are enrolled for just one month—a difference of more than 40 percent. This report also finds significantly lower costs for children who are continuously enrolled, with an average monthly cost of $110 for children enrolled in Medicaid for 12 months of the year, versus monthly costs of $151 for those enrolled for just one month, a difference of more than 25 percent.
Report: Medicaid Managed Care Plan Members Report Higher Satisfaction With Their Plan than Members of Private Plans
ACAP recently issued a fact sheet that shows that member satisfaction among enrollees of public-sector health plans in general, and members of Medicaid managed care plans in particular, report higher levels of satisfaction with their health plan than those enrolled in commercial health plans. The report comes shortly before millions of Americans are set to gain coverage on January 1, 2014, through expansions of the Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. Most who gain coverage will do so through a Medicaid managed care plan. The report examines publicly-reported results of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS), a regular, systematic survey of patient experience published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
Fact sheet | Press release
ACAP to Convene Substance Abuse Collaborative with Support from Open Society Foundations
ACAP recently announced that it would convene a collaborative of ACAP-member plans to provide support for strategies to address substance abuse. The collaborative is supported by a $363,000 grant from the Open Society Foundations (OSF), a group with wide-ranging policy initiatives aimed at building vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. OSF’s work in health policy focuses on establishing health policies and practices that are based on evidence and promote social inclusion, human rights, and justice. The collaborative will focus its efforts on prescription drug abuse, which has increased in recent years: the number of drug overdoses grew every year between 1999 and 2010. The collaborative’s efforts and results will also be summarized in an ACAP publication in 2015 for review by all interested parties.
Read more >