The Trump administration earlier this month slashed funding for ACA navigators – a form of enrollment assistance – for the second consecutive year. For the 2019 enrollment year beginning November 1, the government will provide $10 million, down from $36 million last fall – which was down from $63 million the prior year.
In addition, they changed the rules of the game. In addition to guiding people through ACA market options, the navigators also will help people enroll in the new insurance plans authorized by the Trump administration that do not comply with patient and consumer protections in the ACA – and may well serve to undermine the ACA by drawing younger and healthier people. Continue reading
Trying to help her sister Veronika, who is disabled, with a dental emergency, Elizabeth Piatt found herself negotiating a labyrinth of personal feelings and Medicaid paperwork. The job of getting Veronika the care she needed was fraught with challenges. Piatt emerged from the experience with new insights into the Medicaid system that serves America’s poor, and a new sense of compassion for the patients who struggle within that system.
Piatt, an assistant professor and chair of the Sociology Department at Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio, also came out of the experience convinced of the need for a better network of health navigators to help Medicaid patients find care and services.
Piatt shared the story of her journey in a piece entitled “Navigating Veronika: How Access, Knowledge and Attitudes Shaped My Sister’s Care” that was featured in February’s Health Affairs.
She shares further insights, as well as some tips on exploring a personal story for its wider lessons, in this AHCJ Q&A.
Image by Talk Radio News Service via flickr.Texas Gov. Rick Perry
Few states have been as hostile to the Affordable Care Act as Texas under Gov. Rick Perry. And, with its 6.3 million uninsured people, few states are as important to its success.
So how do people learn about coverage options and get enrolled? Here are two good stories that explore that.
In this overview, Shefali Luthra of the Texas Tribune reports that the state government is proudly doing just about nothing to educate people. And it’s not expanding Medicaid so that keeps the poorest people from tapping into coverage that would have been available. She writes:
“In response to questions about publicizing the exchange, Lucy Nashed, a spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Perry, wrote in an email that the state was ‘not interested in implementing Obamacare, including the exchange.’”