From Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability (PAR)
The Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) recently hosted a conference call for an overview of what’s in Healthy PA, initial reactions and next steps. The final proposal is markedly different from the original plan submitted by Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare (DPW), with some of the most harmful elements like punitive lockout periods and tying premiums to a new, bureaucratic work search requirement removed. The modified version of Healthy PA leaves Pennsylvania’s current Medicaid program mostly intact and will extend health care coverage to more than half-a-million Pennsylvanians.
Beginning January 1, 2015, individuals and families with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level will be eligible to enroll in health insurance offered by private Medicaid Managed Care companies in a new system run by the Commonwealth. While the approval of Healthy PA marks a major step forward in covering all Pennsylvanians, serious concerns remain about several key aspects of the final proposal.
Under the agreement, DPW has the authority to require low-income Pennsylvanians living between 100 and 138 percent of the poverty level to pay two percent of their monthly income for coverage starting in 2016. A significant body of research shows that imposing premiums on low-income people leads to poor health outcomes, unmet health needs and loss of coverage.
New Medicaid Managed Care System
Rather than cover newly eligible Pennsylvanians through the private plans in the federal Marketplace or through Pennsylvania’s current Medicaid Managed Care system, Healthy PA intends to establish an entirely new, distinct MCO system that will operate independently from but need to interact with existing structures. Pennsylvania has long struggled to seamlessly link health systems, which often results in individuals getting “lost in the system” or experiencing delays and disruptions in their coverage.
Potential for Future Benefit Cuts
While CMS did not approve significant benefit cuts to the existing Medicaid program under the Healthy PA waiver agreement, they also did not rule them out. Negotiations will continue between PA’s DPW and CMS on changing the scope of benefits for Pennsylvania’s current Medicaid program. This chart developed by Community Legal Services and the Pennsylvania Health Law Project contrasts current Medicaid benefits with the high and low-risk benefit packages the Corbett Administration is seeking to implement (and move current Medicaid enrollees into based on their score on a 20-question health survey still under development at DPW).
Most current Medicaid recipients would be placed into the most restrictive “low-risk” plan. Some Medicaid recipients with disabilities or other special health care needs would be placed in the “high-risk” plan. The 500,000+ newly eligible people under expansion would be enrolled in private insurance and receive the Essential Health Benefits package. [-Via Achieva]
Hi my name is savannah I’m from Appalachian PA and I play the banjo. Why yes I am midding a tooth so nice of you to ask ~!
AKA I accidentally bought my brother’s banjo for cheap on the condition that I play every day for 6 months so I get past the point of hating how I sound on it.
#pareach4dd Sample Tweets to twitter bomb PA Appropriations people 6/18
Below are sample tweets, with ones targeting specific PA senators and reps on the Appropriations Committees below the cut. You can see the event page with more details on the facebook event page.
Sen Jake Corman @JakeCorman
Sen Vince Hughes @SenatorHughes
Rep William F. Adolph N/A
Rep Joseph F. Markosek
Sen Jake Corman
Sen Vince Hughes
Rep William F. Adolph
Rep Joseph F. Markosek
Tweets without twitter handles
#pareach4dd - restore ID & Autism funding! No more cuts, no more waiting!
Restore $22.4 Millon in community services! People with ID & Autism deserve community! #pareach4dd
Fund PA autism services now!#pareach4dd
#pareach4dd and get us jobs- increase funding for OVR to support Pennsylvanians with ID & Autism in the workforce!
#pareach4dd and create opportunity- increase special education funding after 6 yrs without, get prepared young adults.
Support Pennsylvanians w/ID & Autism- restore the funds cut from the block grants! #pareach4dd
Call the PA Senators and Reps on appropriations committees and tell them to #pareach4dd http://ow.ly/y6vIB
On June 6, Dialogue with U.S. DOT Re Mobility and Transportation Issues Affecting Travelers with Disabilities
Forwarded by the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania -
Good afternoon. My name is Khan Mitchell and I am a Civil Rights Specialist with the USDOT Federal Highway Administration, Pennsylvania Division Office. I am contacting you regarding an opportunity for you and your constituents to dialogue with USDOT regarding Transportation Technology for the Disabled. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)’s Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative (ATTRI) is asking the public to share its ideas regarding mobility and transportation technology preferences and needs from travelers with disabilities. Please share this information with your constituents, family, friends, and network and encourage them to participate in the dialogue as well. The discussion is open through June 6, 2014.
Questions or comments regarding the online dialogue should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 659-6428, TTY (202) 347-7385.
The link to the dialogue is - http://nationalonlinedialoguetadt.ideascale.com/.
Thank you for your interest.
Waste no time on anger, regret or resentment, just get the job done.Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s approach to all things.
Khan L. Mitchell
Equal Opportunity Specialist
US DOT / FHWA, Pennsylvania Division
228 Walnut Street, Room 508, Harrisburg, PA 17101
(717) 221-3705 (direct) Ÿ (717) 221-3461 (office) Ÿ (717) 221-3494(fax)
Alert from the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania: Your Input Is Needed for the Long-Term Care Commission!
The Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Commission is currently studying and evaluating the long-term care services and supports system for persons with disabilities and older persons. The Commission is holding hearings and accepting public comments to help identify issues and trends. The Commission must submit a report with findings and recommendations to Governor Corbett by December 31, 2014. Click here to read more about the Commission.
How Can You Be Involved?
Testify at a public hearing. Public hearings have already been held in Harrisburg, Mercer, and Allison Park. More public hearings will be held:
Friday, May 30, 2014; 9:00 am - 12:00 noon; Pennsylvania College of Technology, 1 College Avenue, Williamsport
Friday, June 6, 2014; 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm; Montgomery County Community College; Central Blue Bell Campus, 340 Dekalb Pike, Blue Bell
Friday, June 20, 2014; 9:00 am - 12:00 noon; Pike County Training Center, 135 Pike County Boulevard, Lords Valley
If you want to testify at a hearing, you must register with the Commission at least two business days before the hearing. Click here to register. You may also register by calling 717-425-5719 or 1-800-654-5984 (TDD).
Each person’s testimony will be limited to five minutes. Those who testify are asked to provide a written copy of their comments to the Commission at the hearing or by mail or email (addresses below).
You can attend any of the hearings even if you do not wish to testify. It is recommended that you register to ensure that there are enough seats.
Submit written comments even if you do not testify. The Commission is accepting written comments through Friday, June 27. Written comments must be submitted to:
Department of Public Welfare
P.O. Box 8025
Attn: OLTL Policy
Harrisburg, PA 17105
Persons with a disability who require an auxiliary aid or service may submit comments using the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at 1-800-654-5984 (TDD) or 1-800-654-5988 (voice).
What Topics Are Important?
You can testify and submit comments on any issues or problems concerning the long-term care services and supports system. The Commission states that it is particularly interested in the following topics: prevention and caregiver support, accessibility of services and supports, provision of services and supports, and quality outcomes and measurement. The Disability Rights Network suggests the following as examples of topics: shifting services from institutional settings to home and community-based settings, timeliness of intake and service provision, access to residential services, services for children and for youth transitioning to adult systems, participant direction, and person-centeredness.
Who Do I Contact?
For more information about the Commission, or for questions about registering for a hearing or submitting public comments, contact the Commission at:
Chava Kintisch, Staff Attorney
Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania
REMINDER: Healthy PA Comments Due April 11! || Sent by the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania -
The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare is proposing a plan, “Healthy PA,” which would cut services to people currently receiving Medicaid services so that private health insurance coverage can be provided to low-income people who are currently uninsured. Pennsylvania’s Healthy PA application is now with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for review.
Healthy PA would negatively impact people with disabilities, so it is very important to submit comments.
The Healthy PA plan can be can be found here.
Comments are due by April 11, 2014 at 6:00 AM. Every comment matters. Instructions on sending comments are included at the end of this alert.
Tell CMS that Healthy PA should be rejected because:
- Current Medicaid recipients, including people with disabilities, would have their benefits cut. Necessary equipment such as wheelchairs, speech-generating devices and oxygen tanks would be limited to either $2,500 or $1,000 per year depending on the plan (Low or High Risk Plan). Tests such as x-rays, MRIs, and lab work would be limited. Inpatient hospitalizations, including rehab and psychiatric stays, would be limited. Outpatient treatment for mental health and substance abuse would also be limited. Without necessary services, people will be at risk of institutionalization.
- Successful programs, such as Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD), would end. MAWD allows people with disabilities to work and still receive their Medical Assistance (Medicaid) services. Without Medicaid, many people currently receiving MAWD would be left without any affordable option for health insurance coverage. Lack of coverage would result in medical debt, worsening of medical conditions or institutionalization.
- People with low incomes would have to pay monthly premiums. People with incomes above 100 percent of the federal poverty level ($972.50/month for an individual and $1,987.50/month for a family of four) would be required to pay a monthly premium for coverage through Medicaid or Private Coverage.
- People would lose coverage for failure to make premium payments. Coverage through Medicaid or the Private Option would be cancelled for non-payment of the premium for three consecutive months. Lack of coverage could result in medical debt or worsening of medical conditions.
Comments are due by April 11, 2014 at 6:00 AM. Comments on the “Healthy Pennsylvania Private Coverage Option Demonstration” can be submitted online or emailed to1115DemoRequests@cms.hhs.gov. Comments may also be mailed to: Megan Stacy, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Mailstop: S2-01-16, Baltimore, Maryland 21244. Every comment matters.
Contact: Kelly Whitcraft, DRN Policy Coordinator, email@example.com or 800-692-7443, extension 323.
Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh
Healthy PA Alert on Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities Program Elimination
Sent by the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania -
The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare is proposing a plan, “Healthy PA”, that can be found here. Healthy PA would cut services to people currently receiving Medicaid services so that private health insurance coverage can be provided to low-income people who are currently uninsured.
Pennsylvania’s Healthy PA application is now with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for a review and federal input period. Comments are due to CMS by April 11, 2014 at 6a.m. Instructions on sending comments are included at the end of this alert.
Healthy PA would also eliminate the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD) program. MAWD provides Medicaid health insurance for people with disabilities who do not meet the general resource and income requirements for Medicaid, typically because they are working. MAWD provides vital services to recipients so they can maintain their health, remain in a community setting, and continue working. The elimination of MAWD would impact around 34,000 Pennsylvanians, many of whom will be left without an affordable option for health care outside of the Medicaid system.
Lack of coverage would result in medical debt, worsening of medical conditions or institutionalization.
CMS needs to hear from you. Pennsylvania should not be permitted to end the MAWD program through Healthy PA. Comments are due by April 11, 2014 at 6:00a.m. Every comment matters.
Comments on the “Healthy Pennsylvania Private Coverage Option Demonstration” can be submitted online or emailed to1115DemoRequests@cms.hhs.gov. Comments may also be mailed to: Megan Stacy, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Mailstop: S2-01-16, Baltimore, Maryland 21244. Every comment matters.
Contact: Kelly Whitcraft, DRN Policy Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-692-7443, extension 323.
Via DRNPA: DASH Workshop: Media Advocacy
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Most people get their information and often form opinions based on reports from the news media—newspapers, television and radio. Successful advocacy groups know how to work with the media to deliver their messages and educate members of their communities, as well as policy makers and key decision makers. Marie Yeager, an Emmy Award winning television news producer and communications consultant, will help workshop participants learn to use media to attain your goals.
You will learn:
How to write a news release
Tips for working with the media
How to formulate your message and educate the community
You can participate in this training on your phone, your personal computer, or at a Harrisburg site.
To Register or for more information,
Go to the DASH website at http://www.drnpa.org/dash/free-dash-trainings/media-advocacy-webinar/ or
Contact Lan Do @ email@example.com, 800-692-7443 x312
TTY 1-877-375-7139 Fax: 717-236-0192
Requests for accommodations must be made during registration.
This project is funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council.
This week, the Corbett administration submitted its Medicaid waiver request to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for permission to implement Healthy Pennsylvania, a five-year Medicaid demonstration project. Healthy Pennsylvania seeks to provide access to health care to approximately 500,000 additional people through private insurance plans while implementing significant changes to Pennsylvania’s current Medical Assistance program.
In response to hearings held across the state and over 1,000 written comments, there have been a number of changes from the original proposal. PHLP is still reviewing the plan in detail, but changes from the December 2013 draft include:
- Premiums for those earning above 100 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) will bepostponed until 2016.
- For recipients earning less than 100 percent of FPL, premium requirements have been dropped indefinitely. Work requirements will begin in 2015, but failure to comply will not result in benefits being stopped until 2016.
- Limits on primary care visits have been eliminated.
The proposal still calls for the elimination of Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD), and places new limits on mental health, drug and alcohol, lab testing services, and durable medical equipment. The Corbett administration has also stood firm in maintaining a work requirement for allHealthy Pennsylvania recipients who do not qualify for an exemption.
CMS has up to 15 days to review the waiver request and there is another 30-day public comment period at the federal level. The waiver application and an executive overview are available from the Department of Public Welfare.