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Updates and Sign-on; Open Enrollment Approaches

FROM:    Francine Julius Edwards

 

As you may know, CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) expired


 

on Saturday.  Please read the following and respond to push for the

re-authorization of this very important health program.

 

 

Good morning everyone,

 

Despite last week’s victory, our push to protect health care is nowhere near over. Hopefully this email leaves you with a good sense of where we stand on CHIP and Open Enrollment.

 

Looking forward to discussing this and more on this week’s coalition call.

 

FVH Coalition Call

Wednesday, October 4

Dial-in: 515.739.1298 x135116

 

Children’s Health Insurance Program

 

Where we are

Federal funding for CHIP expired on September 30, putting at risk an important source of affordable and comprehensive coverage for nearly 9 million children who are just above Medicaid eligibility. On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will consider a bill to extend funding for CHIP and other vital programs like community health centers.

 

What you can do

Wednesday’s hearing is an opportunity to weigh in on the importance of Florida’s CHIP program and ask legislators to make the program’s refunding a priority. Community Catalyst will be submitting this letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on behalf of Florida stakeholders. If you (as an individual) or your organization would like to sign on to the letter, please do so by 4:00 pm on Tuesday, October 3.

 

More resources on CHIP and Florida

For more background on the impact of CHIP in Florida here is a great one-pager from the Georgetown Center for Children and Families.

 

Open Enrollment

 

Where we are

The state's health insurers are expected to hike premiums for such plans by an average 44.7 percent based, in large part, on Trump administration threats to eliminate a key subsidy benefiting certain low-income buyers known as cost-sharing reduction payments (or CSRs).

 

Though, thanks to premium subsidies baked into the 2010 health law, most won't have to pay those higher costs. An estimated 90 percent or so of Floridians qualify for such assistance, which applies to people earning up to four times the federal poverty level.

 

In the past nine months, the Administration has taken a number of actions that make it much harder for consumers to get and keep insurance, including:

  • Shortening the Open Enrollment period to 45 days;
  • Decreasing the number of staff at ACA marketplace call centers;
  • Reducing funding for advertising by 90%;
  • Reduced funding for the Navigator outreach grant program by over 40%;
  • Taking Healthcare.gov offline during weekend day-time hours, further reducing the time available for consumers to purchase coverage;
  • Issuing misleading public statements about the law’s effectiveness; and
  • Threatening to cease cost-sharing reduction payments, which help low-income consumers afford insurance.

What comes next

The 2018 Open Enrollment period will run from November 1 thru December 15, 2017. Due to this change, you will only have 45 days to enroll in new coverage. November 1, 2017 is the first day you can enroll, re-enroll, or change a 2018 insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Coverage can start as soon as January 1, 2018.

 

What you can do

The Covering Florida navigators (www.coveringflorida.org) are the official navigators for the state of Florida, though there are other organizations with enrollment instructors. We need to support them by sharing upcoming enrollment events and inviting them to participate in our events.

 

Encourage anyone looking to get covered to visit the CF website where you can also make an appointment with the closest Navigator using the connector tool or to call their hotline at (877) 813-9115. Here is also a great videofor sharing on social media.  

 

Take care of each other and keep fighting the good fight!

 

Scott

Scott Darius • Executive Director • Florida Voices for Health • P 850-270-3492 C 786.972.4338 • scott@healthyfla.org • www.healthyfla.org

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