April 11, 2015 / 2013 / September / How NEHM is Participating in Affordable ...

How NEHM is Participating in Affordable Care Act Implementation

submitted September 12, 2013 by Matthew Ellis   |   comments
<h1>How NEHM is Participating in Affordable Care Act Implementation</h1>

In part one of this ongoing series about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we looked at why NEHM and the Episcopal Church are participating and assisting with ACA implementation. In this entry, we look at how NEHM is working for health care reform. 

We have now created a single page for all of our ACA Resources!

Health Care Reform is not a new issue for us.

NEHM has been involved in the development of the Affordable Care Act from the beginning [of this cycle of reform]. We were a founding member of Faithful Reform in Health Care and actively participated in events leading to 'A Faith-Inspired Vision of Health Care'. That vision embraces a system of health care that is: 

  • Inclusive
  • Accessible
  • Affordable
  • Accountable

In addition to participating in this interfaith process, NEHM has been active in advocating for the church to embrace these principles. I gave the keynote address at a day in the Diocese of Maryland devoted to exploring the issues pertaining to healthcare reform. I wrote a Lenten reflection for the Episcopal Public Policy Network last year, highlighting examples of where our current system is broken. NEHM has continued to testify at resolution hearings about health care at recent General Conventions. Our blog routinely highlights issues pertaining to health care reform. Our last two conferences have featured well-received workshops on the ACA. 

As the open enrollment date of October 1 draws near, this is how we are helping you prepare:

  1. Cutting Through the Noise: I think one of the most important roles we can play is to keep on top of the details and pass along only what you need to know. There is so much information out there (not all of it accurate) that it can be overwhelming. We certainly feel that way. That's why we don't give you every resource we come across, even if they are all good. Our goal is to give you the tools that provide the information you need in a simple, easy-to-use format. If we find something better, we'll update the list. If it is not better, we won't make you investigate it yourself. 

  2. ResourcesOut of the literally thousands of resources out there screaming for your attention about health care, we currently direct you to only ten. Over half of those are official government websites. If you are looking for a Federally Qualified Health Center, you can plug your zipcode right into the widget and find one near you immediately. Each of these resources provide clear information about the ACA or the Marketplace. These are the sites we repeatedly dive into deeply, so we can know their offerings and pass them along to you. 

  3. Webinars: Check out our Events calendar and you will find a listing of webinars and educational opportunities several times a week between now and October 1. NEHM has hosted our own webinar led by Jill Pavka, executive director of St. Peter's Free Clinic and NEHM conference presenter. We have also partnered with the Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships for a joint webinar offering.

  4. Special Publications: We are preparing a special ACA 'Health Hint' (sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of our website!) specifically aimed at ACA education. We have also dedicated a special page on our website to ACA information. It is our hope that this will help you as your congregation prepares for the exchanges opening October 1. 

  5. New Information: We are going to continue giving you the information you need to help those in your community obtain health insurance. Documents like the Consumer Assistance Roles Fact Sheet can be invaluable as you direct people to further help.  

There are many different ways to approach the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. We are hopeful this information and our method of presentation is helpful to you. More to come soon!

Matthew Ellis is the CEO of National Episcopal Health Ministries.