by Matthew Ellis   |   comments

From the Health Insurance Blog:

Every health insurance plan sold in the Marketplace will offer 10 essential health benefits.

What’s covered in the Health Insurance Marketplace

These essential health benefits include at least the following items and services:

  1. Outpatient care—the kind you get without being admitted to a hospital
  2. Trips to the emergency room
  3. Treatment in the hospital for inpatient care
  4. Care before and after your baby is born
  5. Mental health and substance use disorder services: This includes behavioral health treatment, counseling, and psychotherapy
  6. Your prescription drugs
  7. Services and devices to help you recover if you are injured, or have a disability or chronic condition. This includes physical and occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, psychiatric rehabilitation, and more.
  8. Your lab tests
  9. Preventive services including counseling, screenings, and vaccines to keep you healthy and care for managing a chronic disease.
  10. Pediatric services: This includes dental care and vision care for kids

Specific health care benefits may vary by state. Even within the same state, there can be small differences between health insurance plans. When you fill out your application and compare plans, you’ll see the specific health care benefits each plan offers.

Get ready to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace

When open enrollment starts on October 1, 2013, you’ll be able to apply, compare plans, and enroll in the Marketplace. Coverage starts as soon as January 1, 2014.

Don’t wait, create your Marketplace account today!

by Matthew Ellis   |   comments
by Matthew Ellis   |   comments

Does this short film hit a little too close to home for anyone else? I talk often about the ministry of presence. One key to practicing that ministry is to... you know, be present. Thoughts? 

by Matthew Ellis   |   comments

Each week, we highlight stories from our newsfeed on Prismatic. No account is required to see what we think is worth reading, so visit our profile often! We update it daily so there is usually something new to check out. Here is a sample of what we liked this week:

Addiction and the Church via Christ and Pop Culture
The Christian life involves a lot of balance. On the one hand we are free to drink. On the other hand we are responsible for one another. The church’s relationship to alcohol, then, should consider both of these truths. Two questions can help us shape carefully that relationship. First, we need to ask “is it a sin.” Secondly, we need to ask “how will this affect my brothers and sisters.” A healthy balance can be struck as we seek to answer these questions both Biblically and contextually.

16 Camping and Life Hacks from 1911 via the Art of Manliness
Editor’s note: In 1911, the first edition of Boys’ Life magazine was published. The first several issues included a short-lived section called “Things All Scouts Should Know,” which featured short, practical tips for boys at home and out camping. Below is a collection of my favorites; some are actually practical and handy, others just fun and interesting, and all are enjoyable to read.

You Ask, We Answer: More Of Your Questions About The Affordable Care Act via NPR
Today we're answering questions regarding two of the more frequent topics raised: student health plans and possible penalties for failing to obtain health insurance.

Clever Ways to Get Some Exercise at the Office (or Any Small Space) via Lifehacker
It's important to get regular exercise, even if it's a little activity here and there. Still, not all of us have access to (or money for) a gym membership, and many of us already work long hours that make it difficult to get out for a run or jog. Here are some clever ways to get a little activity in anywhere you happen to be, like your cubicle.

Kids Involved in Bullying Grow Up To Be Poorer, Sicker Adults via NPR
Bullied children and kids who bully others have more health problems when they grow up than kids who aren't part of the bullying cycle, a study finds. They're also more likely to have financial problems, including difficulty keeping a job.

Nurses Share Life-Affirming Stories For The American Nurse Project via Huffington Post
For The American Nurse Project, filmmaker Carolyn Jones set out to interview and photograph nurses around the country about their work, and ended up having broader conversations about life, death and things that matter to all of us.

Let us know which articles you liked (or didn't) in the comments!


by Matthew Ellis   |   comments
<h1><a href="/blog/nehm-participating-in-aca-education-as-a-champion-for-coverage">NEHM Participating in ACA Education as a Champion for Coverage</a></h1>


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE          Contact: CMS Media Relations
Thursday, August 15, 2013        (202) 690-6145 |

New resources available to help consumers navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace

HHS awards $67 million to Navigators and recognizes more than 100 organizations as Champions for Coverage [Including NEHM! -Ed.]


Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced $67 million in grant awards to 105 Navigator grant applicants in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces. These Navigator grantees and their staff will serve as an in-person resource for Americans who want additional assistance in shopping for and enrolling in plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace beginning this fall. Also today, HHS recognized more than 100 national organizations and businesses who have volunteered to help Americans learn about the health care coverage available in the Marketplace.

“Navigators will be among the many resources available to help consumers understand their coverage options in the Marketplace,” said Secretary Sebelius. “A network of volunteers on the ground in every state – health care providers, business leaders, faith leaders, community groups, advocates, and local elected officials – can help spread the word and encourage their neighbors to get enrolled.”

Today’s announcement builds upon the significant progress in outreach and education made this summer. Consumers can learn about and enroll in coverage later this fall through HHS launched 24-hours-a-day consumer call center ready to answer questions in 150 languages. More than 1,200 community health centers across the country are preparing to help enroll uninsured Americans in coverage, and a partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services will help trusted local libraries be a resource for consumers who want information on their options. In addition, HHS has begun training other individuals who will be providing in-person assistance, such as agents and brokers and certified application counselors.

Navigators are trained to provide unbiased information in a culturally competent manner to consumers about health insurance, the new Health Insurance Marketplaces, qualified health plans, and public programs including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The Navigator funding opportunity announcement was open to eligible private and public groups and people who are self-employed who met certain standards to promote effectiveness, diversity, and program integrity.

Navigators will be required to adhere to strict security and privacy standards – including how to safeguard a consumer’s personal information. They’ll be required to complete 20-30 hours of training to be certified, will take additional training throughout the year, and will renew their certification yearly. All types of enrollment assisters – including in-person assistors, Certified Application Counselors, and agents and brokers – are required to complete specific training and are subject to federal criminal penalties for violations of privacy or fraud statutes, on top of any relevant state law penalties.

The growing list of Champions for Coverage is one more example of businesses and organizations across the nation pitching in to help consumers understand the coming options for quality, affordable coverage. Champions for Coverage, among others, include:

  • American Medical Association
  • League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
  • National Baptist Convention
  • National Partnership for Women and Families

For a list of Navigator awardees or more information about Navigators and other in-person assisters, please visit:

Click here to learn more about organizations participating in Champions for Coverage:

To become a Champion of Coverage, visit: