A New Path to Health Care: Health Insurance Options for AIANs

I hello my name is Hattie Kauffman and I'd like to talk to you about some very big changes in our nation's health care system and what it means for us as American Indian and Alaska Native people the Affordable Care Act which became law in 2010 opened the door to health insurance coverage by expanding Medicaid and providing free or low-cost insurance options for millions of Americans including you and your family under the Affordable Care Act American Indians and Alaska Natives can get free or low-cost health insurance this insurance can be used at your tribal urban Indian or Indian Health Service clinic or hospital you can also get services from a provider on your marketplace plan what's new is that when you enroll in a health insurance plan through the health insurance marketplace you can still get services from the Indian Health Service tribal health programs or urban Indian health programs plus your insurance will pay additional services your clinic can't provide or are not offered by your local clinic but you need for good health open enrollment is on an annual basis however tribal members and Alaska Native shareholders can enroll throughout the year and change plans once a month and remember American Indians and Alaska Natives can enroll in Medicaid or chip at any time you can apply online there are trained staff and online instructions to help you with the application process if you need help filling out the application there are specialist sisters to help you so just ask at your local clinic with health insurance coverage comes peace of mind knowing you have health insurance coverage will reassure you whatever arises necessary surgery hospitalization or referral to a specialist you are covered this is a big change no more waiting on a medical priority list to cover special care you will be covered if you're an american indian or alaska native eligible to receive medical care through IHS tribal clinics or urban Indian Health Organization's you can have certain benefits and protections including no deductibles or co-payments if you continue to use your IHS tribal or urban Indian Health Program no premiums enrollment fees if you are eligible to use an Indian Health or urban Indian program and no deductibles or co-pays for Medicaid no out-of-pocket expenses if you are enrolled in the chill health insurance program chip you will not be assessed a tax penalty by the IRS if you do not have health insurance you do have to apply for the tax penalty exemption tribal members Alaska Native shareholders and individuals eligible to receive services from an Indian health care provider can all apply on their federal tax returns or through the marketplace application remember even if you apply for an exemption you can still get coverage through the marketplace Medicaid or chip and receive services from an Indian health care provider plus if you're an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe you have benefits in addition to the ones I just mentioned including no deductibles or co-payments if your household income is below certain limits around 70,000 for a family of four in the lower 48 states or around 88,000 for a family of four in Alaska and you and your family can enroll during any month of the year instead of waiting for an annual enrollment period in addition to the special provisions offered to American Indians and Alaska Natives our people are also covered by the basic benefits of the Affordable Care Act that apply to all US citizens this means you can't be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition there's no lifetime limit on how much care is paid for if you get sick your coverage can't be canceled if you get a serious illness and preventive health care is covered like mammograms flu and pneumonia shots and well child visits from birth to age 21 the Affordable Care Act honors our unique trust relationship with the federal government as Indian tribes and Indian people special provisions continue so that certain payment from Indian land or treaty rights and money from the sales of items of cultural or traditional significance won't be counted for determining Medicaid or chip eligibility so how do you apply you can fill out an application on healthcare.gov or by telephone or you can ask your local clinic or hospital to help you fill out a paper application your information will remain confidential there is a special section on the application just for American Indians and Alaska Natives to take advantage of the special benefits and protections you must fill out the full form and the section for American Indians and Alaska Natives whether you're an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe or a non-enrolled descendant of a tribe eligible for IHS tribal or urban Indian health care you may qualify for these special benefits and sections but you must apply on the application you'll be asked about social security numbers for you and others applying for coverage employment or income records information about current health insurance including information about employer health coverage if you are enrolled in a federally recognized tribe if you have ever received health services at an IHS tribal or urban Indian health clinic and how much income you receive the most important thing to remember when filling out the application is that you only report Indian income that you would report on your federal income tax returns when you enroll in this new free or low-cost health coverage you'll have the peace of mind knowing you are covered also your IHS tribal or urban Indian health program will be able to build your insurance bringing in much-needed resources for our community's health programs when you need to see a specialist you will be referred to one and you will not have to wait to see if there are contract health services or CHS dollars available or replaced on a CHS waiting list in the future you may hear the phrase purchased or referred care or PRC instead of CHS our American Indian and Alaska Native communities have done a lot with very little for a long time we've worked hard to protect the federal trust responsibility to provide health care to our people now many more of our young old married single employed unemployed those with children and those without children have health insurance options our people including you deserve the best coverage available so protect yourself protect your family protect your people ask about applying to the health insurance marketplace or Medicaid and CHIP today to learn more about the health insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act Medicaid and CHIP go to ww healthcare.gov or ask your clinic provider or business office for an application if you will need assistance filling out the application please contact CMS at one eight hundred 318 to 596 to get the additional assistance needed if you are a TTY user please call one eight five five eight eight nine for 325 we want to make sure no one misses out on gaining access to this insurance opportunity you

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