October/November #191 : Obamacare is Here - by David Ernesto Munar

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
E-newsletters
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
Username:
Password:

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues




Table of Contents
 

Features

¡El SIDA Sí Da!

Cut to Fit

From the Editor

Rie y Llora

Feedback

Letters-October/November 2013

The POZ Q+A

Unidos Podemos

POZ Planet

Thank You, Sean Sasser

On the March

Get Lucky

Friend Request

Then There Were None

Why Should Gay and Bi Latino Men Get Tested?

Say What? Zombie Edition

Voices

Obamacare is Here

Care and Treatment

Reduced Dose of Sustiva Succeeds

New Ways to Beat Gonorrhea

Lower Bone Density Linked to Number of ARV Regimens

No Detectable HIV in Two Men After Stem Cell Transplants

WHO Revises Treatment Guidelines

Research Notes

Prevention: HIV Test May Help Improve Vaccines

Treatment: Normal Mortality Risk if Undetectable?

Cure: Cord Blood Transplant Aftermath

Concerns: Early Treatment in Developing World

POZ Heroes

A Test of Kindness

   
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


email print

October / November 2013

Obamacare is Here

by David Ernesto Munar

An edited excerpt from David Ernesto Munar's POZ blog post "ObamaCare Is Here--But Is It Working for People With HIV?"

On January 1, 2014, national health care reform will provide new health insurance options for millions of people. Thanks to leadership from local officials and the Obama administration, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is already being implemented in Cook County—the home of Chicago—in the form of CountyCare.

This new program implements a provision of national health care reform that allows states to expand Medicaid programs to cover most low-income adults. The federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) granted Cook County permission to implement the program in October 2012. Previously, as many as 250,000 Cook County residents were excluded from Medicaid because they did not meet the program’s requirements, such as being totally disabled. The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) estimates that 1,800 or more Cook County residents with HIV could benefit from CountyCare.

While CountyCare is a sign of great things to come, it also provides critical lessons. The AFC released a report on the importance of CountyCare. It contains policy recommendations for the city and state departments of public health, Cook County and the federal government to improve the program for people with HIV and avoid problems.

The most significant issue with CountyCare for people with HIV is that nine HIV clinics in Chicago are excluded from the primary care network. As a result, 500 or more patients with HIV could be forced to switch doctors. Many low-income people with HIV have tenuous connections to the health care system. Having to find a new doctor can cause many of them to drop out of care entirely. Delayed or disrupted health care harms people with HIV and also worsens the health of our communities.

The federal Ryan White Program, which subsidizes care for low-income uninsured patients with HIV, must by law be the payer of last resort. Federal law prohibits clinics from serving patients with Ryan White dollars if their insurance could be used. Thus, people with HIV are caught in a bind: They are required to apply for all insurance for which they are eligible, but if they enroll, they might be forced to leave their current health care provider of choice.

Such potential disruptions occur because different federal government entities routinely drop the ball in coordinating and communicating their strategies. One of the lessons we have learned as we prepare to implement health care reform nationwide is to closely monitor the interactions and implications of various programs. We cannot rely on the federal government to communicate across or even within agencies. Sustained advocacy and vigilance will be needed.

It’s clear that the transition to new health care reform programs will be slower than we want. Case managers and other clinic staff are already overwhelmed by the clients they see every day; it will be challenging to help thousands more people apply for new ACA programs, connect them to resources and ensure they get optimal care. New federal funding for ACA enrollment staff should help.

The HIV community needs to better prepare for new ACA programs. Clinics should reach out to new Medicaid and private insurance programs to make sure they are part of these new programs, and the insurance companies must do their part and enroll HIV clinics in their networks. Clients can’t be stripped of medical options because their doctors don’t accept their insurance.

David Ernesto Munar is the President and CEO of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Click here to read the entire blog.

Search: David Ernesto Munar, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, ObamaCare, Affordable Care Act, County Care, Ryan White Program

Scroll down to comment on this story.



Name:

(will display; 2-50 characters)

Email:

(will NOT display)

City:

(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules



Show comments (0 total)

 
[Go to top]

Join POZ Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar


    aqua_31206
    Macon
    Georgia


    InDefaultOf
    Seattle
    Washington


    Sexynyrican
    Brooklyn
    New York


    HOTROD2010
    houston
    Texas
Click here to join POZ Personals!
Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Poll
Will decriminalizing injection drug use help end the global HIV epidemic?
Yes
No

Survey
PrEP Course

more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.