January 3, 2014
In This Issue
*NASUAD: Save the Date: NASUAD Spring Meeting
*I&R Support Center: AIRS Conference Scholarships
*Aging Network Volunteer Collaborative: Got an Hour? Post Your Volunteer Opportunities and Win
*SSA:Webinar: Verifying Benefits Online
*SSA: New Payments to Same-Sex Married Couples
*CMS Update on Accessing Healthcare Services in 2014
*CMS: Medicaid Provisions in Federal Budget Legislation
*White House:New Health Insurance Options and Consumer Protections
*Congressional Recess
*AARP: Report Examines Readiness for Care Coordination
*AAHD: Launch of National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative Website
*Events: Academy Health 2014 Health Policy Conference
*Events: AIRS 2014 Conference & Call for Proposals
*Jobs: NCOA: Program Manager, Virginia Resource Center
*Grant: Demonstration Ombudsman Programs
*Grant: Consumer Input for Evidence-Based Healthcare
*Friday Updates Archive
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Save the Date: NASUAD Spring Meeting

Save the Date for the NASUAD Spring Meeting, May 1-2, 2014, at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel, Denver, Colorado.


This meeting will bring together state policymakers and those who administer, manage and deliver Older American Act programs, waiver services, and other Home and Community Based Service programs in the states. 


Check out our website for more information and registration updates as they become available.  

National I&R Support Center

Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) 2014 Conference Scholarships

Friends of AIRS and the AIRS Affiliates are offering six full scholarships to the 2014 AIRS National Conference, 

June 1-4, at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel.

Each scholarship covers transportation, hotel and full registration. A seventh scholarship is offered by AIRS and will go to an AIRS member I&R agency that has a program directly involving or serving youth and/or works in the conference host state, Georgia. The application deadline is January 17.

General Eligibility Criteria: Applicants (or their agencies) must be a member in good standing of AIRS; Applicants must be a staff member or volunteer in an I&R organization; Applicants must actively provide information and referral, and/or work on an I&R database, or supervise those that do; Priority will be given to individuals attending their first AIRS Conference.

Click here for the scholarship application and additional conference details.

Aging Network Volunteer Collaborative

Got an Hour? Post Your Volunteer Opportunities to Win

The Got an Hour? Give it Back Campaign connects potential volunteers with the aging network's opportunities to help seniors. Powered by VolunteerMatch.org, the Campaign's website  GiveItBacktoSeniors.org, provides downloadable materials, webinars, and a search tool to help your agency connect to prospective volunteers in your neighborhood.
Post your organization's volunteer opportunities on VolunteerMatch.org between now and January 31, and you'll be automatically entered to win a $50 gift card. Contact Rachel Feldman at NASUAD with questions.

Click here to view contest details.
Click here for tips on how to post events.  
From the Administration
Social Security Administration

Verifying Social Security Benefits Online

The Social Security Administration is hosting a webinar entitled, Benefit Verification Letters Online, Easy as 1-2-3, on January 9, at 1:00 pm ET. The webinar is designed for advocates, social service agencies, and other third parties to help promote the use of Social Security's online service options. 

Additionally, the webinar will provide information on: How to establish a My Social Security account; How to get a Benefit Verification Letter online; and the other services are offered at www.socialsecurity.gov. Attendees will have the opportunity ask questions during a live Q&A session. 

 Click here to sign up for the webinar.

Statement of Acting Commissioner of Social Security, on New Payments to Same-Sex Married Couples  

Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security said in a December 16 statement, "I am pleased to announce that, effective today, Social Security is processing some widow's and widower's claims by surviving members of same-sex marriages and paying benefits where they are due. In addition, we are able to pay some one-time lump sum death benefit claims to surviving same-sex spouses. 
As I stated shortly after the Supreme Court decision on Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, our goal is to treat all Americans with dignity and respect. We ask for continued patience from the public as we work closely with the Department of Justice to develop policies that are legally sound so we can process claims. If you believe you may be eligible for Social Security, I encourage you to apply now to protect against the loss of any potential benefits. We will process claims as soon as additional instructions become finalized."
Click here to learn more, and for a list of regional SSA communications directors.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
CMS Update on Accessing Healthcare Services in 2014

The deadline to sign up for new health insurance marketplace coverage to start January 1, was December 23. Individuals who have insurance for the first time or have new insurance plans that began on January 1, 2014, are likely to have many questions related to coverage, premiums, co-payments, etc. 


Anticipating the questions that newly insured individuals may have, CMS has posted the following tip sheets on Marketplace.cms.gov.  Click on list items below for more information on what beneficiaries should know about the following topics:

Click here for tips to enrolling in Marketplace Coverage. 
Medicaid Provisions in Federal Budget Legislation
The recent Federal Budget Legislation, which was signed by President Obama on December 26th, includes several Medicaid Provisions. The provisions include changes to the Medicaid Third Party Liabilities, Temporary Extension of the Qualifying Individual (QI) Program, Temporary Extension of Transitional Medical Assistance, and the Delay in Reduction in Medicaid DSH Allotments.
Click here to learn more about the Medicaid provisions.
From the White House
New Health Insurance Options, New Consumer Protections in the New Year 
The White House reported on January 1, that while there is still work left to do on health care coverage for all in the U.S., no American family will be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition like high blood pressure or asthma. Women can no longer be charged more than men for the same coverage. No American will have to worry that losing a job means you can't get health coverage. And small businesses may qualify for more financial help to pay for new affordable coverage options for their employees.

Some of the other benefits and consumer protections that started on January 1 include no more annual caps on health benefits; new insurance options through the Marketplace or Medicaid expansion in some states; and more comprehensive health coverage (health plans in the individual and small group markets are now required to cover ten categories of essential health benefits).

Prior to January 1, many Americans had already started benefiting from the new health care law including new free preventive services under Medicare; new insurance options for young adults to stay on their parents' plans until age 26; protections for children with pre-existing conditions; savings for older adults on prescription drugs; expanded access to community health centers; and reductions in insurance premium increases. 

Click here for more details on health insurance benefits and protections.

From Congress

Congressional Recess

Congress has been on recess over the holiday season. 
The US Senate reconvened today, Friday, January 3rd, and the US House of Representatives will resume work on Tuesday, January 7th.
From Other Organizations
AARP Public Policy Institute

Report Examines Readiness for Care Coordination in Five States

The AARP Public Policy Institute released a report examining the care coordination and provider network adequacy to deliver safe, high-quality managed long-term services and supports (LTSS).


The report reviews the approach to care coordination in five states: Arizona, Minnesota, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. Though each of the states has a unique approach to ensuring managed care organizations are ready to provide care to consumers in their state, several similar themes emerged: (a) the need for robust information technology systems; (b) the importance of partnering with contracted managed care organizations while, at the same time, conducting effective oversight; (c) the importance of some level of state involvement in care coordinator training; (d) the usefulness of benchmarks to measure network adequacy; and (e) the importance of ongoing state oversight.


Click here to access the full report.

American Association on Health and Disability

AAHD Launches ACA National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative Website

The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) announced the launch of their new website for the National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative (NDNRC). The NDNRC is an initiative aimed at providing cross-disability information and support to Navigators and other enrollment specialists, thereby ensuring people with disabilities receive accurate information when selecting and enrolling in insurance through the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces.


The recently launched website has news and resources designed to support groups who are providing enrollment assistance to consumers with disabilities as they enroll for coverage through the marketplaces. In the near future, the website will have a technical assistance guide to inform navigators and other enrollment specialists about special considerations people with disabilities face as they shop for healthcare coverage. Over the following months, the NDNRC website expects to publish 17 fact sheets with more information regarding specific disability related issues including state specific information.


For more information contact Karl Cooper, AAHD Project Associate at kcooper@aahd.us.

Academy Health 2014 National Health Policy Conference

Academy Health is holding their 14th National Health Policy Conference (NHPC) from February 3-4 in Washington DC. The conference is designed to provide a comprehensive outlook on the nation's health policy agenda, clarity on critical health care issues, and policy priorities for the upcoming year. Topics will include Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation with feedback from state government officials, insight from the administration and Congress, and viewpoints from the private sector. 


Click here for more information and to register for the conference. 

AIRS 2014 Conference and Call for Proposals

The Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) 2014 Conference will be held from June 1-4 in Atlanta, GA. AIRS is accepting conference proposals from now through March 1, 2014.


NASUAD is coordinating the Aging and Disability Track again this year, and is seeking proposals on the following topics: Quality Assurance; ADRC/211 partnerships; Mental health needs; Homelessness and aging/disability; Aging with intellectual disabilities; Options Counseling; Medicaid Managed Care; Reaching hard-to-reach communities: LGBT, minority groups, immigrants, etc.; Use of technology for online events, fundraising and social media... And other ideas you may have.


Contact Sara Tribe, manager of the AIRS Conference Aging and Disability Track, with questions or to discuss proposal ideas.


Click here for more information on the conference, and to access the proposal application.
NCOA: Program Manager, Virginia Resource Center
NCOA seeks a qualified individual to serve as Program Manager for the Virginia Resource Center. This role is one of continually shifting priorities including managing participant training staff, recruiting program participants, overseeing and/or delivering employment readiness programs, networking with the business community, and developing partner relationships that result in job placement opportunities for program participants. 

Click here to learn more about the position.
Funding Opportunities
Demonstration Ombudsman Programs

Full Title: Support for Demonstration Ombudsman Programs Serving Beneficiaries of Financial Alignment Models for Medicare-Medicaid Enrollees

Issuing Agency: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Eligible Applicants: State governments

Funding Level: $3,000,000 to $275,000

Close Date: January 13, 2014, 3:00 p.m. ET

Funding Opportunity Number: CMS-1J1-13-001

CFDA Number: 93.634 

Description:  This Funding Opportunity will provide financial assistance over a three-year period to States to plan, develop and provide Demonstration Ombudsman Program services to individuals who participate in the Financial Alignment model. In providing an Ombudsman Program, States will ensure that individual beneficiaries have access to person-centered assistance in resolving problems related to the Demonstration. In addition, a Demonstration Ombudsman Program will inform States, Plans, CMS, and other stakeholders regarding beneficiary experience with the Plans and will recommend areas of improvement in States' Financial Alignment Initiatives. Applications must be submitted via Grants.gov.


Click here for more information on this grant opportunity, and to access the grant announcement.  
Consumer Input for Evidence-Based Healthcare

Full Title: Deliberative Approaches: Patient and Consumer Input for Implementing Evidence-Based Health Care (R21)

Issuing Agency: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Eligible Applicants: State governments; Native American tribal governments and organizations; County governments; City or township governments

Funding Level: $200,000

Close Date: February 7, 2014, 5:00 p.m. local time

Funding Opportunity Number: RFA-HS-14-007

CFDA Number: 93.226


Description:  Deliberative methods offer means to gain insight into patient and public views that can inform and improve clinical, program, and policy decisions in health care. The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to use deliberative methods to understand and clarify important public or patient values and concerns that affect the implementation of specific interventions, programs or policies to improve health care or research. Applications must be submitted via Grants.gov.

Click here for more information on this grant opportunity, and to apply. 

Friday Update Archive


Did you miss a previous issue?  

Check out past Friday Updates.