April 21, 2015 |  Issue 15-12




Tribal Self-Governance Consultation Conference

April 26-30, 2015

Reno, NV


White House Conference on Aging 2015 American Indian/Alaska Native Listening Session

May 6, 2015

Norman, OK 


Secretary's Tribal Advisory Committee Meeting

June 2-3, 2015

Washington, DC


NIHB Annual Consumer Conference

September 21-24, 2015

Washington, DC

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In This Issue 


NIHB Updates
National Indian Health Board (NIHB) Annual Consumer Conference will be held from September 21-24, 2015 in Washington DC at the Capitol Hilton. The conference is NIHB's premier policy-focused conference that will address key topics relating to American Indian and Alaska Native health issues.  

A draft agenda and other conference information will be available in the coming weeks. 
Legislative Updates

House Labor HHS Appropriations Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Native American Programs

On April 23, 2015, at 10am EDT, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education will hold a hearing entitled: "Budget Hearing - Panel on Programs Supporting Native Americans."


This subcommittee is responsible for providing annual funding for all of the Department of Health and Human Services agencies except the Indian Health Service.  NIHB Executive Director Stacy Bohlen will testify on behalf of the National Indian Health Board on Tribal health priorities. 


The hearing will take place in 2358-C Rayburn House Office Building.  You can see more about the hearing, including a live webcast, by clicking here.  


Indian Health Service Health Professions Tax Fairness Act Introduced in House of Representatives

On April 16, 2015 Congressman David Valadao (R-CA) introduced H.R. 1842 - The Indian Health Service Health Professions Tax Fairness Act of 2015.   The legislation would amend the tax code to provide healthcare professionals who receive student loan repayments from the Indian Health Service the same tax free status enjoyed by the National Health Service Corps.

H.R. 1842 would help recruit and retain health professionals to serve in under served American Indian/ Alaska Native communities at remote Indian Health Service locations throughout the nation.  In February, Senators Udall (D-NM) and Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the Senate version of this legislation.  

The legislation has robust bipartisan support with 35 original co-sponsors.  You can read a legislative summary here
Administration Updates

Montana Legislature Votes to Expand Medicaid 

On Saturday, April 18, 2015, the Montana Legislature voted to expand Medicaid. The governor is expected to sign this bill into law making Montana the 29th state choosing to expand Medicaid coverage to more low-income people under the Affordable Care Act. 


The legislation is called the Montana Health and Economic Livelihood Partnership, or HELP Act, and will expire in June 2019.  Under the Affordable Care Act, states can accept federal funds to expand Medicaid eligibility to people with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level.  The federal government pays 100% of the cost until next year, when the subsidy begins to decline, falling to 90% by 2020. 


In writing the Act, Montana tied health care to economic development.  Consequently, under the HELP Act, new Medicaid beneficiaries would be given the option to participate in a workforce development program and be assessed for potential employment barriers such as addiction or inadequate skills.  The program would end June 30, 2019, unless legislators renew the program.   The state must still obtain approval of the program from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) which determines whether state expansion plans that vary from usual standards qualify for federal support.


HHS Secretary's Tribal Advisory Committee: Nominations for Vacancies Requested by HHS

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary's Tribal Advisory Committee (STAC) currently has vacancies, and is soliciting recommendations for nominations to serve as delegates for the areas with an open seat.


HHS established the STAC in 2010 in an effort to create a coordinated, Department-wide strategy to incorporate Tribal guidance on HHS priorities, policies, and budget.  The STAC's Tribal representation consists of seventeen primary positions: one delegate from each of the twelve Indian Health Service (IHS) areas and one delegate for the five National At-Large Member positions. In addition to the primary members, alternates are also designated. In working closely with Tribal leadership on this committee, the Department has elevated the level of attention given to the government-to-government relationship with Indian Tribes and has developed mechanisms for continuous communication with Tribes. 


 Those selected will serve a two-year term. The vacancies open for nomination are:

  1. Aberdeen
  2. Alaska
  3. Billings
  4. Navajo
  5. Phoenix
  6. Tucson
  7. National At-Large Primary Delegate (2)
  8. National At-Large Alternate Delegate
Click here to read the Dear Tribal Leader Letter which contains additional information about the nomination process.

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a funding opportunity for organizations and individuals to operate as Navigators in Federally-facilitated Marketplaces (FFMs), including State Partnership Marketplaces (SPMs).  As they have done over the past two years, and as they are doing now, Navigators will assist consumers in various ways, including providing information about available coverage options through the Marketplace during open enrollment. 

Navigators have been an important resource for the millions of Americans who enrolled in coverage over the past two years. This funding announcement ensures this important work will continue over the next three years in states with a FFM, including during Marketplace open enrollment periods. 

Applications are due on June 15, 2015.  For more information about the grant opportunity click here

For more information on the Navigator program click here

Administration for Children and Families Tribal Consultation

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has announced that it will hold a Tribal consultation session and preparatory teleconferences regarding ACF programs and Tribal priorities. The consultation session will be in Washington, DC, on May 21, 2015, and will begin the morning.

There are many ACF programs and grants of direct importance to Tribes including:

* Title IV-B Child Welfare and Promoting Safe and Stable Families
* Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption Assistance
* Child Support Enforcement
* Child Care and Development Block Grant
* Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
* Native American Employment Works Program
* Head Start
* Family Violence and Prevention Services
* Heath Professions Opportunity Grants
* Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program
* Administration for Native Americans grant programs 

In preparation for the consultation, ACF has scheduled the following teleconferences:

* April 29 3-4 p.m. Eastern Time
* May 6 3-4 p.m. Eastern Time

* May 13 3-4 p.m. Eastern Time

The call-in number is: 866-769-9393. The passcode is: 4449449#.

More information can be found here


Funding Opportunity at the Administration on Aging: Falls Prevention 

The Administration on Aging is currently accepting grant applications for evidence-based falls prevention programs. This funding opportunity is designed to increase the number of older adults and adults with disabilities at risk for falls who participate in evidence-based community programs to reduce falls and falls risk, while concurrently increasing the sustainability of these programs through innovative funding arrangements. The awards will be made in the form of cooperative agreements because agency will be substantially involved.

The Administration on Aging will hold a Tribal only conference call for potential applicants on April 23rd from 3:30 - 4:30 ET.  Dial in number: 888-664-9960/ Passcode: FALLS

The deadline for application submission is  June 1, 2015, at 11:59 pm EDT.  For more information on the grant opportunity click here

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