HWW Update

HWW Update
Home About HealthWatch Annual Conference Training Publications
Vol. 11, No. 4 March 2, 2015
Don't miss out on the 8th Annual HealthWatch Wisconsin Conference: "R U Covered?"!
Secretary Kitty Rhoades Confirmed!

Register by March 20th to attend the 8th Annual HealthWatch Wisconsin Conference: "R U Covered?"! Right now members can register for only $135. That's over half off the conference price. Not a member? Join when you register and pay only $170. That's a discount on registration and on your membership!

Updated: Conference Draft Agenda Now Available

To view a draft agenda for the Conference, click here. Here are a few of the highlighted topics that will be address:

  • Conversation with Your Elected Officials: A Panel of State Legislators
  • The State of BadgerCare Plus: Parents, Children & Childless Adults
  • Making Health Coverage Connections
  • Consortia Leadership Roundtable
  • How to Use & Keep Your Coverage
  • Marketplace Troubleshooting (Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced sessions)
  • The Impact of Health Reform on Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs
  • Evaluating Adults for Disability Programs with a Special Focus on Mental Health
  • Women's Health Coverage after Reform
  • Reinvigorating your HealthWatch Coalition
  • Now that you have insurance...how do you use it?!

Ways to Register:

In this issue...

We update you on the Annual Conference, talk about the tax implications of the ACA with a focus on the new SEP, take a look at what Wyoming and Ohio are doing for Medicaid Expansion, and more! We also get you caught up on Provider Memos, Ops Memos and showcase some great articles from the past two weeks. Of course, we bring you case tips and a news round-up, per usual!

Thanks to all of the current members, subscribers, and supporters--you make the HealthWatch Update possible!

HealthWatch members and subscribers, click on the red button below to start reading the full version of this newsletter! Remember to enter your login and password when prompted.

If you are new to the Training Portal, simply click "register" after clicking on the red button above. Answer the questions, create a username and password, and we'll help you take it from there! Not a member? Click here to join HealthWatch Wisconsin!

In the Training Portal: Newsletter Table of Contents:

Some of the news and analysis features added to the Training Portal as of March 2 includes:

  • Don't Miss Out: 8th Annual HealthWatch Wisconsin Conference: "R U Covered?"! - Kitty Rhoades Confirmed!
  • Support ABC for Health, Inc. in the Big Share
  • Announcement: Enrollment in the Marketplace
  • VCT: SEP for Tax Penalties
  • CMS Sends Out Incorrect Notices
  • Wisconsin Budget Update
  • Supreme Court Hears Subsidy Case Wednesday
  • Medicaid Expansion Roundup: Wyoming and Ohio
  • Rural Health Update
  • Member Profile: Frank Robinson
  • Ask a Good Question...Durable Medical Equipment
  • Coalition Roundup
  • MTM Audit
  • Et Cetera: New Handbook links, Ops Memos & Updates
  • Headlines
  • And much more!

Members and paid subscribers, click here to login and view the Update online!

Not a member yet? No problem! Click here to register online and pay for your membership or subscription with a credit card. Or, you can print a registration form to mail or fax back to us (instructions provided on the form). If you would like to register over the phone or have questions about the registration process, please call 1-800-585-4222 ext. 219 and talk to Cassidy.
Support ABC for Health, Inc. in the Big Share!

Support ABC for Health, Inc. in the first ever, Community Shares of Wisconsin day of giving: The Big Share! This online, one-day fundraiser is Tuesday March 3, 2015. You can make your gift on March 3 or make at a pledge at any time. The Big Share is an online day of giving for 70 local nonprofits dedicated to building a fair, just community and protecting the environment.

How can you help?

Thank you for your support!
Video Case Tip: SEP for Tax Penalties

In this Video Case Tip, Brynne McBride of ABC for Health goes over the requirements to qualify for a Special Enrollment Period this spring if you didn't know that there was a penalty for not having insurance.

Click here or on the picture to the right to view the Video Case Tips.

What problems are you seeing in your area?

Send your questions or comments in an email, and we'll create a follow-up web cast filled with the answers!

All our videos are archived in our Video Case Tip Library so you can visit them at any time.

Ask a Good Question...

My daughter has Cerebral Palsy and needs a dynamic extension range of motion elbow brace. She is covered under Medicaid but they are saying that they won't cover it without her first renting one for a trial period. Is this right?

...Get a Good Answer: Login to the Training Portal to see the answer to this question!

Member Profile
Frank Robinson, Supervisor, Medical Assistance Program, City of Milwaukee Public Health

Member since: 2007

“It’s a great time to be a part of HealthWatch Wisconsin and have a voice.” –Frank Robinson

HWW: Can you tell us about your work at the City of Milwaukee Health Department?
Frank: I manage the CHAP program, also known as the Community Healthcare Access Program, which consists of nine devoted employees who assist those in the community needing help in obtaining health care coverage, including helping to determine their options under the Affordable Care Act.  My role is different from that previously held at Children’s Hospital.  I am now in the public sector and can do more things on the front-end, which provides me the opportunity to help people before they have problems.

HWW: Highlight a current project you’re involved in at work and/or describe your position?
Frank:  In an effort to reach individuals who need our assistance with BadgerCare Plus, Foodshare, and coverage through the Marketplace Exchange, I am collaborating with other community partners to help energize our areas to provide assistance throughout the city.

HWW: What issues are most important for the health of people in Milwaukee?
Frank:  In my opinion, the biggest issue is making sure folks are educated about what the new health care policies are and how to understand them.  There are some people who have always received public benefits and with the change from 133% FPL to 100% FPL; it’s hard for them to understand the new process.  There was not a lot of education explaining what co-pays or deductibles are, or even what a primary care physician is.  Some weren’t coming to see a doctor because they couldn’t afford a deductible.  Many desperately need a medical home so they don’t continue to utilize hospital emergency rooms.  I’m glad that through the City of Milwaukee, the CHAP program is able to help educate and guide people through options to help them obtain coverage and access to health care they need.

HWW: How do you use HealthWatch Wisconsin in your work?
Frank:  CHAP assists individuals with enrollment into BadgerCare Plus and Foodshare, and troubleshoots cases. If you look at the history of our state, we started slowly. Initially, we focused on acquiring health care coverage for babies, then children, then youth, then childless adults. It was a long journey from where I started 28 years ago when children didn’t have access to health care or health insurance.  Children can now get the coverage they need. Pregnant women now have health care coverage which helps reduce low birth weight and infant mortality, joining the charge Mayor Barrett has been leading for years. It’s fantastic that our system has evolved to where no one can any longer be denied the ability to have good, quality health care.

HWW: Can you tell me a little about your involvement in the Milwaukee HealthWatch Coalition?
Frank:  Currently a member, and former chair of the Milwaukee HealthWatch Coalition, we are reinventing the coalition to go back to its grassroots: advocacy, and bringing back advocates to share with the coalition the problems they are finding in the community.  Some of the folks that have been with the Coalition as long as I have are helping to shepherd these changes. When it was first started, HealthWatch Milwaukee provided advocacy work for disenfranchised people who were left on the sidelines without access to health care.  HealthWatch Wisconsin took this idea statewide - to deal with what we needed as a state to ensure people received equal treatment.

HWW: You are currently a member of the HWW Council. Why should someone consider running for the HWW Council?
Frank:  If you are serious about getting to the problems occurring in your respective area(s) the Council is an excellent starting point to determine if your issues are statewide. The likelihood of having more successes in resolving or receiving guidance on how to resolve your concerns is far greater.

HWW: What would you say to encourage someone to join HealthWatch Wisconsin?
Frank: I was raised that when you receive success in your life, you should always look back and never forget who you are or where you came from.  Many people have successes and experiences that they can share. It’s a great time to be an advocate because there are tons of things to advocate for such as the Marketplace, new F-Set rules, and BadgerCare Plus childless adults.   It’s a great time to be a part of HealthWatch Wisconsin and let your voice be heard!

HWW: What is your favorite movie/book/TV show related to health care?
Frank: John Q.  It speaks to advocates on the hard choices that everyday people have to make on a daily basis; do I pay my rent, my light bill, medical bills or do I choose to feed my family? These folks can’t afford to take for granted even the simplest luxuries. 

HWW: If you could have dinner with a famous person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Frank: President Obama.  Years before he became president of the United States he was a community organizer.  I had the opportunity to follow his grassroots organizing in Chicago and would like to have a discussion with him about how that work helped to shape his views, how much of that he took with him since his presidency, and would he do anything differently.

HWW: What is a fun fact about yourself?
Frank:  Anything “Packer” related -I love my Green Bay Packers!!!

HealthWatch Member Announcements:

Nominate your Co-worker for a HealthWatch Award!

The 8th Annual HealthWatch Wisconsin Conference is right around the corner! At this event, HealthWatch will again include an awards ceremony to recognize outstanding efforts for 2014. We need your help! Send us a nomination for a deserving person in one of our award categories:

  • Advocate of the Year
  • Elected Official of the Year
  • Outstanding Media Coverage
  • Outstanding Outreach Effort

Last year's award recipients were:

  • Advocate of the Year: Jon Peacock, of Wisconsin Council on Children and Families. Jon is admired for keeping up to date with current health issues and being an asset to the HealthWatch community.
  • Outreach Effort of the Year: Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin’s Better Together Project. GHC showed an exceptional commitment to user-friendly education and outreach around health reform in South-Central Wisconsin.
  • Outstanding Media of the Year: Nora Hertel, for her story “States Differ Widely in Cost,” researched and reported on when Nora was with the WI Center for Investigative Journalism.

Make your nomination today! Send an Email or Fax (608-261-6938) to HealthWatch with the following information:

  • Your Name & Contact info
  • The Award Nominee's Name and Contact Info
  • Which Award You are Nominating this person for
  • A few words why this individual/organization is worthy of the honor

Act fast: Please submit all nominations by Friday, March 6, 2015.

Annual Call for Nominations to the HealthWatch Leadership Council!

Develop your leadership skills with HealthWatch Wisconsin! Each year, the membership of HealthWatch Wisconsin elects a new Council members to serve a three-year term on the HealthWatch Council. These leaders help plan events and work to direct and amplify the powerful voice of the membership!

HealthWatch solicits nominations each fall from the membership-looking for people of diverse backgrounds and public-health-oriented professions. The last opportunity to submit nominations is at the Annual Conference in early 2015.

If you know someone you would like to nominate--or if you wish to nominate yourself, send us an email! Include your name, workplace, contact information, and the name of the individual you are nominating. Thank you!

Remember the Marketplace!

Open Enrollment Period: November 15, 2014 - February 15, 2015

Open Enrollment Ends February 15!

State Audit of Medicaid Transportation Issues: Share Your MTM Story

The Wisconsin Medicaid Transportation Program and vendor will face a state audit. Auditors are encouraging members of the public to contact them or the Legislative Audit Bureau directly with complaints and other information that they think should be included within the audit.

The Legislative Audit Bureau wants individuals with complaints or experiences with MTM to contact the LAB hotline (1-877-372-8317) to get an accurate picture of the quality of services MTM is providing. The Audit Bureau is online: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lab/

Coalition Roundup

Help us complete our new listing of 2015 upcoming HealthWatch local coalition meetings! Email us! As always, contact the coalition directly for more information.

Coalition Next Meeting Contact
Chippewa County March 10 Rose Marsh
Dane County March 2 Anna Kaminski
Eau Claire March 5 Lou Kelsey
Milwaukee April 1 Danielle Coterel
Pierce County TBD Kelsi Winter
Polk County TBD Mike Rust
Tri-County March 24 Connie Raether



Marketplace Handbook: On October 3, CMS's Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight released the first edition of a "Federally Facilitated Marketplace Enrollment Operational Policy & Guidance" Handbook, effective October 1. All enrollments made on or after October 1, 2013 MUST be processed in accordance with these requirements. This is a "living document!" Advocates, providers, and consumers are encouraged to submit comments or recommended changes. Email EnrollmentGuidance@cms.hhs.gov, and write "Comments on Enrollment Manual" in the subject line of the email.

BadgerCare Plus Handbook, published November 20, 2014 in Release 14-04

Medicaid Eligibility Handbook (MEH), published December 18, 2014 in Release 14-02

Administrator's Memo 14-04, 2015 IM Consortia Administrative Allocation, has been published to the DHS web

Release 15-01 of the ACCESS Handbook was published on January 16th

Release 15-01 of the Electronic Case File (ECF) Handbook was published on January 16th

Release 15-01 of the FoodShare Handbook was published

Ops Memos

Ops Memo 15-01, Annual Updates to Income Thresholds for Determining Whether Child or Tax Dependent is "Expected to be Required to File Taxes"

Ops Memo 15-02, 2015 Health Care Renewal Date Adjustments for Childless Adults

Ops Memo 15-03, Clarification of FoodShare Policy and Process

Ops Memo 15-04, Addressing Delayed Health Care Account Transfers from the Marketplace

Ops Memo 15-05, Federal Poverty Level Changes for ForwardHealth Programs

Featured Provider Memo

2015-07 Claims Submitted by End-Stage Renal Disease Service Providers Do Not Require Referring Provider Information

Log in to the full Update Newsletter to find more Provider Memos!


Top 5 Health Care Trends to Watch in 2015, HealthAffairs Blog, Feb. 25

5 Things to Know About the Supreme Court Case Challenging the Health Law, Kaiser Health News, Feb. 27

Obama Administration Disallows Plans Without Hospital Coverage, Kaiser Health News, Feb. 23

Who's getting covered because of Obamacare and how, in one giant chart, Vox, Feb. 23

What if the Supreme Court rules against Obamacare?, Politico, Feb. 22

Tax Error in Health Act Has Impact on 800,000, New York Times, Feb. 20

Tell Us What You Think!

HealthWatch Wisconsin Update readers, we want to hear from you! What do you think of the format? How do you find the material on the HealthWatch Wisconsin Training Site? Do you have any topics you'd like to see or questions you want answered. Please email HealthWatch and let us know!

Help HealthWatch Wisconsin & ABC for Health with a Tax-Deductible Contribution!

Support ABC for Health as we pursue our mission of helping people in Wisconsin secure access to health care and coverage. Our staff works tirelessly with the thousands of families and individuals who contact our office each year. To continue, we do need your help and support. A tax-deductible financial contribution will support direct legal, advocacy, and education services to families in Wisconsin.

Copyright © 2015 ABC for Health, Inc. All rights reserved. No reprint without permission.

HealthWatch Wisconsin is a project of ABC for Health, Inc.
Update Staff: