HWW Update
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Vol. 11, No. 12 June 30, 2015

Court Saves Subsidies, Nation Moves Forward...Finally!

In this issue...

Finally, with the King vs, Burwell decision, the Supreme Court settled the issue and permitted the use of subsidies in federally facilitated marketplaces like the one in Wisconsin. In this Update, we look at the historic ruling, one that may be the last big challenge to the Affordable Care Act. We also take a quick peek at a few other notable Supreme Court rulings that impact health care and coverage. But before you read, take a few minutes to JOIN or RENEW your MEMBERSHIP!! While you can join HealthWatch at any time, today is the last day to join as an individual member and be entered in our first Green Bay Packers Ticket Prize Drawing of the membership year! In fact, we'll put your name in the hat TWICE if you join or renew by the end of the day on June 30! Your chances of winning are high! Also in this edition of the newsletter, we look at a new uncompensated care study, the HIRSP audit report, and tackle a FoodShare question in our CYSHCN Q & A. Also, hear from new HealthWatch Membership Coordinator Matt Keller on how membership renewal is going so far this year! Finally, we share the latest news and Provider Memos, Ops Memos and the top articles from the past two weeks. Happy reading!

Enjoy this "free" version of the newsletter! Are you a member of HealthWatch Wisconsin? Click on the red button below to start reading the full version of this newsletter! Remember to enter your login and password when prompted.

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Calling all football fans! Time is running out! You have until the end of the day today, June 30, to join HealthWatch Wisconsin as an individual member and DOUBLE your chances to win Green Bay Packers Tickets in our first Prize Drawing of the year!!

Tickets will be drawn for the Packers vs Eagles game, August 29 at 7pm, at Lambeau Field! These aren't just any tickets, they're indoor, deluxe club seats! 

The start of a new HealthWatch membership year is here! With many exciting things already planned for the 2015-2016 year, you will not want to miss out! For your convenience, we have provided several different ways to register. You may:

  • Register online and pay via PayPal at our registration page;
  • Fill out our PDF registration form and return it via fax or email; or
  • Call us at 608-261-6939 x 218 and register over the phone.
A HealthWatch membership provides valuable benefits such as a voice in statewide advocacy that works toward quality and accessible health care for people across Wisconsin, electronic publications, on-demand training videos, and other resources through the HealthWatch Training Portal, and substantial discounts on registration for trainings, workshops, and conferences on health care hot topics in 2015 and 2016. Whether you are renewing last year's membership, or looking to join HealthWatch Wisconsin for the first time, you will not want to miss out!

In order to keep enjoying the wonderful benefits provided through HealthWatch, members will need to renew their current memberships for the 2015-2016 HealthWatch year. We also encourage you to refer colleagues who may benefit from joining us in our efforts! And don't forget about chances to win Green Bay Packers tickets in our Prize Drawings!!

 Give us a call at any time: 608-261-6939 ext 218.

In the Training Portal: Newsletter Table of Contents:

Some of the news and analysis features added to the Training Portal as of June 30 includes:

  • Last Chance to Win: Promo Ends TODAY!
  • Supreme Court Saves Susidies
  • Other Notable Court Opinion Impacts Coverage
  • Court Ruling in Texas Case
  • Uncompensated Care Study
  • HIRSP Audit Report
  • Rural Health
  • MA Expansion: A Look at Louisiana
  • Coalition Corner: Information and Resources from Local HW Coalitions
  • Ask a Good Question...FoodShare Question
  • 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 608-261-6939 ext. 218.

Subsidies or No Subsidies...

On June 26, in a highly anticipated opinion, the US Supreme Court issued its ruling in the King v. Burwell case. The opinion ended the speculation about whether states with Federally Facilitated Marketplaces could legally offer subsidies to consumers. In a 6-3 opinion, with Chief Justice Roberts drafting the opinion, the court affirmed the Fourth Circuit opinion, saying subsidies applied to all Marketplaces. The decision meant that individuals who secured health insurance through a federally facilitated Marketplace, such as in Wisconsin, can continue to keep or apply for tax subsidies.

What's Next?
"Time to move forward, finally!" says ABC for Health’s Bobby Peterson. "Justice Roberts showed leadership on this issue. We can now move forward, to connect people to the right coverage with this potential calamity behind us. It was a well-reasoned opinion. It would have been terrible for the court to turn this decision, and eliminate subsidies for millions across the United States. It would have been hard for them to defend." 

Watch HealthWatch's WatchDog policy show for more comments on the King v. Burwell opinion. In an episode called "Moving Forward...Finally," Bobby Peterson and Brynne McBride recap the opinion highlights and talk about moving forward for Wisconsin's consumers. (Login to keep reading!)

Rural Health News

While the financial strain rural hospitals face is nothing new, the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) says that the current state is worse than ever. NRHA’s government affairs and policy vice president, Maggie Elehwany, says, "We are in crisis mode. We’ve got gale-force winds coming from one direction, the tide coming from another and it’s really hitting these small hospitals who operate at tiny margins." From 2010 through 2014, 47 rural hospitals have closed their doors. One of them being a 25 bed hospital in Wisconsin. Most of the closings were in recent years, according to the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program. These closings affect approximately 800,000 people. Many of these communities now have no resident physician, requiring residents to travel an average of 25 miles to receive health services. In addition, the hospital closures largely impact the local economy, being that they’re the main job provider for the areas. (Login to keep reading!)

Join the ABC for Health Team!

ABC for Health, Inc., is currently seeking applicants for two open positions. Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume to the attention of Brynne McBride, COO of ABC for Health, Inc. at bmcbride@safetyweb.org. In addition, please include the names/contact information for two professional references.

Health Advocate Assistant: A Health Advocate Assistant (HAA) at ABC for Health is an entry level position that provides information and referrals and conducts health benefits screening interviews. The position requires at least a 1-year commitment. The HAA supports Health Benefits Advocates, Counselors and attorneys, and assists with all client services activities. The HAA will provide advocacy services to clients seeking to obtain or maintain health care coverage and/or finance health care services. The HAA facilitates client services activities that help families obtain and maintain health care financing through public and private sources of benefits. The HAA works with attorneys, Health Benefits Counselors, Health Benefits Advocates, students and volunteers on client services, materials development, and training. The HAA reports to ABC for Health’s senior advocacy staff. Some travel is required. The ability to speak Spanish is preferred. The position is located in Madison Wisconsin.

Health Benefits Advocate: A Health Benefits Advocate (HBA) at ABC for Health provides information and referral and advocacy services to clients seeking to obtain or maintain health care coverage and or finance health care services. The HBA shall help patients referred from certain medical providers secure and use public and or private health care coverage benefits. The HBA will assess the need for legal services in consultation with attorneys and other Health Benefits Advocates and Counselors, and assist with case-related tasks. Some travel is required. The position requires at least a 1-year commitment. The position is located in Madison Wisconsin.

All postings and full position descriptions for open positions are on our employment page: http://safetyweb.org/employment.html. ABC for Health, Inc. is an affirmative action employer.

Online Video Training: Back2Basics Series

One benefit of HealthWatch Wisconsin membership is access to a library of online on-demand training videos, including the Back2Basics series. A useful tool for both professionals and novices, the Back2Basics series provides clear descriptions of important health insurance programs, including:

Medicaid Purchase Plan (MAPP)
Medicare Part A
Medicare Part B
Medicare Part C
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D vs SeniorCare
Wisconsin Well Woman Medicaid Program
Well Woman Medicaid
Wisconsin Works (W-2)
What is BadgerCare Plus?
What is the Marketplace?
What is EBD Medicaid?
What is SSI?
What is SSDI?
What is Katie Beckett?

To explore HealthWatch Wisconsin’s Video Case Tip Library, visit healthwatchwisconsin.org and click ‘Resources’.

New Conference Video Added to the Training Portal!

Thank you again to everyone who made our 8th Annual HealthWatch Conference a success. If you missed a session or wanted to watch it again, it's now easier than ever. If you were a paid conference attendee, you will have access to the Conference Webpage inside the HealthWatch Wisconsin Training Portal.

Simply "hover" your mouse over the tab titled "HWW Training Content" and click on "2015 HWW Conference." Click on the image of the session you would like to see, sit back, and enjoy! Having trouble with the video? Send us an email!

Ask a Good Question...

My son and I receive FoodShare. He just turned 18—does that mean he now has to meet the new work requirements to keep his FoodShare? He’s still in high school and that just isn’t possible.

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

It's Only A Day Away!

We are only ONE DAY AWAY from the beginning of the 2015-2016 HealthWatch Wisconsin membership year! Registrations for new and current members continue to flow in steadily, and we are on pace to have record involvement from all corners of Wisconsin! A new membership year in HealthWatch Wisconsin begins July 1. While you can join HealthWatch at any time, we have a number of incentives to join early--to get the most out of your membership!

Membership benefits include: access to HealthWatch Wisconsin's online library of training videos, FREE or reduced prices on workshops, trainings, and other special events, access to expert advice, FREE or discounted access to online publications, and special prize drawings for individual members...including Packers tickets!

If you have a question or would like more information about how to participate or join, feel free to contact HealthWatch WI by phone or email at (608)261-6939 ext. 218, mkeller@safetyweb.org.

I look forward to talking with you soon as we start the 2015-16 membership year!

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 Sept. 8 Rose Marsh
Dane County July PICNIC Anna Kaminski
Eau Claire Sept. 3 Lou Kelsey
Milwaukee TBD Danielle Coterel
Pierce County TBD Kelsi Winter
Polk County TBD Mike Rust
Tri-County July 28 Connie Raether

Ops Memos

Ops Memo 15-19 Disability Determinations for the Include, Respect, I Self-Direct (IRIS) Program

Ops Memo 15-21 Spousal Impoverishment Income Allowance FPL Adjustment

Ops Memo 15-22 New Way to Access Online Reports from CARES

Ops Memo 15-24 Online Education as an Approved Activity

Ops Memo 15-25 Employment Verification for Wisconsin Shares

Ops Memo 15-J7 National Directory of New Hire Match Required by the 2014 Farm Bill for FoodShare and New Worker Alert

Provider Memos

2015-23 Coverage Policy for Sleep Medicine Testing

2015-24 Information for Eligible Professionals Regarding Program Year 2015 of the Wisconsin Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program

2015-25 Information for Eligible Hospitals Regarding Program Year 2015 of the Wisconsin Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program

2015-26 Forward Health International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Open Testing Information

2015-27 July 2015 Preferred Drug List Review and Other Pharmacy Policy Changes


Implementing Health Reform: The Supreme Court Upholds Tax Credits In The Federal Exchange, Health Affairs Blog

Post-King: Moving Forward In A New Normal, Health Affairs Blog

What’s Next For The Affordable Care Act? Life After King v. Burwell, Health Affairs Blog

Moving Forward...Finally!, HealthWatch Wisconsin Press Release

Well Woman Program Changes Create More Barriers to Screening, WBCC Press Release

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.
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