Connecting Members to Housing To Improve Health Outcomes
The Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) recently released a housing installment of their Understanding Medicaid Managed Care series. The installment focuses on the challenges faced by many of the most vulnerable Americans, especially those without stable housing, and the considerable efforts of health plans to help address these challenges.
For homeless patients who frequently visit the emergency room or are admitted to the hospital, a connection to stable housing can have a profound influence for the better on a patient’s health, and at the same time can contain costs by preventing costly, avoidable hospital visits. Safety Net Health Plans and other Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) can innovate and provide “outside-the-box” solutions that lead to better health for the most vulnerable individuals, while at the same time making wise, efficient use of limited health care resources.
Every state has a Health Insurance Marketplace that functions as a portal to health coverage.
Some states have elected to operate their own Marketplace, others to be served by a Marketplace operated by the federal government, and still others to share some responsibilities in partnership with the federal Marketplace.
The Marketplaces are intended to facilitate access to affordable healthcare coverage for people with incomes below 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL) in every state (even in those that have elected not to expand Medicaid coverage to people with incomes below 138% of the FPL).
In addition, in all states people who are currently eligible for the legacy Medicaid program can be identified and referred for Medicaid enrollment by the Marketplace, without regard to the states’ decisions about Medicaid coverage expansion.
The federal government is funding specialized outreach and enrollment assistance in every state.
Because of possible new insurance options, and the increase in access to enrollment for many clients, it is essential that housing and services providers use the information available on websites to familiarize themselves with the Health Marketplace options in their state, and develop a plan to assist their constituents to obtain Medicaid or affordable health insurance coverage.