Friday, January 31, 2014

Reductions in Uninsured Hinge on More Americans Learning about Financial Help

Survey Shows Many Uninsured Adults are Not Aware of Subsidies, Medicaid Expansion
Nearly four in 10 uninsured adults in the United States-39.3 percent-expect to have health insurance in 2014, according to the Health Reform Monitoring Survey. Researchers overseeing the survey say that this number could increase if more people who are eligible for either Medicaid or insurance premium subsidies are informed that they qualify for these benefits. The researchers also find that four in 10 adults who expect to remain uninsured think they will pay a penalty for not having coverage.
The findings come from the Health Reform Monitoring Survey, conducted quarterly by Urban Institute researchers, with additional funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Ford Foundation. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

UDOH Seeks Public Comment on Renewal of Federal Block Grant

Who/What: The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) is asking for public comment on the renewal of its federal Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant for federal fiscal year 2014, during a public hearing.

When:      Tuesday, February 4, 2014
         3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Where:    Utah Department of Health, Cannon Health Building
        288 North 1460 West (Garside Dr.), Room 128
        Salt Lake City, UT  

WHY:  The Department is seeking public input on how $640,015 in grant funds could be spent in Utah to meet select federal Healthy People 2020 public health objectives.  

Currently, the block grant funds are used by the state and local health departments for preventive health services, including obesity prevention and injury prevention. A federally-mandated set-aside in the block grant funds rape crisis and prevention services.
  
Copies of the draft grant proposal summary will be available at the Utah Department of Health. A draft of the 2014 proposal summary is also available online athttp://health.utah.gov/phhsbg.
                                 
# # #

Direct written questions or comments to:

Heather Borski
Utah Department of Health, Division of Disease Control and Prevention
PO Box 142107
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-2107 
e-mail: hborski@utah.gov    
phone: 801-538-9998

The final date for public comment is February 6, 2014.

FDA Says Nutrition Facts Label Will Get a Makeover

After 20 years, the nutrition facts label on the back of food packages is getting a makeover.
Knowledge about nutrition has evolved since the early 1990s, and the Food and Drug Administration says the labels need to reflect that.
Nutritionists and other health experts have their own wish list for label changes.
The number of calories should be more prominent, they say, and the amount of added sugar and percentage of whole wheat in the food should be included. They also want more clarity on serving sizes.
"There's a feeling that nutrition labels haven't been as effective as they should be," says Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "When you look at the label, there are roughly two dozen numbers of substances that people aren't intuitively familiar with."
Nutrition Label Generator
Michael Taylor, the FDA's deputy commissioner for foods, says 20 years ago "there was a big focus on fat, and fat undifferentiated." Since then, health providers have focused more on calories and warned people away from saturated and trans fats rather than all fats. Trans fats were separated out on the label in 2006.
"The food environment has changed and our dietary guidance has changed," says Taylor, who was at the agency in the early 1990s when the FDA first introduced the label at the behest of Congress.
The FDA has sent guidelines for the new labels to the White House, but Taylor would not estimate when they might be released. The FDA has been working on the issue for a decade, he said.
There's evidence that more people are reading the labels in recent years.
An Agriculture Department study said 42 percent of working adults used the panel always or most of the time in 2009 and 2010, up from 34 percent two years earlier. Older adults were more likely to use it.
Read entire article at http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/fda-revise-nutrition-facts-label-21641141 
Image: Blank Nutrition Facts Image from http://www.onlinelabels.com/label-generator-tools/Nutrition-label-generator.aspx.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Health Insurance Literacy Webinar

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Communications/Partner Relations Group invite you to a “Health Insurance Literacy” Webinar.

During the call, we will provide brief updates on the Health Insurance Marketplace and share information on health insurance literacy. This will help you communicate the value of health insurance, provide appropriate resources and tools to address potential health insurance literacy challenges, and will help you assist people in your community make informed decisions about their health coverage needs.

Please submit your questions in advance to Partnership@cms.hhs.gov (include “Health Insurance Literacy Webinar” in the email subject line).

Please forward this invitation to any of your colleagues who may want to participate.

What: National Health Insurance Literacy Webinar for HHS Office of Minority Health Partners
Who Should Attend: OMH partners and others who are interested in learning about health insurance literacy resources and tools to support community outreach and education efforts.
When: Wednesday, February 5, 2014, at 1 pm ET
Webinar Info.:       Webinar link: http://engage.vevent.com/rt/betah_associates_inc~020514
Note: The audio will be available through your computer via the webinar link.
We encourage you to check out the new information for consumers at HealthCare.gov and sign up for Marketplace email and text message updates. Please visit the Marketplace page for partners to sign up for Marketplace updates. You may also download relevant resources, training or learn about partnership opportunities.

Please direct any questions to Partnership@cms.hhs.gov.

We look forward to your participation!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

62 days until the end of open enrollment

Embeddable Locator Tool Now Available

The Get Covered Locator lets consumers look up where they can get free application assistance from experts within 25 miles of their zip code. We're happy to announce that the tool is now available as a widget you can embed on your site!You can customize it to a width that best fits your website, and it's pre-designed to be mobile-responsive.

The tool uses the same publicly available data used to power the Healthcare.gov local help finder, but it's augmented to include more assister results cultivated by our field staff who have developed relationships with local assisters, as well as additional assisters provided by partners in states running their own marketplaces.

Monday, January 27, 2014

2013 Utah Intergenerational Poverty Report

Education is one prime ingredient in any formula to break the cycle of poverty that can follow a family from generation to generation, new Utah data indicates.
A recent report on poverty and public assistance reveals that less than 1 percent of those trapped in intergenerational poverty earned a college degree. The state average, by contrast, is 19.5 percent.

Comparing those in intergenerational poverty with general Utah population:

  • Education » 20.9 percent dropped out of school before graduating high school (compared to 8.5 percent for the general Utah populace)
  • Employment » 47.9 percent (compared to 74.9 percent for general adult populace in 2011)
  • Wages » $12,900 annual average per person (compared to $29,712 average, 2011)
  • Child abuse, neglect » This group makes up only about 1.3 percent of the total Utah population but accounts for nearly 6 percent of all confirmed reports of child abuse and neglect during the last 22 years. More than a quarter of those in the group were victims of child abuse or neglect.

Education is key to interrupting the cycle, said Jon Pierpont, executive director of the Utah Department of Workforce Services. So the question for leaders to answer is: "What do we do policy-wise for the children being born into this situation" to ensure a good education?
The facts and figures being collected in the second year of the ongoing study "Intergenerational Poverty, Welfare Dependency and the Use of Public Assistance in Utah" are aimed ultimately at helping come up with those policy solutions.
According to Carrie Mayne, chief economist for Workforce Services, the study defined those stuck in "intergenerational" poverty as people who received 12 months or more of any kind of public assistance as children and at least 12 months of public assistance as adults. Typically, a 40-year-old adult in the category would have received public assistance for 11.9 years.
Some 13.6 percent ­— or 382,750 — of Utah’s 2.8 million residents live in poverty, according to federal guidelines. The study identified that nearly one of 10 of those — 36,500 — are people in intergenerational poverty.
Utahns fitting that category were compared to others who received some public assistance, but for less than 12 months, and to Utah’s population as a whole. Some of the results are revealing.

Continue Seasonal Flu Vaccination through January and Beyond

Seasonal influenza activity is increasing in parts of the United States and is expected to continue to increase across the country in the coming weeks. As long as flu viruses are circulating, flu vaccine can still offer protection. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges individuals not yet vaccinated to get their flu vaccine now. With each office visit, health care professionals should continue to assess patient vaccination status. For patients who haven’t received the seasonal flu vaccine, encourage vaccine usage by discussing the benefits and importance of flu vaccination, offer to vaccinate, or refer to a vaccine provider when appropriate.

As a reminder, generally, Medicare Part B covers one influenza vaccination and its administration each influenza season for Medicare beneficiaries without co-pay or deductible. Note: The influenza vaccine is not a Part D-covered drug.

  • MLN Matters® Article #MM8433, “Influenza Vaccine Payment Allowances - Annual Update for 2013-2014 Season.”
  •  MLN Matters® Article #SE1336, “2013-2014 Influenza (Flu) Resources for Health Care Professionals.”
  • While some providers may offer flu vaccines, those that don’t can help their patients locate flu vaccines within their local community. The HealthMap Vaccine Finder is a free online service where users can search for locations offering flu and other adult vaccines.
  •  Free Resources can be downloaded from the CDC website including prescription-style tear-pads that will allow you to give a customized flu shot reminder to patients at high-risk for complications from the flu.

Gov. Herbert Announces Medicaid will Expand in Utah

Utah will expand Medicaid to cover more of the state’s uninsured, Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday.

"Doing nothing ... I’ve taken off the table. Doing nothing is not an option," the Republican governor said at his monthly news conference, broadcast live on KUED Channel 7.

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling opened the way for states to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid without losing federal funding.

The decision rests with governors, under the federal health law. In 2013, Utah legislators passed a bill giving them equal say — but federal law supersedes state law.

Still, legislators hold Utah’s purse strings and Gov. Gary Herbert has pledged to collaborate with them.

Herbert did not indicate which of two expansion strategies endorsed by a legislative Health Reform Task Force he prefers — or whether he has another in mind. He said he will make his decision during the legislative session that begins next week.

But Democrats and low-income advocates were encouraged by Herbert’s comments, his first public commitment to embrace an optional, but key, component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

"Every month that Utah waits to start a program, we lose over four million dollars in federal funding, thousands of families struggle accessing and paying for care, and continue to face the physical, mental and financial harm that occurs when families are uninsured," said Lincoln Nehring, a health policy analyst at Voices for Utah Children, in a statement.

Saluting Herbert’s decision, state Democratic party chairman Jim Dabakis said, "We trust that this is not a conditional acceptance, and that the Utah Legislature will see the wisdom in joining so many other states in providing a hand up to [those] desperate for affordable health care."

The full Medicaid expansion anticipated by the ACA would cover 111,000 Utah adults who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or $32,000 for a family of four.

The federal government pays 100 percent of those costs through 2017, and then declining amounts, but no less than 90 percent.

But Utah’s Republican leaders fear the possibility of those federal dollars drying up. As a backup plan, House Speaker Becky Lockhart has floated the idea of setting aside a pool of money to cover unforeseen costs.

That’s "a possibility, one of probably many," said Herbert immediately after the KUED press conference. "The one thing we know about Utah is we are fiscally prudent."

Salt Lake Tribune http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57438301-78/federal-health-medicaid-utah.html.csp

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Obesity Rate Trends Differ Among Family Income Levels

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds that while obesity rates have declined over the past decade among adolescents in higher-income families, rates have risen among adolescents in lower-income families . Researchers from Harvard University examined data from two national health surveys between 2003 and 2011 and discovered the disparities when accounting for both family income as well as parents’ education level. According to co-author Kaisa Snellman, “the difference comes down to physical activity. Educated families are much more likely to engage in…exercising, biking around, [and] walking.” 

Read the entire article at http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-01-obesity-declines-rich-teens-poor.html

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Utah ranks about average in Human Development Index by Measuring America

OHD has added this new tool to the OHD data website.  It provides data on "human development"  which is determined by health, education and income.

The map is searchable by state, county and zip code and includes data related to health, income and education.  

The Measuring America website has been added to the Data section of the OHD website.

Utah Cancer Registry Is Now Queriable by Race

You can access the Cancer Registry here: http://ibis.health.utah.gov/query/selection/ucr/UCRSelection.html

Choose "Advanced Selection" to make queries buy race.

New Utah Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) Website

A new website is available for Utah Public Health data that uses the familiar tools of IBIS-PH with a few new innovations.  The website can be found by clicking on the tab, "EPHT Network" at IBIS-PH or by going directly to epht.health.utah.gov . 


Within the EPHT website, the EPHT Topics tab combines information from  several related indicators.  


Within a topic, an interesting feature is Queryable Datasets, which links to a popular IBIS query that had already been defined--the user does not need to enter their own options.

New Health Video Features Utah’s Cultural Diversity

The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) Office of Health Disparities (OHD) has released the new video, Health in 3-D, to encourage health care providers and public health professionals to improve services by becoming aware of diversity, the social determinants of health, and health disparities.

The video features diverse Utah community members discussing how their cultural backgrounds and personal circumstances have affected their health and their interactions with providers in Utah.

In the video, Siope Lee Kinikini, son of Tongan immigrants, describes how his Tongan-American upbringing has given him a different perspective on health than that held by his health care providers. “I don't think they really understand who I am or the way that I look at my life and what I value as being important.  I think they look at it as though you need to do this in order to be healthy and happy, but for me, my definition is not the same as theirs.”

Everette  Bacon, who is blind, discusses how people with sight view blindness differently than he does.  “People believe that blindness is directly related to health and I don’t have that same viewpoint. Blindness is just kind of a part of you, much like what hair color you have.”

Carol Taylor described her reaction when a younger person told her she was spry. “I thought, somebody would only say that to somebody that’s old.”

Health workers are praising the video. “Everyone I work with said how good, simple, and to the point it is—a big eye opener," said Jacqueline Gomez-Arias, who has used the new video for trainings with Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness (USARA) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness Latino of Utah (NAMI Latino de Utah).

The UDOH Office of Health Disparities also offers an interactive quiz to accompany the video for use at staff meetings and trainings. The video and quiz are available free of charge at http://health.utah.gov/disparities/training/healthin3D.html.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Funding Opportunity: Youth Athletic Grant

Salt Lake City has allocated $50,000 in scholarship grants for local non-profit competitive youth athletic organizations.  These funds will be allocated in two rounds with $25,000 available immediately and $25,000 to be awarded later in 2014.

The goal of this grant is to empower teams, clubs and athletic organizations to make competitive sports programs more financially feasible for low income Salt Lake City youth up to 18 years of age.

Funding limits will be set at $15,000 per organization with a maximum scholarship of $1,500 per athlete.

Qualifying non-profit teams, clubs and athletic organizations will be chosen through an application process.
Applications available online at:
Applications accepted Jan 6-Feb 3, 2014


Town Hall Meeting: Rising use rates of e-cigarettes in Weber & Morgan counties

Join a Community Meeting

Weber-Morgan Tobacco-Free Coalition wants to hear your ideas for minimizing youth access to e-cigarettes. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
7:00 p.m.
Odyssey Elementary School
375 Goddard Streed
Ogden, Utah

Parents, teachers and physicians are encouraged to participate.
Refreshments will be served.

For more information contact Anna Guyman at 801.399.7182 or aguymon@co.weber.ut.us .

Friday, January 17, 2014

New Health Equity Guide for Public Health Practitioners


Meeting in sessionHealth inequities are preventable by definition. Prevention Institute and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention have just released a new tool to help public health practitioners work at the community level to tackle health inequities.  A Practitioner's Guide for Advancing Health Equity is a new resource designed to help public health practitioners advance health equity through community prevention strategies. While health disparities can be addressed at multiple levels, this guide focuses on policy, systems, and environmental improvements designed to improve the places where people live, learn, work, and play. It is designed for those who are new to the concept of health equity, as well as those who are already working to create equitable environments.

You'll find:

  • Tips to help you and your colleagues build organizational capacity; develop partnerships; foster meaningful engagement; and design and evaluate equity-oriented strategies.
  • Strategies, based in evidence and honed by practice, that are designed to reduce health disparities and create healthy communities for all.
  • Information about potential barriers and unintended consequences that can hinder chronic disease prevention efforts.
  • Examples of successful equity-oriented approaches to improving public health and reducing disparities, drawn from communities across the country.

Download and read A Practitioner's Guide for Advancing Health Equity here

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Information in Many Languages about Health Insurance Marketplace added to the Multilingual Library

See http://health.utah.gov/disparities/multilinguallibrary/topic/insurance.php


CMS National Call for the Healthcare Provider Community

National Call for the Healthcare Provider Community
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) invites the healthcare provider community to a teleconference as Marketplace Qualified Health Plans are now underway.

During the call we will provide brief updates on the Marketplace and Qualified Health Plans that started on January 1, 2014. Questions should be submitted in advance to Partnership@cms.hhs.gov.

Please forward this invitation to other providers who may want to participate.

What:   National Call for the Healthcare Provider Community

Who Should Attend:   Healthcare providers who want to know more about
                                      Marketplace Qualified Health Plans as of January 1, 2014.

When:  Thursday, January 16, 2014 @ 1:00 p.m. ET

Call information:   Participant Line: (855) 258-3677
                                Conference ID:           34470517

We encourage you to check out the new information for providers and consumers atMarketplace.cms.gov. A list of all plans and their customer service numbers can be found in this data baseYou can also download copies of fact sheets or educational material for your patients.
Please direct any questions to Partnership@cms.hhs.gov.

We look forward to your participation!

Sincerely,

-Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Office of Communications, Partner Relations Group

Food and Beverage Companies Beat their Calorie-Cutting Goal


In 2010, 16 of the nation's leading food and beverage companies—acting together as part of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation—pledged to remove 1 trillion calories from the marketplace by 2012, and 1.5 trillion in 2015.                 The companies have so far exceeded their goal. An independent evaluation funded by RWJF found that they sold 6.4 trillion fewer calories in the United States in 2012 than they did in 2007, thus far exceeding their 2015 pledge by more than 400 percent.

Participating companies include some of the biggest food and beverage companies in the world: ConAgra Foods, General Mills, Kellogg Company, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company, and more.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation www.rwjf.org

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

CDC Study: Most Adolescents Not Meeting Physical Activity Guidelines

Only 1 in 4 U.S. children between the ages of 12 and 15 meet recommended physical activity levels, according to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC researchers used 2012 data from the combined National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and the NHANES National Youth Fitness Survey. 
Read entire report at the CDC website http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db141.htm.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Funding Opportunity: Mobilization for Health, National Prevention Partnership Awards (NPPA) Program

The Mobilization for Health: National Prevention Partnership Awards (NPPA) Program is designed to promote and accelerate partnerships, catalyzing collaborations in improving health through access to, and use of, preventive services across the United States. The program is designed to establish integrated, collaborative local, state, regional, or tribal partnerships to increase community awareness and action on preventive health services, particularly those provided through Health Promotion Programs and Services.

Please note the following dates:
A pre-application webinar will be scheduled on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 from 1-3p.m. ET. Further details of the pre-application webinar can be found on: http://www.hhs.gov/grants/.

Applications are due March 3, 2014 by 5 p.m. ET

Broad public health partnerships are encouraged between academic, governmental, community based and faith based organizations.

Feel free to distribute widely.

This funding opportunity announcement has 2 parts:
A) Awards $50,000 to $75,000.
B) Awards not to exceed $500,000.

To ensure adequate time to successfully submit the application, HHS/OASH recommends that applicants register immediately in Grants.gov since the registration process can take up to one month. For information on registering for Grants.gov, refer to http://www.grants.gov or contact the Grants.gov Contact Center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (excluding Federal holidays) at 1-800-518-4726 or support@grants.gov.

Mobilization for Health: National Prevention Partnership Awards (NPPA)
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) announce the anticipated availability of funds for Fiscal Year 2014.
The Mobilization for Health: National Prevention Partnership Awards (NPPA) grant program is designed to do the following:
  • Promote and accelerate partnerships
  • Catalyze collaborations to improve health and wellness through access to and use of preventive services across the United States
  • Educate and train health workers and the public
  • Establish communication programs for all community populations regardless of social and economic barriers or race/ethnicity
The program seeks to establish integrated, collaborative local, state, regional, and tribal partnerships to increase community awareness and action on preventive health services.
Applications 
Applications are due March 3, 2014, by 5:00 p.m. (ET)
Applicants should clearly identify Part A (1-year award) or Part B (up to a 3-year award) in their application. Successful applicants will be single organizations that coordinate and oversee multiple partners that will implement the proposed activity. All applications for this funding opportunity must be submitted electronically through http://grants.gov and must be received by5:00 p.m. (ET) on March 3, 2014.
Pre-Application Webinar
A pre-application webinar will be held on Tuesday, January 14, 2014, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. (ET).
Register to join the public pre-application webinar. A registration confirmation email will be sent to you. Keep this email within easy reach when joining the webinar; it includes your conference access information, including a unique PIN.
Grant application questions can be submitted prior to the webinar via emails toOASHGRANTFOA@hhs.gov. Questions during the webinar can be entered into the webinar chat box.
Frequently Asked Questions. Please read the Frequently Asked Questions on the NPPA Program for more information.

Assistance Registering for the Webinar
If you need assistance with registering, please contact Chanya Liv by email atOASHGRANTFOA@hhs.gov or by phone at 202-690-2470.
HHS welcomes the attendance of the public at its pre-application webinar and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Chanya Liv at OASHGRANTFOA@hhs.govor 202-690-2470 at least seven (7) days in advance of the meeting.
For more information: Access the funding opportunity announcement

Affordable Plans Available in Utah

In Utah, a family of four could pay as little as $122 per month for health coverage. A 27-year-old could pay as little as $95 per month.

There are affordable plans available in the Health Insurance Marketplace right now.
If you want coverage that will start as early as February 1, 2014, make sure that you complete your application and enroll in a plan by January 15, 2014.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Junior League Care Fair - Mini Dental Fair

The Junior League committee has just announced an upcoming free dental fair for the under-served.  This is an attempt to serve clients with dental needs outside of the big health fair in the summer:

Saturday, Feb 8
9am-5pm
Horizonte Instructional Training Center
1234 S Main Street
Salt Lake City, Utah

This dental-only fair will provide individuals with basic dental cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants, dental exams and vouchers for follow-up care. If you are a dentist or hygienist who would be interested in volunteering for this event, please contact the dental committee at dental@juniorleaguecarefair.org or Kristin Gelegotis at 801-554-7570 and Kristin.gelegotis@gmail.com.

Thanks for helping spread the word to those in need and potential dental volunteers.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Nominate Utah Community Advocates for Select 25 Award by January 19th!

Select 25 is a grant program that awards $2,500 to nonprofit organizations that serve special
populations or improve health and well-being. In the past, SelectHealth has awarded grants to organizations that help sponsor community health initiatives like community gardens, physical education and safety programs.

The application is only a page and can be found at http://selecthealth.org/stayhealthy/select25/Pages/home.aspx. Winners are chosen by community stakeholders and given $2,500 and a media package to promote their program services. This grant is only available to Utah organizations, so please consider applying or sending it on.

Education: It Matters More to Health than Ever Before

Americans with fewer years of education have poorer health and shorter lives—a fact that has never been more true than today. Since the 1990s, life expectancy has decreased for people without a high school education, especially White women. Now, more than ever before, people with less education face a serious health and economic disadvantage.

New issue brief and video explore the links between education and health.

This new brief and video kick off the Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health’s Education and Health Initiative, a program to raise awareness about the links between education and health. It is the first in a series of four briefs that will explain these complex connections, discuss the role of health care reform, and demonstrate why investing in education can cut health care costs.
Key Findings
  • People with less education are living shorter, sicker lives than ever before.Americans with less education face higher rates of illness, higher rates of disability, and shorter life expectancies. In the U.S., 25-year-olds without a high school diploma can expect to die 9 years sooner than college graduates.
  • These health disparities are even more prominent among White women.While overall life expectancy has generally increased, it has decreased for Whites with fewer than 12 years of education—especially White women. White women without a high school diploma are living shorter lives than they did in 1990.
  • Investing in education saves lives and dollars. More education leads to higher earnings that can provide access to healthy food, safer homes, and better health care. In contrast, people with fewer years of education generate higher medical costs and are less productive at work.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

CMS issued the formal extension of PCN in Utah

CMS issued the formal extension of PCN through December 2014.  As part of the extension, CMS reduced PCN's income level to 100% Federal Poverty Line (FLP), effective March 31. Current PCN clients over 100% FPL have been notified.

How will PCN change on January 1, 2014?
Starting on January 1, 2014, the amount of income you can make each month and still be on PCN will change.  Only people with income less than the amounts below will be eligible for PCN. 
Household Size
Monthly Income
1
$958
2
$1293
3
$1628
4
$1963
5
$2298
6
$2633

What happens if my income is too high?
Your current income is more than the amounts listed above for your household size.  The Affordable Care Act (also known as Healthcare Reform) created an option where you may be able to receive help to purchase a health insurance plan that would cover more services than PCN.  You have the option to:
·       sign up now for a more complete plan and see if you are able to get help paying for the plan;or
·       stay on PCN until your case closes on March 31, 2014.  

What if I want to get private health insurance now?
You can look for private health insurance at any time.  You may be able to find health insurance on Healthcare.gov.  If you apply at Healthcare.gov, you will also find out if you can get help paying for insurance premiums and copays.
Private health insurance has more benefits than the PCN.  With private health insurance, you can get coverage for hospital stays, specialists, more than 4 prescriptions per month and other services not covered by PCN. You may also be able to get mental health or substance use disorder services.
If you get health insurance now, you must report this to the Department of Workforce Services and your PCN case will close. 
How can I get help finding private health insurance?
Take Care Utah is a program that can help you find affordable health care coverage. They have health insurance navigators that can help you.
What is a health insurance navigator?
A health insurance navigator is a person who can help you find healthcare coverage either through Medicaid or private insurance.
For questions or help finding health insurance, contact Take Care Utah by:
·       Calling 801-433-2299 or
To learn about current coverage options in Utah visit   http://www.healthpolicyproject.org/FindCoverage.html.
For more information on federal healthcare reform or to find health insurance coverage options on your own, visit      www.healthcare.gov.