Presentation on theme: "Sustaining and Improving Consumer Assistance Cheryl Fish-Parcham Families USA, November 11, 2010."— Presentation transcript:
Sustaining and Improving Consumer Assistance Cheryl Fish-Parcham Families USA, November 11, 2010
How to Support an Advocacy Role in Government Based Programs Join its advisory committee, or at least meet regularly; Encourage new program staff to talk with/visit good established programs; Make sure outreach is really done: notices in insurance plan materials; community speaking; media; include contact info in your own materials;
Make Sure Staff Is Trained Help with staff training on: – Issues of concern to the advocacy community; – Public programs and community resources; – Affordable Care Act Ask staff to speak in community trainings Suggest/facilitate training by others: – IRO on successful appeals – HHS and DOL should be sending training teams – staff need a person to call in each agency for complex cases – Plug staff into national conference calls/listserves
Work Towards Subcontracts For: Outreach and community education Community intake Training Representation in appeals Perhaps setting up systems: policy and procedures; data systems – HHS will also help with the latter
Help program play a sentinel role Review data; Talk regularly about difficult cases that show a need for administrative or policy change; Help write/review reports to get legislators and administrators attention; Facilitate oversight hearings or informal meetings with legislators/regulators
Sustainability Can you help the program get good PR? Community awards? Columns in legislators newsletters? Legislators and governors constituent service staff aware of program? Recognition from agency head? Would a state law help ensure continuity? How is the placement?
Federal Appropriations Law says: $30 million for first fiscal year; Authorized to be appropriated…sums as necessary for future years This does not guarantee future years of funding! We must work for it!!!
Steps Now: Will President request >$ in 2012 budget? – Letter to President, cc Secretary Sebelius Jan/Feb: Ask your Member & Senator to request an appropriation: – Draft a formal letter for them to send to approps committee – Explain how much $ your state got and how it is used. – If your Member/Senator is on Ways and Means, Finance, or HELP, ask for Committee sign-on letters to appropriators requesting further funding as dictated by ACA
Steps (continued) Work with champion Members/Senators who authorized consumer assistance Get allies involved: Friendly insurance commissioner to start a sign-on Sign-on of nonprofits that received subcontracts Disease associations/others
Resources from Families USA CHAPS listserv Consumer Health Assistance Programs web page on www.familiesusa.org. Hapnetwork.org – website for SHIPs (Medicare counseling programs) but has helpful materials on volunteer use, other best practices Legal Rights Center