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Able Act

Please join us in attending a

Press Conference Re: ABLE ACT

 US Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.

Friday, December 5, 2014

11:00 AM to 11:45 AM

Shusterman Hall

1834 N. Park Mall

Philadelphia, PA  19122

 

For Directions:  http://www.temple.edu/maps-and-directions

 

Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr., US Senator for Pennsylvania, will hold a press conference to address congressional action on the Achieving a Better Life Experience (“ABLE”)  Act, legislation that would allow people with disabilities to save money without jeopardizing their government benefit.

 

The bill passed the House yesterday and a vote is expected in the Senate today.

 

The bill would allow people with disabilities to create ABLE accounts at any financial institution where they could deposit up to $14,000 annually under current gift-tax limitations. As much as $100,000 could be saved in the proposed accounts without risking eligibility for Social Security and other government benefits. Moreover, individuals could retain Medicaid coverage no matter how much money is deposited. Money saved could be used to pay for education, health care, transportation, housing and other expenses.

CLICK HERE  to read article from DisabilityScoop

 

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  PA Health Law Project - logo

Special Alert: Benefit Change Letters Mailed to 800,000 Current Adult Medicaid Enrollees

On November 5th, DPW began mailing all adult Medical Assistance (MA) recipients a letter introducing them to upcoming benefit changes. As part the Healthy PA initiative, DPW is reducing the benefit package for all adults who receive Medical Assistance. The letter tells each adult recipient which of three benefit packages they will receive starting January 1, 2015.

Adults assigned to the “Healthy” or “Healthy PA Private Coverage Option” benefit package may need to take action. Individuals placed in these two groups who fail to request “Healthy Plus” may end up with a benefit package that does not meet their needs.

 To help people understand these notices, here is an overview of the new benefit packages. Examples of the particular letter being sent for each benefit package are linked below (by benefit package title):

  •  Healthy Plus – Also referred to as “high risk,” Healthy Plus is the benefit package assigned to all adults in a disability-related MA category (i.e., Healthy Horizons, Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities, Home and Community Based Services Waivers, those on Medicare, and those in an institutional setting), and any adult found to be “medically frail.” This will become the most comprehensive MA benefit package. Adults assigned to this package do not need to do anything.

 

  • Healthy – Also referred to as “low risk,” Healthy is a benefit package that will have limits on a number of services. For example, radiology will be limited to six tests per year and lab work will be limited to $350 per year. This package is assigned to adults in the low-income parent and caretaker category who have not been found to be “medically frail.”

 Any adult assigned this benefit package who has health problems should ask for Healthy Plus by completing a health screen questionnaire before November 26th. Do this either:

(i) Online through My COMPASS account (www.compass.state.pa.us), or

(ii) By phone at (844) 290-3448.

  • Healthy PA Private Coverage Option (PCO) – The Healthy PA PCO benefit package will have service limits. It will be given to adults in the General Assistance-related MA category who are not “medically frail.” These individuals will also be moved out of their current HealthChoices managed care plan and into the new Private Coverage Option. To pick a PCO plan for coverage starting January 1, 2015, these recipients should call enrollment services at (844) 465-8137.

Any adult assigned this benefit package who has health problems should ask for Healthy Plus by completing a health screen questionnaire before November 26th. Do this either:

(i) Online through My COMPASS account (www.compass.state.pa.us), or

(ii) By phone at (844) 290-3448.

Individuals assigned to the Healthy or Healthy PA PCO benefit package who miss the November 26th deadline for completing the health screen can still ask for the Healthy Plus package by completing an Employability Assessment Form (EAF). They should ask their doctor to check box 1 or box 2 on this form, and then submit the completed form to their local County Assistance Office. We encourage individuals to include a note with the EAF asking that their eligibility be reviewed using this new information. Please note: the MA benefit package for children under age 21 is not being changed. Each letter includes a general listing of services expected to be covered under each benefit package, but no details are given about the amount of services or limitations on services. All adults on MA will receive a notice in December confirming which benefit package they will receive in 2015. If they disagree with the assignment, they can file an appeal at that time. PHLP may be able to help with those appeals.

For a printable version of this alert, CLICK HERE.

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