Affordable Care Act: VA Communication Framework

Report
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: VA COMMUNICATION FRAMEWORK
July 24, 2013
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
Affordable Care Act (ACA) Overview
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ACA represents comprehensive reform of the health care delivery system and is
intended to expand access to coverage, control health care costs and improve
health care delivery system.
ACA requires most individuals to have minimum essential health care coverage for
themselves and their dependents or make a payment when filing taxes for each
month lacking coverage.
– Enrollment in VA health care, CHAMPVA and Spina Bifida programs meet the minimum
essential coverage standard.
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Certain individuals, based on their income, may be eligible for assistance to lower
the cost of health care coverage premiums.
States have the option to expand Medicaid eligibility to up to 138% of the Federal
Poverty Level
Establishment of Health Insurance Marketplaces where individuals and small
businesses can compare policies and premiums, and buy insurance coverage.
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ACA and VA – Enrollment Changes
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Enrollment changes may occur as Veterans respond to the new choices that are
available to them
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States’ decision on Medicaid expansion may impact health care choices for Veterans
who may become newly eligible for Medicaid
– ACA expands Medicaid eligibility up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level
– According to the 2010 VHA Survey of Veteran Enrollees’ Health and Reliance
upon VA, 584,000 enrolled Veterans are also enrolled with Medicaid
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Those most likely to change their enrollment status are non-users or have low
reliance on VA
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ACA and Veterans
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Enrolled Veterans can continue to use VA and other federal health care coverage
including Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE or private insurance.
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Since enrollment meets the requirement for coverage under the law, they are not
eligible for assistance in purchasing insurance.
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ACA will give some Veterans the choice to decide whether to use VA for health care,
or choose non-VA options.
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Increased choices have implications for VA in the areas of outreach and
communications.
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Veterans will expect VA to be able to assist them in understanding their options and
deciding what’s best for them and their families.
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VA’s Overarching Communication Strategy
• VA’s focus is two fold:
– Educate Veterans that VA health care meets ACA health insurance standards and
(for those not currently enrolled), promote VA health care as an option; and
– Communicate to Veterans and their families the value of health insurance and
provide information about the Marketplace to those not eligible for care through
VA, including Veterans’ families.
• To execute a multi-faceted strategy to engage with Veterans, staff and other
stakeholders about VA and ACA.
– There are approximately 22M Veterans, 8.2M are enrolled in VA health care programs.
– There are an estimated 1.3M uninsured Veterans, most are eligible for VA health care.
• To ensure consistent communications with these audiences, VA has
developed key messages to share with Veterans and other VA beneficiaries.
• VA will communicate information on ACA, using various modalities starting
in July 2013.
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VA Overarching Communication Strategy (cont.)
KEY STAKEHOLDERS
SPECIFIC GROUPS
Veterans, Veterans
Families, and the Public
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Internal and Interagency 
Audiences:
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Stakeholders and
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Organizations:
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VETERANS HEALTH
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Veterans (includes enrolled Veterans, transitioning service members, eligible but nonenrolled Veterans, and special categories of Veterans, e.g., student Veterans)
Veterans families
CHAMPVA and Spina Bifida Beneficiaries
Media and the General Public
VA Leadership
VA Organizations and Staff Offices
VHA and VBA Program Offices
VISN/VAMC/Regional Office Leadership and Staff
Vet Center Staff and Volunteers
VA-DoD Sharing Offices
VA Call Centers
Other Federal Agencies, CMS Navigators, Counselors and Agents
Congressional Leaders and Veterans Committees Staffs
Veteran Service Organizations, Non Governmental and Military Service Organizations
State Directors of Veterans Agencies
Governors, Mayors, State Marketplaces
Non-VA Health Care Providers
ADMINISTRATION
Disabled and Veteran-Owned Small Businesses
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Key Messages
• VA wants all Veterans to receive health care that improves their health and
well-being.
– VA will assist Veteran and other beneficiaries to determine their eligibility for VA health care
and other health coverage options.
• If enrolled in VA health care, a Veteran does not need to take additional steps
to meet the health care law coverage standards.
– The health care law does not change VA health benefits or Veterans’ out-of-pocket costs.
• Veterans and other beneficiaries not currently enrolled in VA health care can
apply for enrollment at any time.
– Our doors are open – applications are accepted online at www.va.gov/healthbenefits/enroll,
by phone at 1-877-222-VETS (8387), by mail, or in person at a VA medical facility.
• VA will continue to provide Veterans with high quality, comprehensive health
care and benefits they earned through their service.
• Veterans’ family members and Veterans not eligible for VA care may secure
coverage through the Marketplace.
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Planned VA Outreach Efforts
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Landing Site (interactive website with ACA information, comparison tool, etc.)
– Veterans’ family members webpage with link to healthcare.gov
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Direct Mail
Print/Online/Media Communications
– Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Blogs)
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In-Person Communication Tools
Collaboration with other Federal agencies and partners
– HHS, DoD, DOL, SBA
– State Governors and State Veterans Agencies
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Leverage partnership opportunities
– VSOs , NGOs, MSOs
– Veteran small business owners
– Grantees
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Communication Timeline
August 2013
June 2013
 Develop ACA website
 Release Health Benefit Explorer on
va.gov/healthbenefits
 Release VHA staff training on ACA
 Finalize direct communications
materials
5/2013
May 2013
6/2013
 Release interim www.va.gov
content changes
 Enhance call Center scripts
 Introduce approved
communications materials e.g.
FAQ, Fact Sheet at NLC summit
 Conduct www.va.gov/aca focus
group review
 Maintain intranet site for staff to
access information / tools
7/2013
July 2013
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Publish Vanguard article
Continue ACA letter/packages to enrollees
Begin outreach to not enrolled Veterans
Continue enhancing content and capabilities on
www.va.gov/aca
Release content for VSO, SDVA websites and
print communications
Present at VSO National Conferences
Release PSAs and YouTube video
Initiate outreach to States
8/2013
 Focus group ACA website and Explorer
 Launch www.va.gov/aca featuring content
& Health Benefits Explorer
 Release VAMC ACA communications toolkit
 Begin mailing ACA letters/ information
package to enrollees
 Add ACA to Enrollment materials
 Release new streamlined 10-10EZ
 Expand call center staffing/hours; web-chat
 Release social media messages
 Identify facility ACA Advisors
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9/2013
ACA Open Season begins
10/2013
September / October 2013
 Continue mailout of ACA
letter to enrollees
 Continue outreach
campaigns
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VA ACA Landing Page
www.va.gov/aca
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VA Health Benefits Explorer
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Outreach Campaigns
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CBO plans to initiate outreach to 166,000 not Enrolled VA Education beneficiaries
beginning in August
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CBO seeks opportunities to partner with VISNs to outreach to other not enrolled
Veteran groups
– High Potential Targets:
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Under Age 65, particularly Young Adults
Low and Moderate Income
Enrollment Eligibility, e.g., Service-Connected, Vietnam Vets
Declining or Stable Markets
Encourage facility leadership to form local alliances to indentify uninsured
Veterans, and help them make informed choices about their health
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HHS ACA Outreach Efforts
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Educate the American public about the value of health insurance and to encourage
purchasing insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace for those who
need it
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HHS launched a redesigned website www.healthcare.gov
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HHS outreach and communications efforts include:
• Create call centers in 6 states to support the 34 states where the Federal
Marketplace will be implemented (call centers are using VA-supplied scripts)
• Assistance to community health centers to help enroll people in health
insurance
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VA Visibility on healthcare.gov
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Next Steps
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Release additional communication materials
– Creditable Coverage letter
– Add ACA to TAP and Demo (transition) presentations
– Guides for Enrolled and Not Enrolled Veterans
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Enhance VA Health Benefits Explorer to identify other health care coverage
options for Veterans
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Develop external Navigator (HHS) training materials
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Develop not enrolled and uninsured Veterans outreach campaigns
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Questions
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