February 27, 2014 – Official Press/Information Release
Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board Navigator Program: The Affordable Care Act and Indian Country
RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has a number of provisions that uniquely affect American Indians and Alaska Natives, including – but not limited to – special Health Insurance Marketplace, or Exchange, enrollment periods and cost-sharing reductions for individuals eligible to receive services from an Indian health care provider. These provisions work to lower costs of health insurance premiums and increase access to health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Benefits for Indian Country include:
- An increase in affordability of health insurance coverage;
- Exemption from the open enrollment deadline, which this year is March 31;
- Permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA);
- Medicaid expansion in North Dakota, which is particularly beneficial for young Native American men; and
- Overall strengthening of the Indian Health Service.
Individual Benefits for American Indians and Alaska Natives
Members of federally recognized tribes earning less than $34,470 per year for an individual and $70,650 per year for a family of four will not pay out-of-pocket costs, like copays, for services covered by their Marketplace health insurance plan.
Members of federally recognized tribes can change their enrollment status through the Marketplace once a month if they so choose.
Health insurance will pay for services instead of Contract Health Services (CHS) via IHS paying. Therefore, there will be more available CHS funds to assist tribal members with health care.
All American Indians and Alaska Natives eligible for Indian Health Service care are exempt from the federal requirement to maintain minimum health insurance coverage.
How Can the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board Navigator Program Assist You?
The Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board (GPTCHB) Navigator Program consists of two navigators in South Dakota and two navigators in North Dakota, along with the program manager/lead navigator headquartered in Rapid City, who provide individuals with assistance in shopping for and enrolling in Qualified Health Plans (QHP) through the Health Insurance Marketplaces. QHP enrollment assistance is available to Native Americans residing on or near the reservations in South and North Dakota, as well as those Natives living within the Trenton Indian Service Area range in North Dakota.
In addition, GPTCHB will provide Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment assistance within the two states to Natives living in major urban areas serviced by urban Indian health centers.
Talk to a Navigator Today to Get Enrolled!