CSBG DCL Affordable Care Act Webinar for Tribal Communities

Publication Date: August 14, 2015

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Community Services
Division of State Assistance
370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20447


Community Services Block Grant
Dear Colleague Letter

Re: Affordable Care Act Webinar for Tribal Communities

Date: August 14, 2015

Dear Colleagues:

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been called the most significant social justice legislation since the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  Over 16 million people have gained health insurance since the law’s passage.  That’s the largest change in the uninsured population in four decades—since Medicaid and Medicare were created.  And, while the benefits of the ACA are being experienced broadly across the country, we’re encouraged that historically underprivileged populations have benefited from the ACA.  But, there’s much remaining to be done in outreach to underserved groups, particularly for American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) people.         

The Office of Community Services (OCS) will be hosting a webinar on this important issue.  Please see the attached flyer and the call-in information below.  Please also share this information with local providers in your network.



Date: Monday, August 31, 2015

Time: 3:00 - 4:00 pm, Eastern Time (ET)

Health Care Enrollment, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and the Office of Community Services Grantees

Webinar link: http://hhs.adobeconnect.com/r3c815ao92c/ Visit disclaimer page

For audio, please use your computer speakers or headphones.

Many of the uninsured are likely served by programs administered by OCS, such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Community Services Block Grant, Social Services Block Grant and/or Assets for Independence.  Each program grantee can be a partner to reach and enroll Tribal members even if that is not a program’s primary purpose.  We encourage OCS grantees to think of ways to coordinate existing AIAN programming with ACA outreach and education.  Examples include:

  • Stay up-to-date on health insurance opportunities for AIAN people.

The ACA permanently reauthorized the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA) and authorizes new programs to ensure the Indian Health Service is better equipped to meet its mission to raise the health status of AIAN people.  For more on the ACA and IHCIA implementation, please visit www.HealthCare.gov/tribal Visit disclaimer page .

  • Provide information to participants on health insurance opportunities for AIAN people.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) maintains up-to-date information on access to high quality and timely health care for AIAN people.  AIAN people are eligible for coverage through the Indian Health Service, but can benefit from additional coverage offered by the ACA, such as when in need of specialty care.  Different communities afford different opportunities for distributing information.  Information can be handed out not just in community centers, but daycare centers, schools, grocery stores, convenience stores, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, libraries, senior centers, recreation centers, service agencies, and perhaps even door-to-door in home visits."  Please see the CMS site for AIAN Visit disclaimer page or call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325).

  • Partner with community organizations to provide AIAN outreach and education.

Navigators play a vital role in helping consumers prepare electronic and paper applications to establish eligibility and enroll in coverage through the Marketplaces and potentially qualify for an insurance affordability programs.  They also provide outreach and education to raise awareness about the Marketplace.  Indian tribes, tribal organizations and urban tribal organizations are eligible to serve as Navigators.  Please see the following site for more information:  In-person assistance and the Health Insurance Marketplace Visit disclaimer page .  Benefit coordination is one strategy which allows participants who may be applying for human services to also be screened for health coverage.  Community events such as local sports games may also serve as hubs for coordinating such outreach.

Thank you for the critical role you are playing in helping uninsured American Indian and Alaska Native people obtain affordable health coverage.

Jeannie L. Chaffin                                                                                            Seth Hassett
Director                                                                                                            Director, Division of State Assistance
Office of Community Services                                                                          Office of Community Services



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