CHCACT Q&As

This page includes a collection of Q&As submitted to ask@chcact.org. The most recent questions will be included below, and older questions will be placed into a downloadable document.

  • 4.7.14 Special Enrollment What are the qualifying events for special enrollment?
  • 11.29.13 Being a CAC Q&A Including: Can I do Outreach? Can I talk to the media? Am I getting a laptop? Do I have to do voter registration? Can I reach out to current patients?
  • 1.27.14 Eligibility Q&A Including: What if a Husky-eligible patient wants to get private insurance, can they get subsidies? What can permanent residents get? What about people on work visas? What about patients on Medicare? Does the ACA have any other effects on Medicare? What about disabled patients on a spend-down? Do I have to file taxes to be eligible for subsidies? If I have no tax liability can I still get tax credits? What if there is an undocumented resident in the household? What happens to permanent residents who signed up and were affected by the glitch? What if I’m getting divorced in 2014? What if I turn 65 during 2014? Adjustment to LPR Status? People affected by the DREAM Act (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA)? UPDATED: Are there exceptions to the married couples must file jointly rule?  What if I have employer coverage available to me? Can I get subsidies?  How do I apply for an exemption from the penalty?
  • 4.8.14 Enrollment and Website Q&A Including: Can I help a patient fill out an application? What if my income has changed since my last tax return? What if my Health Center isn’t listed in a Health Plan? I can’t enter my ID number? NEW: What are these “Enrollment Ineligible” and “System Unavailable” glitches? Which income is used to calculate eligibility for expanded Medicaid and QHP subsidies? NEW: What income is excluded from MAGI? Then why do I have to insert my monthly income? UPDATED: How does income verification work?  What about adult dependents who aren’t eligible for medicaid or medicare? Whose income do I use?  Do immigration sponsors matter for subsidy calculation? NEW: Will applying affect my application for citizenship?  How will income verification work for the Medicaid Expansion?  What if I have a permanent resident card with a number shorter than 9 digits (some old ones have 8)? Can I check I don’t know? What is the Have you lived in the US since 1996 question about? My client called DSS and they said they didn’t have his/her application? When do I have to sign up to get coverage January 1st? When does my coverage start? When do I have to sign up by to avoid a penalty? When does Medicaid coverage start? What is happening to the sliding fee scale? When will people get bills from insurance companies? Will people be able to use Access Health to enroll in Medicaid after March 31st? What do I do if I see “Enrollment Ineligible” or “System Unavailable”?
  • 1.27.14 Health Insurance Q&A Do any of the plans have out of state networks? My doctor says they accept a provider, does this mean they will be in-network for my exchange plan? I’ve paid my premium bill, but haven’t received my insurance card, what can I do? I paid out of pocket while waiting for my card, how do I get reimbursed?
  • 3.26.14 Tracking Q&A New: When is the next Quarterly Progress Report due? What counts as an assist, application submitted, and enrollment? Does Medicaid count too? Do I have to follow up to check whether they enrolled? What about whole families? And Examples!

CHCACTion Q&As
  • December 14, 2015: Can CACs refer consumers to a specific broker to help them choose a Qualified Health Plan? No, CACs must not refer consumers to a specific broker or broker agency. CACs may give consumers a list of brokers for consumers to choose from.  Additionally, CACs can inform consumers which brokers speak the preferred language of the consumer. Please remember that health centers and CACs cannot be perceived as favoring one brokerage firm over another.
  • December 4, 2013: If a health center patient chooses not to enroll in either Medicaid/HUSKY or in a Qualified Health Plan through Access Health CT, are they still eligible for the sliding fee discount? Yes. The health center must still offer a sliding fee discount if the person chooses not to enroll in insurance. This point was clarified recently in a Q&A document released by the federal government: Click here (scroll down to Question 17).
  • November 26, 2013: When will we be receiving marketing materials for Access Health CT? We want to tell our patients that we can help them get enrolled! Very soon. I am pleased to tell you that Access Health CT is processing an order for marketing supplies for every FQHC this week. Each FQHC will receive posters, palm cards and banners in English and Spanish; these materials will be mailed directly to the FQHCs. We will keep you updated as to the arrival date.
  • November 18, 2013: One of the people I was helping to enroll asked me my opinion about Obamacare. Am I allowed to express my own political opinions while on the job? In order for health centers to maintain their status as not-for-profit organizations, the centers need to remain neutral about politics. They cannot be perceived as endorsing political candidates at any level of government, nor positions that might affiliate them with one group over another. Therefore, it is best that you do not express your political opinions at the health center, or while you are representing the health center, even when you are off-site. Save that for your Thanksgiving discussions!
  • November 11, 2013: Can I get tax credits and other subsidies even if I don’t file taxes? What if I have no tax liability? In order to be eligible for the Premium Tax Credits you must file taxes for the year in which you receive the credit. So since tax credits for people enrolling now are for 2014, you would have to file taxes for 2014 by April 2015. Even people who are having the tax credit applied directly to their premium will need to file taxes. To ensure the web site determines your eligibility correctly, be sure to indicate that you will be filing taxes for 2014 on your application. You can receive tax credits even if you have no tax liability. The Premium Tax Credit is a credit, not a deduction; thus even if you have no tax liability, you will receive your credit as a refund (if you don’t have it applied directly to your premiums).
  • November 4, 2013: What are some differences between Certified Application Counselors (CACs) and In-Person Assisters or Navigators? During the Access Health CT training, many requirements were mentioned that apply only to In-Person Assisters (IPAs) and Navigators, not to CACs. Here are some differences:
    • Laptops: CACs are not receiving laptops from Access Health CT; IPAs and Navigators are.
    • Voter Registration: IPAs and Navigators are required to assist with voter registration; CACs are not.
    • Outreach: IPAs and Navigators are required to do outreach. CACs are required to do “in-reach” (in your health center) and outreach is encouraged.
    • Talking to the Media: IPAs and Navigators are provided with talking points and a select group of IPAs/Navigators receive media training. The only requirement for IPAs is that they contact Alyssa Yacone to coordinate media engagement and inform her of upcoming media opportunities. CACs do not have this requirement: If you are contacted by the media, please inform the leadership of your health center, as well as Deb Polun, CHCACT’s Director of Government Affairs/Media Relations.
  • October 28, 2013: Is it true that, starting on January 1, all HUSKY applications will go through Access Health CT? What about the DSS Connect Portal? Yes, all applications for HUSKY A, B and D (not HUSKY C, formerly called “Aged, Blind and Disabled”) will be processed through Access Health CT. Whether the client starts with Access Health CT or DSS Connect is a matter of choice based on whether the client wants to apply for all programs (cash, food, and medical) or medical only. If the client wants more than medical s/he should begin with the DSS Connect portal. The application will automatically be routed to Access Health CT to determine eligibility for the medical portion. Once completed the client will be re-routed back to DSS ConneCT to finish determining eligibility for other (non-medical) programs. If a client only wants medical, and not cash or food, then you could begin at the Access Health CT portal.
  • October 21, 2013: Can people who are eligible for Medicare also apply for plans through Access Health CT? Generally, no. Mostly everyone on Medicare is disqualified from applying for a qualified health plan through Access Health CT. However, if the person is low-income, s/he might qualify for Medicaid (HUSKY C), which would fill in the gaps left by Medicare, such as some prescription drugs, dental care, etc. Connecticut has about 100,000 so-called “dually eligible” Medicare-Medicaid enrollees. I would recommend you direct these Medicare enrollees to your health center’s Medicaid Outreach worker for more assistance, as one cannot apply for HUSKY C through Access Health CT. The NY Times recently ran a story on this same question, which you can read here.
  • October 15, 2013: Non-citizens can get onto Medicaid if they have been legal residents for 5 years. Is there also a 5-year wait period for legal resident non-citizens for subsidies on Access Health CT? No, permanent residents with under 5 years’ residence are eligible for subsidies and cost sharing so long as they are under the 400% of the federal poverty guidelines. As with Medicaid, undocumented adults and children will not be eligible for subsidies in Access Health CT and other such “marketplaces;” in addition, they will be barred from purchasing unsubsidized coverage through those marketplaces. However, qualified non-citizens will be eligible for exchange subsidies, regardless of how long they have been in the U.S. Their access to the marketplaces and available subsidies will be the same as for citizens, and will represent a substantial increase in the affordability of insurance for low and moderate income immigrants. Lawfully present immigrants with five years or less of US residency, without access to employer sponsored insurance, will be able to receive both premium tax credits and cost sharing tax credits towards approved plans that meet the essential benefits package outlined in the ACA. This includes such immigrants whose incomes are below 133 percent FPL and so, but for immigration status, would receive Medicaid. Learn more from this HHS brief.