Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle
The Affordable Care Act includes provisions intended to improve access to health insurance coverage and ensure that such coverage provides essential health benefits for adolescents and young adults. Several of these provisions are already in effect for most plans, including requirements to cover preventive services without cost-sharing, a prohibition on pre-existing condition exclusions for children under age 19, a prohibition of lifetime or restrictive annual limits on essential health benefits, and coverage for dependents ages 19-25 on their parent’s health insurance plan. Several others, including the opportunity for states to expand Medicaid, coverage of essential health benefits, and the ability to get coverage through the new Health Insurance Marketplace with access to premium tax credits will apply for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014. Taken together, these provisions ensure that adolescents will have access to health insurance that covers benefits, particularly important for this population.
Preventive Health Services With No Co-Pay
Health promotion, disease prevention, early intervention, and timely treatment of conditions can improve the health status of adolescents and reduce the incidence of chronic conditions in adulthood. The Affordable Care Act (adding new Section 2713 to the Public Health Service Act) seeks to make prevention affordable by requiring most private health insurance plans to cover recommended preventive services without cost-sharing, meaning not subject to deductibles or co-pays/coinsurance. The Affordable Care Act identified specific sources for these recommendations for preventive services, including the United States Preventive Services Task Force’s recommendations with an “A” or “B” rating, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (such as Bright Futures for children and adolescents and the guidelines for women’s clinical preventive services).
Recommended preventive services and screenings are now covered with no out-of-pocket costs, including immunizations, behavioral assessments for adolescents, obesity screening, FDA-approved contraception and patient education counseling and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention counseling and screening for sexually active adolescents. In a national survey, about ten percent of youth ages 12-17 reported any illicit drug use in the past month and eight percent reported cigarette use in the past month. An estimated 31 percent of children ages 10-17 are overweight or obese. Teenagers are more likely to have an unintended pregnancy than older females. Among women ages 19 and younger, more than 4 out of 5 pregnancies are unintended.
Prohibition Of Pre-
existing Conditions Denials
An estimated 25 percent of all children between the ages of 12 and 17 have special health care needs. For example, about 11 percent of adolescents 12-17 have Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) and 10 percent have asthma.9 The Affordable Care Act (adding new Section 2704 to the Public Health Service Act) prohibits denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions.
For plan or policy years beginning on or after September 23, 2010, group health plans, group health insurance coverage, and non-grandfathered individual health insurance policies may not deny or limit coverage for children under the age of 19 because of a pre-existing condition.
For plan or policy years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, group health plans, group health insurance coverage, and non-grandfathered individual health insurance policies may not deny or limit coverage for any enrollee because of a pre-existing condition.
As of September 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act (adding new Section 2714 to the Public Health Service Act) and its implementing regulations provide that new or renewing plans in the individual and group markets are required to cover dependents ages 25 and younger if they offer dependent coverage. This applies to young adults even if they are married, not living with their parent and/or not financially dependent on their parent. Grandfathered group health plans may exclude coverage of a dependent that has access to eligible employer-sponsored coverage. As of December 2011, 3.1 million young adults (ages 19-25) had gained coverage under this provision.
Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance
The Affordable Care Act (Section 2001) requires maintenance of the pre-Affordable Care Act Medicaid and CHIP eligibility levels for children 18 and younger through 2019. In addition, the Affordable Care Act requires all states to provide Medicaid coverage for children ages 6-18 with incomes at or below 133 percent of Federal Poverty Level Guidelines beginning January 1, 2014. Beginning January 1, 2014, the Affordable Care Act (Section 2004) also generally makes current and former children in foster care eligible for Medicaid until they turn 26.
For plan or policy years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, non-grandfathered individual and small group market insurance plans must cover benefits in ten categories of services and items included in the definition of essential health benefits (EHBs). The ten categories include: ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization; maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care (Section 1302 of the Affordable Care Act and Section 2707(a) of the Public Health Service Act). In addition, the Affordable Care Act prohibits annual and lifetime limits on coverage of essential health benefits.
Affordable Care Act Initiatives
In addition to coverage and benefit provisions, the Affordable Care Act includes several other provisions aimed at improving health and healthcare access among adolescents. These include funding for school-based health centers, teen pregnancy prevention programs, home visiting programs, a childhood obesity demonstration project, and the expansion of community health centers.
Because of the Affordable Care Act, more Americans will have access to affordable health insurance coverage. For adolescents, the Affordable Care Act expands health insurance coverage, increases access to comprehensive benefits, and places greater emphasis on prevention and wellness.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 September 2013 10:36
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
Comerica Bank announced that Detroit Firefighter Martin Rucker has won Comerica’s Home of the Brave National Anthem Singing Contest. Rucker has won the opportunity to sing the National Anthem at the Sept. 22, Detroit Tigers game, 40 tickets to the game and has secured his station, Engine Co. No. 30 in Detroit, a $10,000 grant from Comerica Bank. Rucker is a 14-year veteran of the Detroit Fire Department and serves as a Fire Engine Operator.
In conjunction with its sponsorship of Fan Appreciation Weekend at Comerica Park, Comerica held the contest as a way to say thank you to our hometown heroes for their bravery and dedication to the community.
“During Fan Appreciation Weekend, Comerica Bank wants to make a special effort to show our appreciation for the hometown heroes who have the courage to protect us day in and day out,” said Michael T. Ritchie, president of Comerica Bank–Michigan. “Martin’s submission was impressive and we are honored to award the Detroit Fire Engine Co. No. 30 with a $10,000 grant.”
Southeastern Michigan police officers and firefighters submitted videos to the Comerica Cares Facebook page. A panel of judges from the Detroit Tigers, the media and Comerica Bank narrowed the submissions to the top 10 for public voting. More than 15,000 votes were cast during the two week public voting period.
Rucker finished with 4,008 votes, followed by second place-finisher firefighter Walter Johnston from the Hartland Area Fire Department with 3,473 votes and police officer Steven Curtis from the Oakland County Sherriff’s Office, who came in third with 2,101 votes in the Home of the Brave National Anthem Singing Contest.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 September 2013 11:18
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
Gov. Rick Snyder will sign legislation that would make more low-income adults eligible for health insurance through the federal health care law.
The state House approved the much-debated Medicaid expansion bill on a bipartisan 75-32 vote the day after Labor Day.
Live coverage of the ceremony can be seen on the Michigan.gov website at 10 a.m. Visit www.michigan.gov/snyderlive to watch.
Last Updated on Monday, 16 September 2013 11:19
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
Detroit Police are grieving the loss of one of their veteran police officers.
According to Fox 2 News:
The department says Rodney Jones, 49, was competing in 'Bikes on Bricks' in Flint Saturday afternoon when he suddenly stopped his bike and collapsed. Medics rushed the 28-year veteran to Hurley Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.
Last Updated on Monday, 16 September 2013 11:24
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Bankole Thompson, Chronicle Senior Editor
Former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan means many different things to different people. Since he launched his campaign for mayor of Detroit, the former Wayne County prosecutor has encountered various political potholes, leaving some of his critics wondering if he could possibly be stopped.
From being kicked off the ballot by two courts to mounting an unbelievable and highly successful write-in-campaign to now setting his eyes on getting elected in the November general election, Duggan, in the eyes of his supporters and some critics is a “bulldog” who will not stop until his mission is accomplished.
Despite winning the August primary election which some of his critics dispute because of ballot boxes that were not properly tabulated, Duggan’s campaign is moving forward. It is an uphill battle because general election voters differ from primary voters.
“We would not be in this campaign if we didn’t set our sights on winning. Our strategy is to work exceptionally hard until we cross the line,” said Duggan’s 27-year-old Harvard educated campaign manager, Bryan Barnhill. “We are not about outworking our opponent but outworking ourselves so we can consistently analyze data, our mistakes and continue to innovate.”
Barnhill, who served as director of policy and legislative affairs for former Detroit City Council President Charles Pugh, said he believes in the promise of the Duggan campaign, which is what attracted him to the candidate and his mission.
“What I first heard was that Mike is someone who gets things done. I heard he was a bulldog and a tough negotiator,” said Barnhill.
But Barnhill noted that he also heard about the Edward McNamara machine, the once powerful political machine that was manned by Michigan’s then most influential Democrat, Edward McNamara.
The McNamara machine produced many offspring, including Duggan, who was top deputy to McNamara, as well as former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm and former mayoral candidate Freman Hendrix as well as McNamara’s chief of staff, Bernard Kilpatrick, father of former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
The political machine was detested by those who said it was a cesspool of political corruption and patronage when it came under federal investigation. Duggan has never been accused of wrongdoing.
Barnhill said the reputation of the McNamara machine concerned him.
“I heard about the McNamara machine to the point that I developed appreciation for the importance of a good reputation in politics,” Barnhill said. “I heard about the good. I heard about the bad that just didn’t add up. So when I met with Mike and his advisors, I pressed them about it. The thing that assuaged my anxiety was the team that he assembled to work on his campaign.”
Barnhill was also convinced because Duggan had never been accused of any illegal acts as part of the McNamara team and that allayed his fears. He went to work for Duggan who wanted a team of young professionals concerned about the future of the city.
“I assembled folks and his talk to a group of young leaders was so riveting. He did a great job of helping me understand the power of young people in making a difference,” Barnhill said. “After that involvement I began volunteering and he asked me to be his campaign manager.”
But for Barnhill, among the most vexing questions on the campaign trail is that of working to elect a White mayor in Detroit for the first time in 40 years.
As an African-American who went to Harvard to study government where he was a minority, worked in New York as an investment analyst before deciding to come back home after being tired of seeing negative images and stories about Detroit in the national media, emanating from the Kwame Kilpatrick scandal, Barnhill says he takes the question of whether the city can elect a White candidate seriously.
“Growing up with Black people, being taught by Black teachers as I was raised in Detroit, shaped by outlook and made me have a profound appreciation for my identity,” said Barnhill who graduated from Renaissance High School. “It also made me profoundly sympathetic about the state of Black people globally.”
When the opportunity was presented to work for Duggan, he rationalized the wider implications of working to elect a non-Black candidate in a majority African-American city where race has been among the most dominant issues that frequently cuts across political and socioeconomic lines.
“Because there is a fear of this grand experiment of a Black metropolis that has failed. From the election of Coleman Alexander Young in the waning days of the Civil Rights Movement that saw the creation of major Black cities, Detroit has remained hugely significant in Black history,” Barnhill said. “I can appreciate that attitude that having a White mayor is an affront to the legacy of Black political leadership.”
But Barnhill also said it is interesting that those who oppose Duggan have begun raising issues around Black empowerment to justify their opposition to his election in November. And that, he said, is even more true in what he calls “the folklore that existed for a long time that one day White people are going to come and take over this city, and that is being heightened by the movement of young Whites moving downtown and Midtown.”
Is it a contradiction for Barnhill to be pro-Black empowerment and spearhead an effort to elect a non-Black candidate?
“As I thought about it, it is a resounding no,” Barnhill said. “I think Black empowerment must occur in two phases.”
The first phase, according to Barnhill, who did a stint at Southwest Business Solutions, is what he describes as the “individual empowerment which is really about the extent to which we remove legal, social and psychological barriers that serve as an impediment to individual Black achievement.”
The second, Barnhill said, is “collective empowerment,” which he believes Duggan will be doing if he becomes mayor of this majority Black city, helping to address the crisis facing African-Americans in urban centers such as this one.
“Mike’s platform will resoundingly benefit collective Black empowerment in this city and beyond,” Barnhill said. “Evaluating a candidate purely on the basis of skill set and background instead of race will have tremendous benefit for the people who are overwhelmingly African-American.”
Duggan’s winning in the primary, some say, is owed to his large campaign war chest because he is the favorite of most business leaders, disadvantaging his opponent, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.
Some of Napoleon’s supporters have charged that Duggan is trying to buy the election. However, Barnhill dismissed any suggestion or assertion that the election is being bought, that Duggan is only winning because of huge campaign contributions.
“Money helps you spread your message. If your message doesn’t stick you can have infinite funds and get nowhere,” Barnhill fires back at campaign critics.
The Duggan campaign manager said electoral history is rife with instances of where “more moneyed candidates failed.” He cited recent Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney who lost his bid for the presidency despite the war chest and support of Wall Street giants.
So what is the strategy for the campaign heading into October?
“The strategy in the primary was to do small gatherings as much as possible because the citizens of Detroit needed a personal experience with Mike,” Barnhill explained. “Now our strategy is large gatherings where Mike can have an in-depth conversation about his campaign and platform. And we are using social media to accurately reflect the campaign message.”
Benny Napoleon’s campaign manager, Eddie McDonald, declined the opportunity to be interviewed for this series, saying his method of operation has always been to stay in the background.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 September 2013 17:27
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