CMS Resources: A New – SEE IF YOU QUALIFY FOR SAVINGS – In-Page Tool and Infographics on How the Marketplace Works

As assisters start preparing for the upcoming Open Enrollment Period from November 1, 2015 – January 31, 2016, we’ll be sharing the latest CMS resources that you can use in your outreach and education efforts. This week, check out this new in-page tool that allows consumers to find out if they qualify for savings on health coverage. Be sure to also check out the new blog on qualifying for lower health care costs by clicking here.

Additionally, you can use these two infographics, How the Marketplace Works and What do I need to know about the Marketplace to explain the basics of how the Marketplace works to potential new consumers. 

From Coverage to Care Enrollment Toolkit – Summary, Resources, and Answers to Assister Questions

During the September 11, 2015 assister webinar, the CMS Office of Minority Health reviewed the Enrollment Toolkit, a part of their From Coverage to Care (C2C) resources. The Enrollment Toolkit offers advice for assisters on how to help consumers choose the best plan for themselves and their families. The presentation reviewed what consumers need to know before choosing and enrolling in a plan, such as the value of health insurance, the importance of understanding key health insurance terms, and an explanation of how to discuss updating information that might affect consumers’ coverage or financial assistance on HealthCare.gov. The Toolkit helps to explain these topics to consumers and provides further resources.

Answers to Assister Questions from the From Coverage to Care Enrollment Toolkit Presentation

Q: How is the Enrollment Toolkit different from the From Coverage to Care Roadmap to Better Care and a Healthier You?

A: While the Roadmap is directed towards consumers, the Enrollment Toolkit offers advice specifically for assisters on how to help consumers with the application and enrollment process.

Q: Is the Enrollment Toolkit available in any other languages?

A: No, the Enrollment Toolkit is only available in English at this time. However, the Roadmap, which includes some similar content such as key health insurance terms, is available in seven languages besides English, including Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Q: Can you tell me again where and how I can order the C2C materials?

A: To view, order, and print materials, visit https://marketplace.cms.gov/c2c. From this page, you can also create an account to order materials and have them shipped to you.

Q: How much do the C2C publications cost to order?

A: They are free — there is no cost for shipping or for the publications.

NEW CMS Office of Communications: Health Insurance Marketplace Information for Immigrant Families

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015 | 1:00 – 2:00 pm CT (12pm-1pm MT): Click here to register

The “Health Insurance Marketplace Information for Immigrant Families” webinar will share a high-level overview of the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace. It will provide useful information on immigrant statuses, document types needed to apply for Marketplace coverage, and details for immigrants about Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

WEBINAR RESOURCE: SUMMARY AND RESOURCES FROM ENROLL AMERICA

Many external organizations have developed tools, tips, materials, or training sessions that assisters can use.  We are sharing those resources through this weekly newsletter and by posting them on Marketplace.cms.gov. If you would like to recommend other helpful resources, please email CACQuestions@cms.hhs.gov. We will be limited to sharing resources that are (1) applicable to assisters facilitating enrollment in the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces (including State Partnership Marketplaces); and (2) open and accessible to the public.

The Friday, August 28, 2015 assister webinar included a presentation from Enroll America on how to hold a successful enrollment event. Enroll America has found that outreach events increase how many consumers successfully enroll, especially when there is direct follow up with the consumer. Outreach events can be powerful tools for helping the uninsured find out about the opportunity to get health coverage and prepare for the enrollment process, but planning and implementing successful events can be challenging. This session walked participants through a process for organizing outreach events and covered early fall outreach opportunities and key outreach best practices and tools, including:

NOTE: This section of the assister newsletter links to a non-government Web sites. We provide these links because they contain additional information that may be useful or interesting and is consistent with the intended purpose of this newsletter. We cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by these third-party sites or any other linked site. We are providing these links for your reference. Linking to a non-CMS Web site does not constitute an endorsement by CMS or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the Web site. Also, please be aware that the privacy protection provided on certain CMS web sites such as Marketplace.CMS.gov does not apply to these third-party sites.

MARKETPLACE UPDATE: EFFECTUATED ENROLLMENT UPDATE: NEW DATA SHOW JUNE 30TH EFFECTUATED ENROLLMENT CONSISTENT WITH HHS 2015 GOAL

KEY TAKEAWAY: CMS has released a data snapshot that shows how many consumers had effectuated coverage as of June 30, 2015, which means those individuals paid for Marketplace coverage and still had an active policy on that date. Assisters can use the links below to view data for their states.

Last week, CMS released a data snapshot showing that about 9.9 million consumers had paid their 2015 Marketplace premiums and had an active policy through the Marketplace as of June 30, 2015. Nearly 8.3 million (84 percent) consumers nationwide were receiving an average premium tax credit of $270 per month to make their premiums more affordable throughout the year.

There were 7.2 million consumers with effectuated enrollments at the end of June 2015 through the 37 Federally-facilitated Marketplaces (including State Partnership Marketplaces) and supported State-based Marketplaces (collectively known as HealthCare.gov states) and 2.7 million through the remaining State-based Marketplaces.

CMS releases Marketplace state-by-state effectuated enrollment snapshots on a quarterly basis, detailing how many consumers have an effectuated enrollment, how many are benefiting from tax credits and/or cost-sharing reductions, and the distribution of effectuated enrollment by qualified health plan metal level. The first Marketplace enrollment snapshot for 2015 was released on June 2 and covered effectuated enrollment through March 31, showing that 10.2 million consumers had effectuated coverage. The new snapshot also provides an update through June 30 on the number of individuals with citizenship, immigration status, or household income data matching issues.

How to Access the 2016 Assister Training

The 2016 Assister Training is hosted by the Marketplace Learning Management System (MLMS).  The MLMS replaces the Medicare Learning Network® (MLN) as an online web-based training platform for assisters providing application and enrollment assistance to consumers in Federally-facilitated Marketplaces (FFMs), including State Partnership Marketplaces (SPMs), and certain State-based Marketplaces using the Federal platform (SBM-FPs). The training can be accessed on the MLMS through the CMS Enterprise Portal by logging in or registering as a new user at https://eidm.cms.gov/EIDMLoginApp/userlogin.jsp.

Assisters can access training presentations and additional resources, such as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), MLMS Quick Reference Guides, and Help Videos, here on Marketplace.CMS.gov.

Tips for using the MLMS to complete the 2016 Assister Training:

  • The MLMS is currently experiencing issues with operating on the Internet Explorer browser. To minimize issues with your training experience and ensure that you receive credit for the courses that you complete, you should use a recent version of a different web browser (examples: Chrome or Firefox) while we are working to resolve these issues.
  • Prepare your system before accessing the MLMS by: –  Allowing pop-up windows; –  Using the latest version of Adobe Flash, which can be downloaded here; and –  Turning on JavaScript.
  • Some organizations have security controls or software which could interfere with MLMS. If you run into issues, take your training on a home computer/laptop or public computer (such as the library).
  • The Enterprise Portal times out every 30 minutes. Click the Portal window every 28 minutes and look for a pop-up box to save your progress and continue the current session.
  • Save a screen shot of the last page of the training course as proof of completion for your personal record. If the system does not show your training status/completion, include a copy of your screen shot in an email to the MLMS helpdesk to receive credit for the training.
  • Windows/PC users can do so by following these steps:

–  Step 1: press the PrtScn button (or Print Screen Sys Rq buttons) on your computer keyboard. –  Step 2: Open the Paint Windows program by pressing the Start button on your computer keyboard and clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Paint. –  Step 3: Once you are in Paint, click Paste located on the Home tab.

  • Mac users can do so by following these steps:

–  Step 1:  Hold down the command button, shift button and the # 3 button in that order.

– Step 2: Your Mac should capture the entire screen and save it as a file on the desktop. The file name will look like this: “Screen shot 2015-09-09 at 8.45.00 AM.png”

  • If you encounter an error or your course doesn’t show it’s been completed after you completed the course, please contact the MLMS Help Desk at MLMSHelpDesk@cms.hhs.gov. Including  the following information in your email will assist the Help Desk in responding to your inquiry: –  Browser Type –  Operating System –  Print screens –  Third party security software installed –  Whether settings like Pop-up’s, Javascript, and Flash are enabled with your browser

For additional assistance with questions on the MLMS assister training, please submit inquiries to MLMSHelpDesk@cms.hhs.gov. The MLMS Help Desk will respond to your email within eight business hours of receipt of the inquiry in the MLMS Email Inbox.. Business hours are Monday – Friday: 8:00 am-8:00 pm ET and Saturday-Sunday: 9:00 am-5:00 pm ET.

Can assisters collect consumers’ information by using a list or a sign-up sheet at an outreach event?

Answer: Please be assured that you or your organization may use a sign-up sheet to collect a consumer’s name and contact information provided that you make clear to consumers in writing (and orally, if appropriate) that by providing their names and contact information, they are consenting to be contacted for application and enrollment assistance. For example, you could say, “By signing up, you agree that it is okay for an assister to contact you to help you with health care coverage and/or the Marketplace.” Any personally identifiable information (PII) collected on the sign-up sheet should be maintained privately and securely, and access to it should be given only to staff who need to access it to carry out required duties.  For more information on how assisters should obtain and handle consumers’ PII, check out the fact sheets below.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: 2016 ASSISTER TRAINING NOW AVAILABLE FOR CERTIFIED APPLICATION COUNSELORS (CACS)

Last week’s newsletter and the Friday, August 28 assister webinar featured information on the CAC training and on the certification and recertification process for Navigators and CACs. Below is a summary of these updates, along with answers to questions that assisters asked during the webinar presentation. Additionally, please click here to view slides from the presentation.

Availability of 2016 Training:

The new 2016 Assister Training is available to Certified Application Counselors (CACs) in the Federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM). CAC training will continue to be available through Open Enrollment. However, we strongly encourage CACs in FFM states to complete the 2016 Assister Training, including printing their training completion certificates, by Monday, September 7, 2015.

With today’s announcement of the Navigator grant awards, Navigator training will be launched on September 9, 2015.  Navigator organizations will receive information on how to register and access the training, as well as an invitation to a training webinar. Agent and broker training, which is hosted on the same Marketplace Learning Management System (MLMS), also will be available in early September.

How to Access the 2016 Training:

The 2016 Assister Training is hosted by the Marketplace Learning Management System (MLMS).  The MLMS replaces the Medicare Learning Network® (MLN) as an online web-based training platform for assisters providing application and enrollment assistance to consumers in Federally-facilitated Marketplaces (FFMs), including State Partnership Marketplaces (SPMs), and certain State-based Marketplaces using the Federal platform (SBM-FPs). The CAC training can be accessed on the MLMS through the CMS Enterprise Portal by logging in or registering as a new user at https://eidm.cms.gov/EIDMLoginApp/userlogin.jsp.

Assisters can access training presentations and additional resources, such as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), MLMS Quick Reference Guides, and Help Videos, here on Marketplace.CMS.gov.

 

Tips for using the MLMS to complete the 2016 Assister Training:

  • The MLMS is currently experiencing issues with operating on the Internet Explorer browser. To minimize issues with your training experience and ensure that you receive credit for the courses that you complete, you should use a recent version of a different web browser (examples: Chrome or Firefox) while we are working to resolve the issues.
  • Prepare your system before accessing the MLMS by: –  Allowing pop-up windows; –  Using the latest version of Adobe Flash, which can be downloaded here; and –  Turning on JavaScript.
  • Some organizations have security controls or software which could interfere with MLMS. If you run into issues, take your training on a home computer/laptop or public computer (such as the library).
  • The Enterprise Portal times out every 30 minutes. Click the Portal window every 28 minutes and look for a pop-up box to save your progress and continue the current session.
  • Save a screen shot of the last page of the training course as proof of completion. To do so follow these steps: –  Step 1: press the PrtScn button on your computer keyboard. –  Step 2: Open the Paint windows program by pressing the Start button on your computer            keyboard and clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Paint. –  Step 3: Once you are in Paint, click Paste located on the Home tab.
  • If you encounter an error or your course doesn’t show complete even though you completed a course, please contact the MLMS Help Desk at MLMSHelpDesk@cms.hhs.gov. Including  the following information in your email will assist the Help Desk in responding to your inquiry: –  Browser Type –  Operating System –  Print screens –  Third party security software installed –  Whether settings like Pop-up’s, Javascript, and Flash are enabled with your browser

For additional assistance with questions on the MLMS assister training, please submit inquiries to MLMSHelpDesk@cms.hhs.gov.

 

Answers to Assister Training Questions from the Friday, August 28 Webinar:

Q1: Where can I access the 2016 CAC training?

A1: The CAC training can be accessed on the MLMS through the CMS Enterprise Portal by logging in or registering as a new user at https://eidm.cms.gov/EIDMLoginApp/userlogin.jsp.

Assisters can also access training presentations and additional resources, such as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), MLMS Quick Reference Guides, and Help Videos here on Marketplace.CMS.gov.

Q2: I also worked as a CAC last year, and created a user and password then. Do I need a new user name and password this year, or can I use the same information to log in?

A2: Because CMS is now using a new platform for the assister training (MLMS), the accounts created on the MLN platform from last year are no longer accessible.  We reviewed the steps to create an account on MLMS during our webinars dedicated to this topic. You can also find these steps by clicking on the training link emailed to your organization’s Marketplace contact, and by clicking here to view the slides from our “Launch of 2016 FFM Assister Training” webinar presentation.

Q3: Where can I get my CAC number?

A3: Your CAC organization creates and assigns CAC IDs to its CAC staff and volunteers. Please see the lead CAC staff at your organization to get a CAC ID.

Q4: If my supervisor is unavailable, how can I find the link to the training?

A4: To get the link to the CAC assister training and training documents, please send a request to the CAC Questions mailbox (CACQuestions@cms.hhs.gov), and staff will assist you.

Q5: My organization has applied for a Navigator grant, and I’d like to start the training early – can I start with the CAC training and switch to the Navigator training later?

A5: No – assisters who plan to work as Navigators should wait until the Navigator training becomes available later this month.

 

CMS ANNOUNCES $67 MILLION IN GRANT AWARDS TO NAVIGATOR ORGANIZATIONS

On Wednesday, September 2, CMS announced grant awards totaling $67 million to support outreach efforts designed to connect people with local help as they seek to understand the coverage options and financial assistance available at HealthCare.gov. Awarded to 100 organizations located in the 34 FFM/SPM states, the three year Marketplace Navigator grants will fuel efforts to help consumers enroll in a health plan that fits their budget and best meets their family’s needs.

“There are a lot of choices when it comes to signing up for health insurance and we want to help make sure consumers feel confident that they’ve picked the right plan,” said Kevin Counihan, CEO of the Health Insurance Marketplaces. “In person assistance from Navigators and assisters has proven to be an incredibly important avenue for consumers to get the right coverage. I’m pleased that Navigators and assisters will be available in even more geographic areas this year.”

This year’s Navigator grantees will expand access to local help in many states.  In Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, more counties will be covered by Navigator entities during the Marketplace’s third Open Enrollment Period than during the second Open Enrollment.  In West Virginia alone, an additional 42 counties will be covered, providing improved access across the state.  These gains will enable more consumers to get the help they need with enrollment. 

For more information on the Navigator program and to view a complete list of the 2015 Navigator awardees, please click here; you can also click here to view a press release announcing these awards.