The Marketplace has rules in place that may give consumers who have outstanding premium payments due for their Qualified Health Plan (QHP) insurance a short period of extra time to pay after the payment due date has passed before the insurance company can take away their coverage. This short period of time is called a “grace period” and it varies depending on whether a consumer is receiving advanced premium tax credits (APTC) or not.

Under current rules, QHP issuers must:

  • Allow consumers who receive APTC a three-month grace period if they have paid at least one full month’s premium during the benefit year (See 45 CFR 156.270(d)).
  • Grant consumers who do not receive APTC a grace period in accordance with state rules (See 45 CFR 155.430(d)(5)). Assisters may want to contact their state department of insurance (DOI) for more information on grace periods based on state rules.

CMS has issued additional guidance to issuers related to how grace periods should be applied to consumers in various situations. Assisters should look for an upcoming fact sheet with more details about grace periods in the near future.


Mental illness affects one in four adults and one in ten children in America. The U.S. Surgeon General reports that minorities are less likely to receive diagnosis and treatment for their mental illness, have less access to and availability of mental health services and often receive a poorer quality of mental health care. Furthermore, mental illness is a leading cause of disability, yet nearly two-thirds of people with a diagnosable mental illness do not seek treatment, and racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. are even less likely to get help, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

During National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, start the conversation about mental health in your organization or community. Encourage your family, friends, loved ones and clients to learn more about improving mental health and illness.

Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Visit to get more information on mental health resources.
  • Pledge to increase awareness of mental illness and mental health promotion in diverse communities. Choose from a list of personal and/or community steps to raise awareness about the importance of mental health in your life and in your community. Choose your pledge now.
  • Host a community event. Find a local organization that specializes in mental health, and coordinate a community event. SAMHSA provides a list of organizations that can assist in the organization and execution of a community event to raise mental health awareness. Find an organization.
  • Save the Date: Twitter chat on mental health. Tweet with us July 17 at 2 pm EDT, using #MMHMChat.

HHS Regions 7 and 8

Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska,

North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming


Thursday, July 24th

10-11:30 am Mountain Time/11 am-12:30 pm Central Time

Adobe Connect Link:


Conference Number: (866) 916-3919 Participant Code: 488652

There is no cost for this presentation


Prescription Drug Abuse on Tribal Lands: This session will focus on the impact of prescription drug abuse, a federal collaboration to address prescription drug abuse in Great Plains Service Area, strategies to prevent and reduce prescription drug abuse, and available resources for tribes.

           Speakers:   Charles Smith, PhD, Regional Administrator, SAMHSA, Region 8

                     CAPT Christina Mead, PharmD, Regional Pharmacy Consultant, HRSA Region 8

                     Kim Patton, PsyD, Public Health Analyst, HRSA, Region 8

                     CAPT Dave Ellison, RPh, Regional Pharmacy Consultant, HRSA Region 7


Tribal Health Workforce Strategies:  This session will highlight resources for recruitment and retention of clinical providers and offer steps on how to ensure your organization maximizes these resources. 

Speaker: Erica Grover, MPH, Public Health Analyst, HRSA Bureau of Health Workforce


If you have questions: Please contact Christina Mead, PharmD at (303) 844-7875 or


OneWorld Community Health Centers, Inc. announced the opening of a new WIC (Women’s Infants and Children) clinic at OneWorld’s Northwest Omaha clinic, 4229 North 90th Street. The WIC clinic will offer services on the first and third Wednesday of each month during clinic hours, 8am to 4pm.

The motto of the WIC program is “Strong parents, healthy kids” and provides nutrition education, breastfeeding support and prescriptive food supplementation to pregnant, breastfeeding and post-partum women and children 0-5 years old.

OneWorld operates three WIC clinics in the metro area and services over 5,000 families monthly. Andrea Skolkin, OneWorld CEO, said, “OneWorld is focused on meeting the needs of people all over Omaha. Offering WIC services in the northwest part of town will save the families who live there traveling time while making sure their young children are getting the healthy food they need.”

In the spring of 2014, CMS announced it would begin field testing a survey that will obtain consumers’ perspectives on the services provided by Marketplaces.  As an update, CMS began field testing the initial Marketplace Survey with Marketplace consumers in June. The survey is available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. It assesses consumer experiences with Marketplace services—the Marketplace web site, telephone call centers, and in-person assistance. Data collection continues through early August.

A separate survey about QHP enrollees’ perspectives on the services provided by QHPs will be field tested in August 2014. The QHP Enrollee Survey will be available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. It assesses adult enrollees’ experiences with their QHPs—access to care, care coordination, and their doctor. Data collection will continue through late November.

The results of both field tests, along with the results of the beta testing of both surveys which will be conducted in early 2015, will be used by CMS to refine the surveys for national implementation in 2016.  The results of the QHP Enrollee Survey will be reported to the public beginning with the open enrollment period in fall 2016 to assist with plan selection for 2017 coverage. The results of the Marketplace Survey will help Marketplaces and assisters continue to improve the services they provide to health care consumers.

We wanted to inform assisters about these two surveys so assisters are aware that consumers and QHP enrollees may be asked to participate.  Participants are selected randomly.  We are testing various modes of administration—online, mail, telephone—and combinations of modes to see which work best with this population. Please encourage consumers that may approach you with questions to participate in these surveys. Their experiences are important to assessing and improving the program.

Questions about the surveys can be directed to  For more information on CMS quality efforts or to view the related issue brief, see:

HHS/SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions, in collaboration with the National Council for Behavioral Health: Webinar. The Foundations of Culturally Appropriate Integrated Services for LGBT Individuals on July 16, 2014, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm CT (12noon – 1:30pm MT). Register.

July 9, 2014 | 9-10 am CT (8-9am MT)

Hosted by Michigan Primary Care Association

During this one-hour webinar you will learn best practices for student placement, precepting, and clinical rotation programs, in addition to learning how to leverage these programs as a recruitment and retention tool for your Health Center. This webinar includes a live discussion forum for questions and answers. Presenter: David Miller, Program Manager for Interprofessional Education and ACE System, Michigan Health Council Cost: No cost to attend, but registration is required

Click here to register.

July 17th from 9am-10:30 CST

WebEx: 1-877-267-1577

Your WebEx Meeting Number: 998 148 180


CMS is collecting questions beforehand to help provide supplemental resources. Please send questions to Keshia Bradford at

During National Health Center Week, August 10th-16th, 2014, NACHC and Points of Light are partnering to honor individuals and/or groups who have volunteered for or at Health Centers. Do you know an individual or group that is inspiring change through their volunteerism? Recognize their good work by submitting a nomination for the Daily Point of Light Award. Five individuals/groups will be honored during National Health Center Week. Click here for more information and to access the nomination form.

National Health Center Week 2014 – Celebrating America’s Health Centers: Local Engines for Healthier Communities – is just over month away (August 10th-16th). Health Centers should continue planning and POSTING events for this year’s celebration. Be sure to check out tools and resources on the NHCW website including best practices to recruit local event sponsors, event ideas, fact sheets, materials in Spanish, and media tools and templates. Also, take advantage of NHCW sale items at the NHCW store – all shirts are 15% off until July 9th! Keep up the good work to make sure your NHCW celebration is a success. Remember to post event information on the NHCW website today. The password to post events is: healthy.