Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sweeping the COP 24/7 Cloud Part 1

ACA Open Enrollment Deadline: March 31

The Department of Health and Human Services as well as COP 24/7 is seeking to remind eligible
individuals and families to enroll for coverage in their state’s health insurance marketplace before the March 31st deadline for open enrollment.

It is important to keep in mind that the exchange covers a broader range of health issues beyond the HIV-specific care covered by the Ryan White Program. Although recent policy changes now afford individuals up to 400% of the FPL to possibly qualify, its vitally important all consumers become empowered with detailed information as to their specific circumstances.

People living with HIV who may be eligible for health plans offered in the exchanges are encouraged to explore available options and become engaged with fully understanding the processes involved. This forum strongly recommends that individuals verify that drugs in their treatment regimen are covered and that their doctors are part of the insurance plan’s network.

COP 24/7 wants to remind all of our readers to check whether they are eligible for Medicaid, particularly if their state has expanded Medicaid under ACA. Fortunately for many Arkansans, the state's "private option," better known as Medicaid expansion was reauthorized earlier this month. Meanwhile it is imperative that our readers become aware of  their particular state’s Medicaid program and the plans locally available on the insurance marketplace, Medicaid may provide substantially more comprehensive coverage than do private plans, particularly for HIV medications. Note that Medicaid is not subject to the March 31 open enrollment deadline and that those who are eligible can enroll in Medicaid at any time during the year.

We recognize that despite recent improvements, finding details about drug coverage and other information necessary to choose the best health care option can still be difficult. While making these decisions, anyone who has HIV should consider working with a patient navigator, in Arkansas known as In-Person Assister's or certified application counselor (CAC), particularly one who is also familiar with the Ryan White Program. Click here to find application assistance available in your area. We also encourage people with HIV to seek advice from their Ryan White provider such as ARcare.

COP 24/7 hopes that all of our readers will remind their friends and family, both people with HIV and those without, to see whether they can benefit by gaining coverage. Individuals can enroll and learn about available subsidies by visiting or by calling 1-800-318-2569 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-318-2569 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

2014 Social Security Changes

According to a information release from Ms. Phylis  Dills, SSA Public Affairs Specialist, beginning August 2014,  the agency will no longer issue Social Security number printouts in our field offices. Individuals, who need proof of their Social Security number and cannot find their card, will need to apply for a replacement card.

In addition, beginning October 2014, our field offices will stop providing benefit verification letters, except in emergency situations. Benefit verifications are available online, and can be obtained by registering for a my Social Security account located at:, or requested through our national toll-free number: 1(800)772-1213 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1(800)772-1213 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
To assist  with educating our readers there are outreach activities and updated outreach materials on our third party page at:

If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at or by phone at 1-866-758-1319 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-866-758-1319 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting x11601.   

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