Advocates for Children and Youth

Advocates for Children and Youth (ACY) was founded in 1987 by a group of prominent child advocates in Maryland who saw the need for an independent organization to advocate for the needs of the state's children and families in the community, the media and the public policy arena. Since its founding, ACY’s mission has been to identify problems, promote policies and programs that improve results for Maryland children in measurable and meaningful ways, and evaluate the effectiveness of programs and policies for the state's children and youth. Its goals include ensuring that children have access to affordable, quality health care coverage in Maryland. See below for more information about ACY’s recent activities, accomplishments, and advocacy work and tools!

ACA Implementation

Clear topic
  • ACY Highlights Health Care Needs of Former Foster Care Youth

    Share |

    MD:  Advocates for Children & Youth (ACY) released an issue brief about the health care needs of former foster care youth.  As part of its efforts to educate former foster care youth about Medicaid coverage available to them under the ACA, ACY partnered with community organizations to: conduct “train the trainer” sessions for social workers and other providers; developed quick-reference information cards for providers and young adults; and developed a song promoting health coverage for former foster youth. 

  • ACY Advocates for Protecting Pediatric Dental Benefits

    Share |

    MD: Advocates for Children and Youth submitted a letter of information to the Maryland Senate Finance Committee advocating for robust pediatric dental benefits in the Qualified Health Plans offered through the Exchange. The letter identified critical consumer protections applicable to pediatric dental benefits including: the prohibition against exclusions for pre-existing conditions, rescission, and provision of guaranteed rates; the right to appeal; no cost-sharing for routine and preventive care; and availability of linguistically accessible “Summary of Dental Plan Benefits.” 

  • ACY Responds to Exchange Open Enrollment Kick-Off!!

    Share |
    MD: Advocates for Children and Youth (ACY) posted an interactive presentation depicting a series of scenarios that provide insight on what new health care options are available and to whom. ACY also published a detailed guide that provides more detail on each scenario.
  • KidsWell NY, CA, & CCF Held Webinar on ACA Extension of Medicaid Coverage for Foster Care Kids

    Share |
    NY, CA, & CCF : KidsWell New York and KidsWell California, in collaboration with the Georgetown Center for Children and Families (CCF), held a state partner webinar to provide an overview of the ACA provision that will extend Medicaid coverage to foster children up to 26 years of age. In addition, the webinar discussed how to develop messaging and outreach strategies for state advocates and agencies to help enroll foster children into coverage. The webinar featured Tricia Brooks of CCF, Brooke Lehamn of Childworks, Bridget Walsh of Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy (SCAA), and Leigh Cobbs of Advocates for Children and Youth (ACY). Additionally, Children Now released a one-pager outlining the current statues in place limiting Medicaid coverage to California foster children and potential solutions. 
  • It's a Wrap! ACY Released 2013 Legislative Wrap-Up Highlighting Major Wins for Children!

    Share |
  • ACA Anniversary Celebration! KidsWell Advocates Blogged to Celebrate the ACA's 3rd Anniversary!

    Share |
    MomsRising, CA, MD, NY, TX: MomsRising, Children’s Defense Fund –CA, Children’s Defense Fund – NY, Health Care For All New YorkAdvocates for Children and Youth , and Texas Well and Health, published blog posts in celebration of the Affordable Care Act’s third anniversary. The advocates note that the ACA has and will continue to help Americans access affordable, quality health care.
  • Temper the Transition! ACY Published Legislative Priorities to Ensure Continuity of Care for Children and Families who Transition Between the Exchange and State Coverage Options

    Share |
    MD: Advocates for Children and Youth published their 2013 Health Legislative Priorities list which includes information on proposed work and its potential impact in the state. Included in the list is ACY’s plan to work to ensure that the State-Based Exchange is adequately funded and to develop legislation/regulations on continuity of care policies for children and families who transition between the Exchange and state coverage options.
  • KidsWell Maryland Partners were Highlighted in Articles on State ACA Implementation its Benefits to Residents

    Share |
    MD: The Maryland Citizens Health Initiative Education Fund, Inc. and Maryland Advocates for Children and Youth were highlighted in articles focused on state activity around implementing the ACA and how it is benefiting state residents.
  • ACY Released an Informational Guide for Advocates on the State-Based Exchange

    Share |
    Advocates for Children and Youth (ACY) released an advocates’ guide on the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. The guide provides background on components of the state-based Exchange including: (1) background on the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Act of 2012; (2) Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) and Essential Health Benefits (EHBs) that will facilitate the sale of health insurance through the Exchange; (3) dental and vision plans; (4) market rules for insurers; (5) the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP); (6) the Individual Exchange market; (7) Navigator Programs that will support outreach and consumer assistance; (8) risk adjustment and reinsurance programs; (9) the fraud, waste and abuse detection and prevention program; and (10) Exchange financing. The guide briefly discusses the future of health care reform in Maryland, stating that Marylanders should be proud of the state's progress and accomplishments to date.
  • Advocates for Children and Youth Applauded SCOTUS ACA Ruling

    Share |
    Advocates for Children and Youth issued a press release applauding the decision and outlining the key benefits children and families have and will receive through the ACA. The press release highlights that the decision will help facilitate the continued improvement of Maryland’s healthcare system, especially in regards to their continued efforts to develop a state-based Exchange. 
  • ACY Published Update on Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Act of 2012

    Share |
    Advocates for Children and Youth (ACY) published a health 2012 update regarding the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Act of 2012, which is currently under review with the state legislature. The bill is the outgrowth of 2011 Exchange legislation requiring studies to inform best practices on how the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange should function. ACY was heavily involved in the development of the new legislation, working closely with policy makers and co-chairing one of many advisory committees whose work was incorporated into the Exchange Board's Recommendations and into the legislation. ACY was also involved in specific provisions relating to the navigator program.
  • ACY Released Materials Advocating for Children's Dental Benefits Within the Exchange

    Share |
    Advocates for Children and Youth (ACY) released various materials to help with advocacy focusing on dental benefits within the Exchange, update on access to dental care for children in Maryland, and costs of accessing dental care in the Emergency Room. These materials identify the need to provide comprehensive oral health care to children and adults in the Exchange. In addition, ACY published an Issue Brief - "Five Years Later: Dental Access for Children" – that looks at progress against the Dental Action Committee's (DAC) recommendations over five years and finds that while significant progress has been made, challenges still remain to improve oral health access.
  • ACY Proposed Amendments to the 2012 Maryland Benefit Exchange Act

    Share |
    Advocates for Children and Youth (ACY) and Maryland Women’s Coalition for Health Care Reform worked with an alliance of partners to submit comments and proposed amendments to the 2012 Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Act (MHBEA) of 2012 (SB238/HB443). The amendments focus on strengthening the Navigator program and the Navigator and Enrollment Advisory Committee, enhancing the roles of stakeholders and developing two stakeholder advisory groups specific to the Navigator Program and Essential Health Benefit Plan.
  • ACY Submitted Comments on HHS' 2011 Essential Health Benefit Bulletin

    Share |
    Comments from Advocates for Children and Youth (ACY) stressed the importance of: (1) defining a core or “floor” EHB standard for children; (2) providing further guidance and protections for pediatric dental coverage; (3) evaluating additional options for pediatric vision coverage; (4) defining medical necessity; (5) limiting insurer flexibility; and (6) assuring a transparent process for benchmark selection and updating benefits. In addition, ACY developed four guiding principles to establish an EHB. The EHB package must: (1) reflect and support the state’s commitment to a “culture of care” that actively promotes continuity of care and health equity and prohibits discrimination; (2) provide comprehensive benefits that are identified with maximum specificity and are balanced with and among the ten mandated ACA benefit categories; (3) be developed based upon an open and transparent process that is supported by public health and other appropriate expertise, and stakeholder and consumer engagement; and (4) enhance the potential for success of Maryland’s Health Benefit Exchange. ACY is actively getting diverse groups to sign on to the Principles and will be sharing with legislators as well as using during the "Stakeholder Consensus Amendment" process for this year's Exchange Bill.

View News by Partner