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!


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  • ACY to Maryland Exchange: Say Yes to Consumer Protections!

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    MD: Advocates for Children and Youth (ACY) submitted comments to the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange (MHBE) on producer appointments and their proposal to use application counselors as “in-house” brokers through the carriers. ACY argues that the two issues are linked and are concerned with the involvement of the carriers in the selection of a qualified health plan.
  • ACY Released an Informational Guide for Advocates on the State-Based Exchange

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    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.
  • ACY Released Legislative Updates on Exchange Bills

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    Advocates for Children and Youth (ACY) released a Health 2012 Legislative Wrap Up and press release highlighting passed bills focusing on the Exchange, dental benefits and other health related efforts. Key highlights include: (1) HB443: The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Act of 2012 defines and operationalizes functions of the state's Exchange, which includes the foundation for the Navigator program; (2) SB234: Establishes Health Enterprise Zones (HEZs) that will target state resources to reduce health disparities, improve outcomes, and reduce costs and readmissions; (3) HB1401/SB867: Establishes educational efforts to improve oral health in schools; and (4) a number of other bills focusing on home visitation, young adult consent to certain medical procedures, prohibition of certain animal feed, and a tax increase on cigars and smokeless tobacco. In addition, ACY worked towards reducing the proposed budget cuts to orthodontia care through the state’s Medicaid program and Maryland launched an oral health messaging campaign targeting children from birth to six years old.
  • ACY Published Update on Maryland Health Benefit Exchange Act of 2012

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    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 Proposed Amendments to the 2012 Maryland Benefit Exchange Act

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    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.

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