National Health Law Program

Founded in 1969, the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) protects and advances the health rights of low-income and underserved individuals and families. The oldest nonprofit of its kind, NHeLP advocates, educates and litigates at the federal and state levels. NHeLP’s lawyers and policy analysts stand up for the rights of the millions of people who struggle to access affordable, quality health care.

  • NHeLP Comments on House Passage of CHIP Reauthorization

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    NHeLP: The National Health Law Program (NHeLP) issued a press release after the House of Representatives passed HR 2, which would reauthorize CHIP for two years. The release lauds the passage of the bill but cites concerns that the bill includes the Hyde Amendment that would severely limit federal funding for abortions. Elizabeth G. Taylor, executive director for NHeLP, stated, “[w]e hope that this bipartisan two-year extension is the start of a longer conversation about protecting CHIP and moving forward to fully fund the program for four more years.”

  • NHeLP Issues Statement on Medicaid Reimbursment Rate Supreme Court Decision

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    NHeLP: The National Health Law Program (NHeLP) issued a press release strongly disagreeing with the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Armstrong v. Exceptional Child. In Armstrong, Medicaid providers sued Idaho after the State failed to raise reimbursement rates to levels suggested by federal Medicaid statute. The Court ultimately ruled that private parties cannot sue to enforce Medicaid rate setting, citing the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause. Jane Perkins, legal director for NHeLP, stated, “[t]oday's decision ignores hundreds of Supreme Court cases, dating from the early 1800s, which have recognized the ability of private parties to bring Supremacy Clause suits in federal court to stop state officials from implementing state laws that violate a federal law or the Constitution.”

  • NHeLP Publishes Brief on Remaining Uninsured in California

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    NHeLP: The National Health Law Program, in partnership with the Western Center on Law and Poverty, published an issue brief on the remaining uninsured population in California. The brief explores the demographics of California’s “remaining uninsured”,  counties’ legal obligation to provide care for the uninsured, and funding sources for county-provided safety net care. The brief notes that millions of Californians remain uninsured and calls on counties to continue to invest in and explore new funding mechanisms for their respective safety net programs.

  • NHeLP Published E-Newsletter on Hospital Presumptive Eligibility

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    NHeLP: The National Health Law Program (NHeLP) published the latest issue of Lessons from California, focusing on the ACA’s requirement to implement Hospital Presumptive Eligibility (HPE). As of January 2014, HPE allows uninsured individuals who may be eligible for Medicaid to apply at qualified hospitals and receive benefits for up to two months. In California, individuals were incorrectly being HPE because they were previously eligible for coverage and tax credits through Covered California. As a result of NHeLP and other advocates’ actions, CMS has required the state to submit a mitigation plan by the end of the year and develop a manual work around by April to re-determine eligibility for all those who were incorrectly denied HPE in the past.

  • NHeLP Comments on ACA’s Fifth Anniversary

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    NHeLP: The National Health Law Program (NHeLP) issued a press release on the fifth anniversary of the ACA’s enactment. The release highlights NHeLP’s work to support and defend the ACA over the past five years, including filing an amicus brief in the King v. Burwell Supreme Court case. Elizabeth G. Taylor, executive director for NHeLP, stated, “[f]or all those who have sought proof of the ACA's potential, look no further than the 16.4 million people who have gained health insurance as a result of the law.”

  • NHeLP Pens Guide to Medicaid Managed Care

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    NHeLP: The National Health Law Program published a guide on oversight, transparency, and accountability in Medicaid Managed Care, highlighting tools, tips, and ways to get information about states’ managed care programs. The guide provides a comprehensive primer on the program including: background on the history and structure of Medicaid managed care; contracting; plan design and performance; enrollment; waivers; and grievances and appeals.

  • NHeLP Publishes Fact Sheet on EHB Updates

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    NHeLP: The National Health Law Program published a fact sheet on changes to the Essential Health Benefits (EHB) standard as outlined in HHS’s Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2016 final rule. The fact sheet reviews existing EHB rules and the new changes, including: the option for states to select a new base-benchmark plan for the 2017 plan year; a uniform definition of habilitative services; clarification on the age limit for pediatric services; and, the need to publish up-to-date and accurate lists of all covered drugs on its formulary. The fact sheet also highlights advocacy opportunities, where applicable.

  • KidsWell Partners Issue Press Releases Following King v. Burwell Oral Arguments

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    NASHP, NHeLP: The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) and the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) responded quickly to oral arguments in the King v. Burwell Supreme Court case. NASHP promised to continue to closely monitor the case, and Elizabeth G. Taylor, executive director of NHeLP, stated, “[the] arguments demonstrate how politically driven this attack on the Affordable Care Act is, and how divorced the challengers are from the lives of people relying on the health care made possible because of the law.”

  • NHeLP Examines Medicaid Health Expense Accounts

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    NHeLP: The National Health Law Program published key takeaways and a Q&A examining states’ plans to establish health expense accounts as part of their Medicaid expansion proposals. Indiana, Michigan, and Arkansas received federal 1115 Waivers to implement health expense accounts

  • NHeLP Publishes Newsletter on Advocates Success in Protecting Medicaid Benefits

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    NHeLP: The National Health Law Program (NHeLP) published a newsletter examining advocates’ successful efforts to restore Medi-Cal coverage for tens of thousands of Californians. These individuals lost their coverage during the annual renewal process when the State incorrectly applied the modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) methodology to determine their eligibility. The newsletter explains that individuals over age 65 or with disabilities are not subject to the MAGI methodology established by the ACA. NHeLP is currently working with the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to ensure that non-MAGI eligible Medi-Cal beneficiaries do not have their eligibility terminated and that the correct rules and forms are applied for future renewal determinations.

  • NHeLP Releases Statement on Republican CHIP Proposal

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    NHeLP: The National Health Law Program (NHeLP) issued a press release on the discussion draft bill released by Representative Upton, Representative Pitts, and Senator Hatch. The press release notes that the Republican proposal would eliminate the maintenance of effort (MOE) provisions, allow states to shift children from Medicaid to CHIP, allow states to impose waiting periods before coverage can begin, and eliminate federal funding to cover children with family incomes above 300 percent of the federal poverty line. Elizabeth G. Taylor, executive director for NHeLP, stated, “While we welcome continued bipartisan commitment to protect and extend CHIP, we are troubled by some major provisions in the draft plan.”
  • KidsWell Partners Issue Alert About Healthcare.gov Incorrectly Calculating Household Income

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    CCF, NHeLP: The Georgetown Center for Children and Families, the National Health Law Program, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, issued an alert that Healthcare.gov has been incorrectly counting social security income for tax dependents. The brief notes that under federal rules, the social security income of children and other tax dependents only counts if the dependent is required to file a tax return, but that Healthcare.gov has been counting it even if the dependent is not required to file taxes.  

  • NHeLP Publishes E-Newsletter on the ACA Tax Filing Requirements

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    NHeLP: The National Health Law Program published an e-newsletter examining the tax filing requirements and new IRS forms for individuals receiving subsidized coverage through Marketplaces. The newsletter reviews the ACA’s minimum essential coverage requirement, exceptions to the requirement, and how to claim and reconcile tax credits. 

  • NHeLP Publishes Brief on Proposed Republican ACA-Replacement Plan

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    NHeLP: The National Health Law Program published a brief breaking down the proposed Burr-Hatch-Upton (BHU) plan introduced in Congress on February 4th. The brief notes that although the plan calls for complete repeal of the ACA, it reiterates and supports much of the ACA’s framework. However, the brief explains that the plan would lead to higher numbers of uninsured and result in significant cuts to the Medicaid program.

  • NHeLP Examines California’s Marketplace to Medicaid Transition

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    NHeLP: The National Health Law Program published an issue of Lessons from California examining how Covered California handled newly eligible enrollees transitioning from the Marketplace to Medi-Cal. The brief explains that nearly 30,000 individuals were found newly eligible for Medi-Cal due to decreased projected incomes for 2015. California attempted to make consumers’ transition to Medi-Cal seamless by automatically enrolling them in a Medi-Cal managed care plan as of January 1, 2015. Although this ensured there were no gaps in coverage, the brief is concerned that consumers did not receive sufficient notice of changes. 
  • NHeLP Files Amicus Brief in King v. Burwell

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    NHeLP: The National Health Law Program, along with AARP, filed an amicus brief in the King v. Burwell case that is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. The plaintiffs in the case contend that subsidies can only be provided to consumers in State-based Marketplaces (SBMs) and that consumers in Federally Facilitated Marketplaces (FFMs) are not eligible for subsidies. The brief argues the elimination of premium tax credits for individuals in the FFM will make insurance unaffordable and inaccessible to millions of Americans, directly countering the ACA’s goals. The brief claims there is precedent that when the outcome of such a development would run completely against a statute’s intentions, the arguments must be rejected.
  • NHeLP Outlines 2015 Priorities

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    NHeLP: The National Health Law Program (NHeLP) published an e-newsletter outlining the organization’s top priorities and goals for 2015. The newsletter explains NHeLP’s goals and expectations for many issue areas, including: ACA implementation; Medicaid expansion; CHIP; and reproductive health.

  • KidsWell Partners File Amicus Brief Supporting Private Enforcement of the Medicaid Act

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    First Focus, NHeLP: KidsWell partners, First Focus and The National Health Law Program, along with 16 other organizations, filed an amicus brief in the Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center case arguing that private enforcement of the Medicaid Act is necessary when state violations harm program beneficiaries. The brief argues that a decision against private enforcement would remove one of the main ways low-income individuals can legally challenge states’ harmful decisions.

  • NHeLP Publishes Medicaid Fact Sheet

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    NHeLP: The National Health Law Program published a fact sheet on the top 5 reasons Medicaid is essential to low-income people. The fact sheet explains that Medicaid is essential for low-income individuals because: it is designed specifically for this population; it has  provider network rules guaranteeing access; it is truly affordable; it protects individuals’ rights; and because it provides people with access and continuity.

  • NHeLP Comments on CMS Draft Letter

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    NHeLP: The National Health Law Program submitted comments to CMS on the “Draft 2016 Letter to Issuers in the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces.” The comments expand on those already submitted to HHS in November 2014 and include specific comments on: network adequacy; provider directory links; essential community providers; accreditation; patient safety standards; discriminatory benefit design; prescription drugs; QHP performance and oversight; and consumer support.

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