By Greg Wright, NEWS Contributor
The National Association of Social Workers strongly urged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to include social workers in plans that will be offered in the new affordable health care insurance exchanges that will be available across the United States by Jan. 1, 2014.
NASW also made recommendations to ensure these insurance exchanges better serve consumers, especially underserved populations — those with low literacy or English skills or people who live in low-income neighborhoods with limited computer and Internet access.
“NASW is a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act and we eagerly await the full implementation of the state-level insurance exchanges, which will facilitate expanded access to health insurance coverage for millions of individuals and employees of small businesses,” NASW Executive Director Elizabeth Clark said in a Sept. 27 letter to Donald Berwick, M.D., director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at HHS.
In private health insurance markets, individuals and employers voluntarily participate as purchasers. However, people who want to buy coverage face hurdles, including affordability or being denied coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions.
The Affordable Care Act that President Obama signed into law in March 2010 calls for the development of a health insurance “exchange” in each state.
From the January 2012 NASW News. NASW members click here for the full story.