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Tribe’s Health Services assisting members with Affordable Care Act navigation

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AKWESASNE - The Affordable Care Act has special provisions for members of a federally recognized tribe.

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Health Services is prepared to assist our members through the paperwork and navigation of the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Health Insurance Marketplace provides Tribal Members with the opportunity to enroll in an affordable health coverage plan through one application.

This application determines eligibility for a Marketplace health plan, Medicaid or CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). Tribal members who currently receive care from Indian Health Services may be impacted in one of two ways, based on employment and insurance coverage.

Members of federally recognized tribes are exempt from the shared responsibility payment. Chief Beverly Cook shared her professional opinion as a family nurse practitioner and elected official, “The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and Health Services encourage our tribal members to apply for this exemption in 2014. The ACA impacts our tax filing in 2015; our members have unique circumstances to consider. The Health Services Business Office will be helping our members navigate the Health Marketplace, the exemption application and what the change means to individual members.”

If you receive coverage through your employer, such as the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe or the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino, no action is necessary as your coverage will remain the same. People without private insurance have the option to apply for health insurance, or apply for the “Exemption for American Indians.”

1 Patient/Family covered by Indian Health Services /No commercial insurance

■ Tribal members are responsible for applying for an exemption for the shared responsibility payment in 2014.

■ If you file taxes, this will impact your taxes next year (2015).

■ You have the option of applying for health insurance on the Health Exchange

■ There are potential benefits; to learn more, please call the Health Services Business office at 518-358-3141 x140

■ If you are IHS eligible, there are monthly enrollment periods through the Health Exchange. The one time per year annual enrollment period does not apply if you are IHS eligible.

2. Patient/Family covered by Indian Health Services and has commercial insurance

■ No action necessary

■ We recommend you file for the exemption; this step needs to be completed one time only, not on a yearly basis. You may need this in the future, should your insurance status change.

3. Patient has Medicaid or Medicare

■ No action required

The Health Services Business Office is available to help our members through the navigation of the Affordable Care Act.

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