The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) is pleased to announce the National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative (NDNRC) has received funding for a third year. The collaborative will continue to be made possible by an additional one-year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Persons with disabilities lacking current health insurance face multiple options under the Affordable Care Act including Medicaid in their state, possible Medicaid buy-in in their state, possible Medicaid expansion in their state, and Exchange-Marketplace insurance coverage. In addition, those individuals who previously enrolled through the marketplace face issues with reenrollment including eligibility redeterminations and changes in qualified health plans. The NDNRC is an initiative aimed at providing cross-disability information and support to Navigators and other enrollment specialists thereby ensuring people with disabilities receive accurate information when selecting, enrolling and/or reenrolling in insurance through the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces.
The NDNRC will continue to provide technical assistance as it has in the first two years, through its website (https://nationaldisabilitynavigator.org/), the “Disability Guide to Disability for Healthcare Insurance Marketplace Navigators,” Fact Sheets, state resources, blog posts, weekly email newsletters, webinars, social media postings, 1:1 navigator technical assistance and meetings/conference presentations. In Year Three, the NDNRC will build on success of prior years and work to create more capacity at the state and community level by increasing outreach and enrollment efforts in order to bridge the gap between the knowledge of navigators and enrollment specialists and the needs of people with disabilities to ensure proper enrollment coverage. This will be accomplished by expanding our Community Outreach Collaboratives (COCs). Additionally, the NDNRC will continue to put out new materials aimed at helping navigators and other enrollment specialists as they assist specific populations of individuals within the disability community.
In Year Two, the NDNRC launched the COC initiative in order to engage in dissemination and outreach activities to assist enrollment. The COCs two primary tasks were: 1) build cross-disability collaborations with other disability organizations; and 2) have the cross-disability collaboration work as a dissemination and outreach resource with their local and/or state navigators and assisters. In Year Two, the NDNRC funded 11 COCs to perform those functions. In Year Three, the NDNRC is expanding to seven new locations in six different states. This will also ensure coverage in all 10 of the HHS Regions. The prior 11 COCs, listed by HHS Region, were as follows:
- Region #1 – Rhode Island Parent Information Network, Cranston, RI
- Region #2 – Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY, New York, NY
- Region #3 – NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Southwest Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, PA
- Region #4 – Lakeshore Foundation, Birmingham, AL
- Region #5 – Family Voices Indiana, Indianapolis, IN
- Region #5 – Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
- Region #6 – University of New Mexico Center for Development and Disability, Albuquerque, NM
- Region #7 – NAMI Kansas, Topeka, KS
- Region #8 – Family Voices Colorado, Centennial, CO
- Region #8 – North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities at Minot State University in partnership with Family Voices of North Dakota, Minot, ND
- Region #10 – PAVE Family to Family Health Information Center, Tacoma, WA
The seven new locations are as follows:
- Region #4 – National Multiple Sclerosis Society – North Florida, Jacksonville, FL
- Region #6 – Bayou Land Families Helping Families, Thibodaux, LA
- Region #6 – NAMI Texas, Austin, TX
- Region #6 – Texas Parent to Parent, Austin, TX
- Region #8 – The University of Montana Rural Institute, Missoula, MT
- Region #9 – Raising Special Kids, Phoenix, AZ
- Region #9 – Family TIES of Nevada, Reno, NV
The NDNRC is comprised of national disability organizations representing unique cross-disability experiences. Along with AAHD, the other partner organizations are Association on University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD); Autism Speaks; the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation; the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF); Family Voices; the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI); the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS); The Arc and United Spinal Association.
The NDNRC project will still be run by AAHD staff. Executive Director, Roberta Carlin, MS, JD, will serve as Project Director. Public Policy Director, Dr. E. Clarke Ross, will serve as Project Coordinator. Karl Cooper, Esq., (firstname.lastname@example.org) serves as Project Manager and continues to be the primary contact person for the project. The NDNRC website can be found at: https://nationaldisabilitynavigator.org/.