Tribal Premium Sponsorship
  • TPSP Program Began:  July 1, 2013
  • TPSP sign-up began on November 7, 2013
  • 3 Criteria for who is eligible
  • 1. CHS-eligibles who
  • 2. Qualifiy for tax subsidies in exchange 
  • 3. Income is under 300% FPL-that's just three criteria to determine eligibility.
Timeline for the Port Gamble S'Klallam TPSP:

  • Fall 2012  Developed Initial Program proposal
  • Present a draft proposal to council in January 2013.
  • October 1, 2012 Health Care Reform Staff Meeting so staff can prepare for community input
  • Februrary  2013 Community Mtg
  • December 2012 Approve Budget for 2013
  • January - March 2012 Develop Eligibility Guidelines
  • ​June 2013  Approve Program (and budget)
  • July 1, 2013 Program Launch Date
  • July 1 to October 1 Community Members can review their eligibility, view options while they help the TSP program estimate costs.
  • September 2013 Appointments for enrollment
  • October-December 2013 Application Assistance
  • January 2013 set aside $240,000 for proposed 2014 Health Insurance Trust Fund ($200,000 to $300,000) to be approved for 2014 budget.
  • Final estimate of $30,000 for 2014 budget will have a year-end balance of $15,000 to $18,000.
  • January 2014 Coverage Begins
  • Monthly reports on Insurance payments to health program
  • July, 2014 consider changes to eligibility based on revenues from new payors (insurance) and CHS savings.  Estimate the cost of insuring  remaining uninsured community members.

Goal of the 
Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribal Premium Sponsorship Program (TPSP)

  • Ensure that a Tribally-defined set of community members is 'connected' to the most appropriate coverage for their families. 

  • CHS program enhanced to provide more services for all CHS eligibles and those who may still not have health insurance in 2014.  Those over 300% of FPL and spouses of an employee who has employer insurance are two uninsured groups.

  • Added resources used to address Tribal Council's Priority Goal on Prevention

  • It is likely in 2014 many more will have health insurance coverage, but some may not change anything and still depend on the clinic and CHS program without insurance coverage.

  • Sign contracts (We tried and failed as of August 2014!) with Exchange health plans so health program can be paid for services provided (using Indian Addendum)

  • All tribal members (and other CHS eligibles) and their families will have expert application assistance at their disposal beginning July 1, 2013 we can determine likely eligibles.

  • Tribal financial support program will have certain conditions of participation (e.g., provide income and insurance information, agree to update, use our health services program).
  • We needed to determine (we did not know) how many will be eligible for financial assistance from the Tribe for the purchase of health insurance but we will examine:

  • 1.  How many are uninsured patients of the clinic (100-200)
  • 2.  How many community members are uninsured, but not currently patients of the clinic
  • 3.  Who is underinsured-some coverage, but not the best value for what they or their employer are paying.
  • 4.  Who is paying too much (for example more than 10% of their income) for insurance.
  • 5.  Who will remain insured and covered by CHS-mainly spouses of employed tribal members.

  • Estimates of the number of the above will be refined,  but it is between 50 and 200, not the 200 and 500 persons originally estimated. 

  • What are the insurance options for the above....?
ACA Income Categories spreadsheet.
  • 139% Medicaid threshold WA and OR and lower threshold for exchange plans and subsidies
  • 300% upper limit for no-cost sharing for AIANs in exchange health plans
  • 400% upper limit for subsidies and reduced rate insurance (for elders)
February 1, 2012 Ready for Reform Meeting with Washington Tribes (18 tribes,  attendance 75)
October 1, 2012 Health Services Department Health Care Reform Meeting Agenda
Tribal Council, November 27, 2012 Sponsorship Update (w corrections)
February 1, 2013 Community and Staff Pizza and Health Care Reform Meeting
  • The sponsorship program considers the tribal employee health benefits in planning, but it operates separately from decisions on that program that are develop by Human Resources Dept.
  • Don't Overestimate how many are eligible for your sponsorship program.  Not all eligibles will be enrolled, but don't underestimate the benefit of sponsorship as a part of 'coverage options.'
  • Our estimates went from 195 to 120 to 50 to 30 for first year of the program.
  • Our first estimate was 195 uninsured eligilble and $425,288 in premiums.
  • Second estimate, 120, $300,000 in premiums.
  • Third estimate we expected 50 eligible for the program with premium costs from $120,000 to $160,000 including $20,000 reserve for tax reconciliation (we will reimburse any tax bill for IRS due to tax credit overpayment).
  • $32,000 final budget for sponsorship program for 2014 40 enrolled by the end of year.
  • Remember a spouse of an employee 'offered' insurance is typically not eligible for tax credit in the exchange-you can still buy them insurance, but no tax credit.
  • As of mid-January 2013 it appears 'take-up' will be lower than expected with only 20 insured on April 1, 2014, but an expected 25 to 30 by November 15 open enrollment.
April 5, 2013 Community and Staff Pizza and Health Care Reform Meeting
  • Tribal Premium Sponsorship Programs are the key to enrolling Tribal Community Members into Medicaid and Marketplace plans. Without a TPSP it is unlikely AIANs will acquire marketplace insurance.
May 9, 2013 Sponsorship Meeting, Seattle
  • Since February 1, 2012 the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe has hosted meetings with other NW tribes, with community, council, and department staff.  
  • See PowerPoints below.
  • Feb 1, 2012
  • Oct 1, 2012
  • Feb 1, 2013
  • May 9, 2013
  • Oct 30, 2013
  • Feb 4, 2014 (cancelled)
  • HHS reports on Premiums September 2013
  • Port Gamble S'Klallam first two sponsored were young men with premiums of $28 per month and $98 per month.
  • Average Premium cost $40 per month
Free and unlimited use granted with citation (suggested citation above).
edfox_phd@yahoo.com  360 790 1164
2013
2012
  • Private insurance will cover our first sponsored tribal member who, like many other eligibles is young, healthy and whose insurance is gained at low cost to the tribe.
  • His health insurance began January 1, 2014!
  • 35% of Washington States Uninsured AIANs are between 19 and 35 years old.
  • What we are telling our Port Gamble S'Klallam Community
  • 2.  We plan to health care reform with Tribe's Education, Employment, and Economic Development Goals.
  • 3.  Let us explore your coverage options-come see us!
  • 4.  Let your health program help you complete the OMB/ HHS/IRS (Indian)Exemption (lifetime exemption for ever having to pay a penalty for not having insurance) Form-
  • We plan to complete these after final decisions are made by IRS (and HHS defers to IRS simplified method).
Suggested Citation: Health Care Reform for American Indians and Alaska Natives, Ed Fox, 2014 Website.
  • Set up sponsorship program as part of the tribes' CHS/Purchased Referred Care program (PRC) 
  • 1. Have several staff trained as Navigators, Application Assisters, Sponsorship Representatives, (benefits counselors)
  • 2. Set up process to pay first and ongoing payments(easy to pay with bank routing #)
  • 3. Amend CHS policy to add 'sponsorship'  
  • 4. Plan for customer service of insurance including assistance with tax reconciliation in 2015
  • 5. Share experience with other tribes
  • Model Tribal Premium Sponsorship Program
  • In the first year, 2014, most tribes will set eligibility for CHS-eligibles only, not all 'active users,' not all tribal members.
  • Set limit at 300% of FPL (see below for reasons why).
  • Buy Bronze plan only for Tribal Members-- they will have no cost share if under 300% & since benefits are the same for all metallic levels you don't need to 'upgrade' to buy lower cost sharing-that comes with tribal membership.
  • Buy Silver plans for non-enrolled descendents who are CHS -eligibles and under 250% of FPL they will have reductions in cost sharing (not exempt).

  • No cost sharing includes no deductible, no point of service copays and you do not pay a % of bill from hospitals or specialists.  Insurance plans pay 100% to these providers and the HHS Secretary is liable for the value of the exemption.​
• 5 reasons to set upper limit for sponsorship at 300% of FPL in the first year of sponsorship.

  •  1. There is no cost sharing for enrolled AIANs at this level of income, no deductible, no copays and no cost sharing (% of bill to pay). 

  • 2. At 300% and above the 'subsidy' or tax credit is much less than at lower levels-for older folks the tax credit, when transferred to a bronze plan make insurance free or extremely low cots.

  • 3. The benefit of sponsorship is far more than the cost at this level. Likely return on investment is 1.75 to 1 to over 2 to 1 at 300% and 4 to 1 at the 200% of federal poverty level.

  • 4. Minimize chance of full tax reconcilation that is assessed when income exceeds 400% FPL.

  • 5.  Many states set upper limit for children on Medicaid or CHIP at 300% of FPL (always more than 138%)

  • A Tribal Premium Sponsorship Program may be the best Medicaid Outreach Program:  Why?

  • It is "new," it generates interest in more tribal and community members, and it aligns with non-Indian marketing and media coverage.

  •   A well-designed Tribal premium sponsorship program will result in signing up far more Medicaid enrollees (15 to 1 for most tribes) than actual 'sponsored' enrollees with Marketplace insurance.

  •   As community members are screened for coverage eligibility; far more will find they are eligible for Medicaid.

  •   Medicaid is "Golden" Why?
  •   ​Broadest Definition of Indian 
  •   Encounter Rate for Tribal IHS programs
  •   Less complexity and contracting uncertainty compared to Qualified Health Plans.
  •   Medicaid Administrative Claiming available for Medicaid, but not for Qualified Health Plan enrollment
  • QHPs are never retroactive, but Medicaid is to first of month automatically (and in some cases 90 days).
  • Estimate your cost and benefit of a tribal premium sponsorship program with NCAI calculator. (refresh to restart)  See summer 2014 update.
  • 1. Enter Area of IHS 
  • 2. Choose State 
  • 3. Your program 
  • 4. Specific Facility 

Powerpoints 2012-214 from Port Gamble S'Klallam
Newsletter Articles Oct 1, 2011, .......................  and 1 year later October 2012 ............................ and 2 years later   Oct 1, 2013
85% of uninsured between 139% and 400% of poverty are under 300% of poverty.
  •   May 25, 2013 Premium Sponsorship Program approved by Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribal Council 
  •   November 7, 2013 program enrollment began.
  •   Goal (estimated number eligible with goal of 100% 'take up'): 175 Medicaid, 50 Qualified Health Plans.
  •   May 13, 2014 update: 275 Medicaid (about 175 newly insured); 23 assisted with QHP enrollment 19 sponsored (most PGST tribal members) and assisted others purchase a QHP (not CHS eligible).
  •   Average premium just $40 per month, $480 annual. 4 'No' or zero premium. Highest $190 monthly.
  •   Have we reached all uninsured? No, 100 likely still uninsured, but still eligible for CHS-now with more dollars for more services.
  • IRS seeks comments for Draft ......forms 
  • Exemption from Tax Penalty (if uninsured)
  • Exemption (statutory and hardship) 
  • Tax Reconciliation (if you had tax credits for Qualified Health Plan Premiums)
October 19, 2014
Why is Marketplace Enrollment Failing?