BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Wellness briefly

Application available now for Medicaid Expansion coverage

BISMARCK – Low-income North Dakotans can now apply for the state’s new Medicaid Expansion health care coverage by calling toll-free at 1-855-794-7308 and providing the requested information.

The N.D. Department of Human Services has contracted with Automated Health Systems to handle telephone applications for the Medicaid Expansion coverage that becomes available Jan. 1, 2014. The company’s call center is assisting North Dakota by confidentially entering application information and processing eligibility determinations.

North Dakotans can also apply online or by paper application. To apply online, individuals should go to (apply.dhs.nd.gov) and use their desktop or laptop computer to download, complete, save and submit the fillable PDF form. The form cannot be completed and submitted on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. Paper applications are available through the department and at any county social service offices. Contact information is online at (nd.gov/dhs).

Applicants will be notified about their eligibility after their application is processed. Those who do not qualify for traditional Medicaid coverage or Medicaid Expansion coverage will need to explore private coverage options through the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace or by consulting a licensed insurance agent or broker. Federally approved application assisters called Navigators and Certified Application Counselors can help people seeking private insurance coverage through the federal marketplace. Their contact information is on the Web at

(localhelp.healthcare.gov).

Medicaid Expansion coverage is different than North Dakota’s traditional Medicaid coverage that serves qualifying low-income children, their adult caregivers, pregnant women, and individuals with disabilities including the aged and blind. Expanded Medicaid is available to a broader group of individuals under the age of 65 with household incomes up to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, who do not qualify for Medicare or Supplemental Security Income. Qualifying income information is online at (nd.gov).

For information about the Medicaid Expansion, visit (nd.gov/dhs) or contact the N.D. Department of Human Services Medical Services Division at 600 East Boulevard Avenue-Dept. 325, Bismarck, ND 58505, call 328-2321 or toll-free at (877) 543-7669, ND Relay TTY (800) 366-6888, or email dhsmed@nd.gov.

Meetings to provide info on changes to autism waiver

BISMARCK – The N.D. Department of Human Services will hold two public information meetings on Tuesday, Dec. 17, and Thursday, Dec. 19, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. to share information about changes in the department’s provision of Autism Spectrum Disorder Waiver services authorized by the 2013 Legislative session.

The public is invited to attend the meetings at various locations around the state. The meetings in Minot will be held at North Central Human Service Center, 1015 S. Broadway, Suite 18, Conference Room 411.

“These meetings are intended to introduce families to the upcoming changes to the Autism Spectrum Disorder Waiver and to explain how families can participate in the process,” said JoAnne Hoesel, director of the department’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Division. “Collaboration is important, and we want parents to be informed.”

Hoesel said these meetings will be followed by the formal public comment period on the waiver amendments and a tribal notification process in early 2014 followed by a federal review and approval process by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The amended waiver is expected to be implemented in June 2014.

Waivers allow states to develop Medicaid-funded programs that differ from the standard Medicaid program.

For more information on the Autism Spectrum Disorder Waiver or other autism-related news, visit (www.nd.gov).

Developmental disabilities council to meet Thursday

BISMARCK – The N.D. State Council on Developmental Disabilities will meet Thursday, Dec. 12, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. by means of six video conference sites.

The council recommends policy changes that promote choice, independence, productivity and inclusion for North Dakotans with developmental disabilities and supports projects and activities that maximize opportunities in these areas for consumers and families.

The video conference sites include Bismarck, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Minot and Williston. The meeting in Minot will take place at Minot State University, 500 University Avenue West, Memorial Hall, Room 207.

The meeting agenda includes a report from the Executive Director Cheryl Hess on the council’s ongoing work and accomplishments, and a review of the council’s budget, goals and objectives. Members will review a report on the council’s operations prepared by the Information and Technical Assistance Center for Councils on Developmental Disabilities.

Attendees will hear a recap of the self-advocacy town hall meetings that took place this fall sponsored by the N.D. Developmental Disabilities Network, and discussion about Project Search, an employment project for transition-aged youth. There will also be a presentation from a representative from The Arc of Bismarck on its two projects, Capability Chronicles and Partners and Policymaking, which received grant funding from the council this year. A complete agenda is online at (www.nd.gov).

Human Services to hold public information meeting

BISMARCK – The N.D. Department of Human Services will hold a public information meeting on Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon to share information about changes in the department’s Traditional Home and Community-Based Services Waiver. The waiver serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing an array of home and community-based services in the least restrictive environment.

The public is invited to attend the meeting at locations including Bismarck, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Jamestown, Minot and Williston. The meeting in Minot will take place at North Central Human Service Center, 1015 S. Broadway, Suite 18, Conference Room 411. In Devils Lake, the meeting will be at Lake Region Human Service Center, 200 Highway 2 SW, East Conference Room. In Williston, the meeting will be held at Northwest Human Service Center, 316 Second Ave. W, Conference Room A200.

This meeting is intended to explain the waiver process and proposed changes in the upcoming waiver renewal application, which needs review and approval by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The current waiver expires on March 31, 2014.

Waivers allow states to develop Medicaid-funded programs that differ from the standard Medicaid program.