IMMEDIATE ADVOCACY NEEDED!

Congress aims to bring a six-year reauthorization of CHIP next week. As of this moment, NACHC and press reports have confirmed that this extension would NOT include funding for Community Health Centers or any of the other “extender” policies. Congress must provide coverage (CHIP) AND access (community health centers) for all Californians!

 

Here's What You Can Do Right Now:

Click

http://p2a.co/BjjtvNl

to send your Member of Congress a message via email, Twitter, or Facebook.

Covered California Enrollment Open Until January 31, 2018!

 

 

 (Exerpted from Covered California enrollment bulletin 12/22/17)

Covered California Health Coverage Remains

 You may have questions about the federal tax law that was just passed this week. We want to assure you that the benefits related to consumer's Covered California coverage, including financial help to reduce monthly premiums, has NOT changed for 2018. The penalty also remains in effect for 2018 coverage. The only change is the tax penalty will no longer be in effect beginning in 2019.

 Throughout 2018 consumers will still have access to the same quality, affordable health coverage from Covered California that we have been providing since our first Open Enrollment period in 2013.

 What does this mean?

  • For 2018, individuals who can afford health insurance but choose not to enroll for coverage will be required to pay a penalty.
  • Financial Help, for those who qualify, to help lower the cost of health coverage through Covered California REMAINS IN PLACE.
  • Quality Health Care, health benefits and consumer protections such as Pre-Existing Conditions REMAIN IN PLACE.
  • For individuals who do not buy insurance because it would be “unaffordable” for them, in 2018 they will not be required to pay a penalty. Please see tax penalty and exemptions for more information.

 

After the close of Open Enrollment on January 31, 2018, consumers will need to experience a Qualifying Life Event (QLE) in order to apply for coverage.    

 

 

 

 

Thank you to the NORCAL Group Foundation!

 

SFCCC is thankful to have received a generous grant from the NORCAL Group Foundation for our  Street Outreach Services (SOS) program.   SOS provides high quality, non-judgmental health services directly to homeless people in places where they live and congregate.  Traveling in a medical van to sites throughout San Francisco, the SOS team of doctors, nurses, outreach workers, students, and volunteers creates “clinics without walls,” at locations where homeless people live and congregate, e.g., at soup kitchens, on city streets, in parks, and under freeways.  SOS provides urgent medical care, health education, and linkages to primary care and other needed services.  SOS also serves as a clinical rotation site for several health care training programs in the Bay Area, including medical residents and medical and nursing students.

 

 

 

California's Senior Senator on Tax Bill:

“Californians will be hit especially hard by the cap on the state and local tax deduction, making it more difficult for communities to pay for services that our families rely on. It’s no wonder a bill that primarily benefits the wealthy is so unpopular with the American people. They understand this isn’t middle-class tax reform, it’s a middle-class tax hike.”

National Call In Day for Community Health Center Funding

We need members of Congress to make sure they resolve Community Health Center funding BEFORE leaving for winter break.

Fixing the cliff is bigger than just Health Centers, it’s about access to health care…if you didn’t have access to health care could you work? Go to school? Take care of your children or parents? Remind Congress that access to quality primary and preventive health care at Health Centers must come first!

 

 

Here's how everyone can take action today and contact their members of Congress:

 

Call your member of Congress using the toll-free Advocacy Hotline 1-866-456-3949 .

Dial 1-866-456-3949, listen to the Health Center message prompt and enter your zip code to be connected to your Members of Congress. If you’ve already called and heard the message you may enter your zip code as soon as the message begins to skip ahead to Congressional selection.

The system will give you options for which Member of Congress to connect with – you may press option 1, 2 or 3, each corresponding to a different Member – make sure to choose option 3 to connect to your Representative.

Congressional Call Script – Fix the Health Center Funding Cliff

Hi, my name is _________, I’m calling as a __patient/board member/staff member, supporter____ of __Health Center Name__ in ___town____.

I’m calling today about the Health Center Funding Cliff -The Community Health Centers Fund expired on October 1 and as I understand, there is one last chance to fix the cliff before the end of the year.

My Health Center will have to take drastic measures/lay off XX staff/close XX sites/reduce services by XX to deal with this devastating 70% cut to our grant funds, not to mention the blow to our local economy and increase in health care costs as more patients in the community will turn to the emergency room for access.

There are literal lives and jobs at stake, and I am asking that Congress act immediately to attach a long-term fix to the Health Centers Funding Cliff to any year-end legislative vehicle.

Can I count on the Representative/Senator to take action to include Health Center funding in the end of the year package and ensure the cliff is fixed before the end of the year?

I’d like a clear commitment.

Thanks for taking my call – I’ll be watching closely to make sure the Congressman/woman/Senator takes action before the end of the year.Once you've contacted your representative, share this messages on your social media channels and ask your followers to call as well!

 

SFCCC VET SOS Program Receives Generous Foundation Funds in December

SFCCC staff, patients, and companion animals are thankful for several foundations who contributed to the work of VET SOS recently.    These generous grants will allow our SOS/VET SOS team to continue to work with vulnerable San Franciscans to help them with the health of their animals and their own health. 

We thank:

Thornton S. Glide Jr. and Katrina D. Glide Foundation:

North East Medical Foundation:

Gilbert-Wroten Fund:

Important Enrollment Dates

Due To Strong Demand, Covered California Extends Deadlines For Plans Starting Jan. 1 : The number of new consumers signing up for coverage remains ahead of last year’s pace, with more than 38,000 selecting a plan during the past three days.

To sign up for Covered California health care coverage that will begin on Jan. 1. consumers now have until the end of Dec. 22.  Open enrollment in California ends Jan. 31  and enrollment in Medi-Cal is always open. 

Press Conference Re: Health Center Funding Cliff

WHAT: Health center leaders will discuss the dire need for Congress to reauthorize federal health center funding by Jan. 1, 2018 for health centers to continue providing critical access to primary medical, dental and behavioral health care to more than 27 million patients across the nation. Already health centers are experiencing challenges due to the funding cliff that took effect on October 1.   Some health centers are now facing site closures, workforce reductions and elimination of vital services to patients. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has projected that the national impact of the loss of funding will close 2,800 health center locations, eliminate more than 50,000 jobs, and result in loss of access to care for more than 9 million patients.

WHO: Ross Brooks, CEO, Mountain Family Health Centers, Glenwood Springs, CO; Lolita A. Lopez, President & CEO, Westside Family Healthcare, Wilmington, DE; Heather A. Pelletier, Executive Director, Fish River Rural Health, Eagle Lake, ME; Jana Eubank, Associate Vice President, Public Policy and Research, NACHC

WHEN: Monday, December 18, 9 AM  PST

WHERE: Conference call U.S. Toll Free: 800-875-3456 Verbal Passcode (to be given to the operator): NACHC

Contact Amy Simmons Farber, Communications Director, NACHC at asimmons@nachc.org or 301-347-0400 (work) 202-309-0338 (mobile) for more information.  Speaker biographies are available.

U.S. Senators and Patients Urge Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program

Livestream youtube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47vXMByzoaI

 

 

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) urge Congress to immediately act and extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance program, which serves nine million children across the country, and community health centers, which serve 26 million patients. Federal funding for both of these programs ran out on September 30th.

 

The Senators will be joined by Connie Cavara, a mother and nurse from Pittsburgh, PA, whose children receive medical care through the Children’s Health Insurance Program as well as Kymberly Renee Grafton, a Naval Reserves veteran who receives health care for a disability at Unity Healthcare, a community health center in Washington, D.C.

The Federal Budget and Community Health Center Funding

SFCCC and our colleagues throughout the country have been working  with our elected officials to ensure that Congress renews the 70% of health centers’ federal grant funding that officially expired at the end of September ( referred to as the "fiscal cliff". )

Yesterday, due to the threat of a government shutdown,  Congress passed a “Continuing Resolution” (CR) that extends government funding for two weeks. During these two weeks Congress has a long list of issues to address.   Federally Qualified Health Centers across the nation will continue to advocate for a long term fix to the "fiscal cliff."  Such a fix would likely be linked to an equally urgent need to extend CHIP, the extremely successful program to provide health insurance to children.

To stay on top of these developments, sign up at http://capca.nationbuilder.com/

Texting Campaign to Promote PrEP

The San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) is launching an automated PrEP text messaging service. Text “SFPREP” to 213-33 to receive personalized information about PrEP, a daily pill that prevents HIV.

 The goal of the campaign is to provide PrEP education, navigate common PrEP misconceptions and provide a personalized referral to a PrEP provider. This texting service aims to reduce disparities in new HIV diagnoses and will be targeted towards communities of color and trans women.

 For more information please contact Alison Hughes (alison.hughes@sfdph.org) or Hannah Brosnan (hannah.brosnan@sfdph.org).

Medi-Cal and Covered California Enrollment Event this Saturday, December 2, 2017


Covered California Enrollment Event

Covered California open enrollment for coverage in 2018 began on November 1, 2017, and runs through January 31, 2018.  Medi-Cal is open for enrollment all year long. 

Senator Scott Wiener, Assemblymember David Chiu  and Assemblymember Phil Ting invite you to an enrollment event, where you can get your questions answered, find out if you qualify for Medi-Cal or private insurance, and get enrolled with the assistance of a Certified Enroller.

Saturday, December 2, 2017
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

UC Hastings College of the Law
200 McAllister Street (enter through double doors located at 74 Hyde Street)
San Francisco, CA 94102

 

To RSVP, or if you have any questions, please call Senator Wiener's office at (415) 557-1300. If you are unable to attend, please visit Covered California's website where you can find a list of Certified Enrollers, storefronts, and other events where you can enroll and receive help in-person.

 

 

 

 

SFCCC Highlights the Need For Health Center Funding: Press Event November 16

 

November 15, 2017

Despite bi partisan support for Community Health Centers, 70% of the funds that support our Federally Qualified Health Centers, including our Health Care for the Homeless Program, officially ended as of 10/1/17.  We will be having a press event to bring attention to the important work that could go unfunded if Congress does not act quickly.  Click here  or see below to access details:

 

Please Join Us | 11.16.17 | 10 am | Save our Community Health Centers|  St. Anthony Foundation 150 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA  94102

 The San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium, our twelve member clinics, and our Health Care for the Homeless Program have worked hard for decades to provide health care and other vital services for the City’s most vulnerable communities. With recent changes in healthcare funding that may put the lives of marginalized individuals at risk, SFCCC’s member health centers, which serve more than 10% of San Francisco’s population, are more important than ever. Please help draw attention to this threat by attending our press event, and help us provide a unified voice for medically underserved communities:

  

For more information, please call (415) 355-2262 or email dlahn@sfccc.org

SFCCC Highlights the Need For Health Center Funding: Press Event November 16

Despite bi partisan support for Community Health Centers, 70% of the funds that support our Federally Qualified Health Centers, including our Health Care for the Homeless Program, officially ended as of 10/1/17.  We will be having a press event to bring attention to the important work that could go unfunded if Congress does not act quickly.  Click here  or see below to access details:

 

Please Join Us | 11.16.17 | 10 am | Save our Community Health Centers|  St. Anthony Foundation 150 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA  94102

 The San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium, our twelve member clinics, and our Health Care for the Homeless Program have worked hard for decades to provide health care and other vital services for the City’s most vulnerable communities. With recent changes in healthcare funding that may put the lives of marginalized individuals at risk, SFCCC’s member health centers, which serve more than 10% of San Francisco’s population, are more important than ever. Please help draw attention to this threat by attending our press event, and help us provide a unified voice for medically underserved communities:

  

For more information, please call (415) 355-2262 or email dlahn@sfccc.org.

 

 

 

 

Covered CA Enrollment opens today!

California has its own exchange and has chosen a longer open enrollment period than the Federal administration.  Covered CA (coveredca.com) is open for enrollment until January 31, 2018. However, if you want coverage beginning January 1, 2018, you must enroll by December 15, 2017.

 

Please note that if you are eligible for Medi-Cal, you can apply throughout the year.

 

There are many clinics and others who can assist you in applying for Medi-Cal, Covered California, or Healthy San Francisco. To find local help, enter your zipcode at https://apply.coveredca.com/hix/entity/locateassister/searchentities


 

Threatened by KRACK

A new security threat has been published this week that is catching people's attention. The threat is called Key Reinstallation Attack or KRACK. It is a vulnerability that attackers can use to eavesdrop on your WiFi connection and possibly even insert malicious software onto your computer, phone or tablet.

Read More

Update on the Fiscal Funding Cliff

Unfortunately, September 30, 2017 came and went without a "fix" to the health center funding that has now expired.  Depending on the timing of individual grants, most health centers can get by with funding from last year through December, 2017 but it is difficult to makes strong financial decisions and continue to attract workers amid such uncertainty.    Nationally, HHS estimates that a failure to extend the Community Health Center Fund could result in a loss of access to care for some 9 million patients.

There have been signs of progress, but no resolution yet. On October 6, a bill in the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a mark up with 2-year extension of funding for community health centers. House Republican and Democratic Committee Chairmen have stated that they are still looking for a bipartisan agreement to fund the extension.

What health centers need is for the House and Senate to pass theCommunity Health Investment, Modernization and Excellence (CHIME) Act.  (S. 1899 in the Senate, H.R. 3770 in the House).  Thisbillwould extend funding for the program for five years, which is would provide the needed stability forhealth centers to continue to provide cost effective, life saving care for their communities.