TAMHO - Behavioral Health News & Events Volume 2 Issue 1

B E H AV I O R A L H E A LT H NEWS & EVENTS Tennessee Association of Mental Health Organizations (TAMHO) Volume 2, Issue 1 January 2014 Message from the Executive Director As 2014 begins, we embark on a year of expanded health coverage for millions of Americans. This is wonderful news for many Americans. Unfortunately, there are thousands of Ellyn Wilbur Tennesseans who will Executive Director still not have insurance TAMHO coverage to meet their needs due to the fact that Governor Haslam and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services have not come to any agreement on a way to implement the Tennessee Plan that Governor Haslam outlined in March of 2013. Who are these individuals? The first group is comprised of individuals who are below 100% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL), earning no more than $11,490. While these individuals can sign up for insurance in the Marketplace, they likely will not be able to afford the insurance premium because those under 100% FPL are not eligible for premium tax credits or cost sharing reductions through the Marketplace. This is the group of people who would benefit from Medicaid expansion, but Tennessee has not opted to expand Medicaid. effective—like mental health case management, psychosocial rehabilitation and peer support-- are not routinely covered in the Marketplace health plans. These services help individuals remain stable in their communities and are extremely cost effective. Currently the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services has state funds to pay for specific services to 35,000 individuals each year who have severe mental illness and whose income is less than 100% of FPL. This fund, called the Behavioral Health Safety Net, has been a lifesaver for many, but it does not cover all those who need the service. TAMHO has strongly advocated for Medicaid expansion and will continue to do so. We believe Tennessee should join the 25 states and the District of Columbia who have expanded Medicaid. The second group is comprised of individuals who may be eligible for premium tax credits or cost sharing reductions to help them afford the premiums in the Marketplace. Being eligible for coverage is exciting and very useful, but for individuals with severe mental illness or substance use disorders, services that have been proven to be It is now clear that the Marketplace plans won’t cover all the services needed by individuals with mental illness or substance use disorders, so it is more important than ever to educate our lawmakers about the need to expand the Behavioral Health Safety Net to assure that all individuals’ needs are met. Individuals who are poor and individuals with mental illness or substance use disorders should not be left out of coverage plans that meet their needs! Governor Haslam Attends the TAMHO Annual Conference on Integrated Care Inside this issue: TAMHO BESTOWS ITS HIGHEST HONORS IMPORTANT DATES AND EVENTS Photo Credit: STATE OF TENNESSEE http://www.flickr.com/photos/governorbillhaslam/11208601646/in/photostream/ The 2013 TAMHO Annual Conference at Embassy Suites Hotel and Convention Center in Murfreesboro was a great success! Headlining the conference was a visit by Governor Bill Haslam, who also received the TAMHO President’s Award, along with national experts speaking on various aspects of integrated care. Integration topics included: Pediatric Primary Care/Behavioral Health | Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Primary Care Pediatrician, Access Community Health Center Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Conditions and Other Complex Needs | Kenneth Minkoff, MD, Trainer and Consultant on Clinical Services and Systems Design for Individuals and Families with Co-Occurring Disorders and Other Complex Needs Primary Care / Behavioral Health: A National Perspective | Kathleen 2 4 GUEST AUTHOR AND CONTRIBUTOR 6 STATEWIDE HAPPENINGS 7 NATIONAL HAPPENINGS 9 TAMHO MEMBER ORGANIZATION HAPPENINGS 10