Federal agency releases Affordable Care Act status reports

NCD logo sealThe National Council on Disability released the third of three new reports February 2, detailing the key legal safeguards for protecting the rights of people with disabilities in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

“By identifying issues for monitoring by the disability community nationally and in individual states, our goal is to ensure that Americans with disabilities fully share in ACA’s promised benefits while avoiding potential risks ACA poses, “NCD Chair Clyde Terry said in a news release. “We saw a need to provide people with disabilities, their families, and advocates with a road map to identify areas or issues that warrant additional attention as ACA implementation goes forward.”

The first report, titled “Implementing the Affordable Care act: A Roadmap for People with Disabilities [PDF],” provides a comprehensive roadmap of the legislation, which it considers, “in many ways…the single most important legislation for people with disabilities since the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

Specifically, the report includes an overview of decisions for health care officials and federal and state officials, particularly in regard to the law’s Medicaid expansion and the Community First Choice Option. This is an additional option for states to receive federal matching funds if they take certain steps to transition people with disabilities from institutional to community and home based settings.

The second report, titled “The Impact of the Affordable Care Act: A 2015 Status Report [PDF],” presents a 50-state summary and literature review of individual state decisions made thus far implementing the legislation.

The third report, titled “Monitoring and Enforcing the Affordable Care Act for People with Disabilities [PDF],” outlines the variety of new legal obligations under the bill, including the bill’s anti-discrimination provisions for patients with disabilities, requirements for so-called “essential health benefits” in insurance plans, and the operation of the new health insurance exchanges, among other features.

The Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center assisted the NCD in creating the report.

The NCD is an independent federal agency, created in 1984, tasked with crafting disability policy, and advising federal agencies on disability policies, programs, and practices.