housing action
Medicaid Expansion


Resource Page for Affordable Housing/Homelessness Providers

Medicaid expansion could be a critical resource that can help end homelessness in Washington State. The Housing Alliance has created this page as a resource for homeless and housing providers to learn more about Medicaid expansion and how it can benefit the individuals and families you serve.

Open enrollment began October 1, 2013 and benefits will begin January 1, 2014.

If you need to speak with an in-person assister to help you in the process of navigating your insurance options, CLICK HERE.


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We also encourage homeless and housing providers to contact us with questions/concerns regarding health care reform, as we can connect you to other resources. We are also gathering information on barriers to enrollment for those experiencing homelessness or living in affordable housing and would like to hear from you.

To let us know more about barriers, for more information, or for questions please contact Director of Policy and Advocacy Michele Thomas at michele(at)wliha(.)org.
When emailing, please change "at" to "@" and delete the parentheses. This helps us prevent spam.

You can jump to a specific topic below:

Medicaid Expansion/Affordable Care Act Learn at Lunch Webinar Series
Medicaid Expansion and Supportive Housing
About In-person Assisters (IPAs)
Health Care Authority/Health Care Exchange Webinars
State Innovation Models (SIM) & State Health Care Innovation Planning (SHCIP)
Governor’s Office: Coverage is Here
Other Miscellaneous Important Websites

Learn at Lunch Medicaid Expansion Webinar Series

We store all of the archived audio and video of past Learn at Lunch webinars here.

Medicaid Expansion and Enrollment 101 for Homeless and Housing Providers - Monday, July 29 at 12:00pm
Archived Webinar Presentation


Affordable Care Act 101 for Homeless and Housing Providers - Thursday, August 29 at 12:00pm
Archived Webinar Presentation
PowerPoint (Jack Thompson)
PowerPoint (Debbie Thiele)


Health Homes 101 - Friday, September 13 at 12:00pm
Archived Webinar Presentation


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Medicaid Expansion and Supportive Housing

King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) on behalf of the Committee to End Homelessness in King County (CEHKC) commissioned these papers regarding the intersection of supportive housing and health care. The Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) authored both papers.

Integrating Supportive Housing and Health Care in King County and Washington State provides an overview of the evolving health care environment as it relates to supportive housing and the findings of CSH’s Medicaid and Supportive Housing Crosswalk. This crosswalk compared the services provided in supportive housing with those that are coverable under Washington’s State Medicaid Plan. It found that nearly all of the services provided in King County’s supportive housing are, in fact, coverable by Medicaid. The paper outlines the gaps that must be addressed in our state to realize this potential. It also identifies each of the key activities occurring today in King County and Washington State that offers an opportunity for stakeholders to engage in planning efforts related to supportive housing and health care.

The Business Case for a Supportive Housing Services Benefit in Washington State demonstrates that creating such a benefit would result in better health care and health outcomes for people who need supportive housing while achieving a net annual savings in State funds of more than $1.2 million. This savings, if re-invested into the supportive housing system, could help us to truly end chronic homelessness.

King County is invested in ensuring that this information can be put to its fullest use. The DCHS and Public Health – Seattle & King County will be sharing this information and facilitating stakeholder discussions at a number of CEHKC stakeholder meetings over the coming months. Key updates on these opportunities will also be available on the CEHKC website.


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About In-Person Assisters (IPAs)

Washington State received close to $6 million dollars from the federal government to create a network of in-person assisters (IPAs) to help special needs populations enroll in Medicaid (including those experiencing homelessness). The state contracted with 10 lead agencies across the state to create a network of IPAs.

In-person assisters will need to be trained and certified by the state and will be able to help enroll an individual. IPAs will also be able to have access to an individual’s enrollment documents. In-person assisters will be a critical resource for homeless and low income housing providers. To learn more about how to become an IPA or to access a local assister, please contact the lead agency in your county:

Benton Franklin Community Action Connections: Serving Benton, Franklin, and Walla Walla Counties

CHOICE Regional Health Network: Serving Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties

Clark County Public Health: Serving Clark, Klickitat, and Skamania Counties

Cowlitz Family Health Center: Serving Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties

Empire Health Foundation: Serving Adams, Asotin, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Garfield, Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Spokane, and Whitman Counties

Kitsap Public Health District: Serving Kitsap County

Public Health – Seattle & King County: Serving King County

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Serving Pierce County

Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement: Serving Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom Counties

Yakima Neighborhood Health Services: Serving Kittitas and Yakima Counties


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Health Care Authority/Health Care Exchange Webinars

A Health Benefit Exchange is a key provision of the Affordable Care Act that creates a new marketplace for each state to offer health benefits to individuals, families, and small businesses. The Washington Health Benefit Exchange was created in state statute in 2011 as a “public-private partnership” separate and distinct from the state. They've hosted a number of webinars that walks providers through the impact of the federal health care law on Washington State, how Washington Healthplanfinder works, and where individuals can go for additional assistance to enroll in an appropriate health plan. We've listed these webinars below:

Overview of the Affordable Care Act
About: History, highlights and impact of the Affordable Care Act
Overview of ACA Webinar Presentation
Overview of ACA Presentation (PowerPoint)

Medicaid Overview Part I
About: General overview of the major changes to Medicaid eligibility in 2014 (provides a simple and easy to understand overview of the new Medicaid expansion and eligibility rules)
Medicaid Overview Part 1 Webinar Presentation
Medicaid Overview Part I (PowerPoint)

Medicaid Overview Part II
About: How new tax filing rules will affect household composition for Medicaid (this webinar get more in the weeds on eligibility and filings for different household types)
Medicaid Overview Part 2 Webinar Presentation
Medicaid Overview Part 2 (PowerPoint)

Medicaid Overview Part III
About: Basic eligibility rules for Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) Medicaid in 2014: (this webinar get more in the weeds on calculating MAGI)
Medicaid Overview Part 3 Webinar Presentation
Medicaid Overview Part 3 (PowerPoint)

Health Insurance 101
About: General overview of common health insurance terminology, benefits of health insurance and how to access coverage with health insurance (offers more detail on health insurance plans through the state exchange)
Health Insurance 101 Webinar Presentation
Health Insurance 101 (PowerPoint)


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State Innovation Models (SIM) & State Health Care Innovation Planning (SHCIP)

SIM: the State Innovation Models initiative is a national effort and grant program of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to identify and spread health practices that result in better health and better care at lower costs.

SHCIP: the State Health Care Innovation Planning is an effort to transform healthcare here in Washington. Our state was one of three awarded a nearly $1 million model pre-testing grant to fund collaborative development of a five-year plan for health innovation. Other states have received “model design” grants, and are engaged in similar work.

How you can follow the progress of our Innovation Planning:

The Draft Preliminary Outline for the State Health Care Innovation Plan is now available for review and public comment (links provided below). Before your review, please read items 1 – 3 below and send comments and questions to the email address provided:

1. The Draft Preliminary Outline is a roadmap that specifically follows guidelines set by the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), funders of the planning process. The document follows CMMI’s recommended format.

2. The Draft Plan to be released in October will differ significantly from the Draft Preliminary Outline, as refinement is an ongoing process.

3. More than 700 people are participating in direct discussions and/or the SHCIP Feedback Network. Providing the Health Care Authority with clear and concise comments on the Draft Preliminary Outline will aid staff in processing all comments submitted. You can send all comments to: simquestions(@)hca.wa(.)gov.


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Governor’s Office: Coverage is Here

The governor's office has an informational website page. It includes up-to-date information and resources for all those interested in the state's education, outreach, and enrollment efforts. We've listed a few resources from that page that we think will be of interest to housing and homelessness service providers.

Washington Healthplanfinder Demo offers a preview of the portal so you can see what they system will look like as you are helping enroll clients.

The site also has a series of PowerPoints looking at enrollment and engagement by different areas of the state and different partners:


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Other Miscellaneous Important Websites

Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH)

Health Care Authority
The Health Care Authority overseas eight health care programs in Washington State, including Basic Health and Medicaid and Medical Assistance Programs. They also have more information on Health Homes and >helpful fact sheets on Medicaid expansion:

Health Plan Finder
The health benefits portal for enrollment in Medicaid expansion starting October 1, 2014.

Kaiser Family Foundation
This website offers an array of resources on the Affordable Care Act with some great Washington State specifics. The website also has some creative ways of making the ACA more understandable, such as this very creative "YouToons" series.

Web Exchange
Website with useful information on the state benefits exchange, including fact sheets, PowerPoints, and webinars.


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