Tribal Healthcare Reform Newsletter
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February 2017
The National Indian Health Board Tribal Healthcare Reform Newsletter provides a brief overview on NIHB's outreach and education activities in Indian Healthcare reform.

Your tribal healthcare reform resource. Go to for more information.

The Open Enrollment Period Has Ended--American Indians and Alaska Natives can still apply! 
As you may know, members of a federally recognized Tribe and Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Shareholders can enroll in Marketplace coverage any time of the year; American Indians and Alaska Natives who sign up through the Marketplace, there is no limited enrollment period and they are able to change plans as often as once a month. 

It is important that Indian Country visits their local Indian Health Service or Tribal Facility or Urban Indian Organization to evaluate health care coverage for 2017!

In addition to Marketplace coverage, programs like Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are available to qualifying American Indians and Alaska Natives. Apply at anytime throughout the year! 

Tribal Healthcare Reform Outreach and Education Resources--Available, for free, year round! 

The National Indian Health Board's Tribal Healthcare Reform Outreach & Education department has a variety of resources for Enrollment Assisters and Patient Benefit Coordinators working throughout Indian Country! Focused on best practices for outreach and education to American Indian and Alaska Native communities to encourage enrollments into health care coverages, all of these resources are free to download and use for the year of 2017!

See a list below and brief description of some of these resources:
Enrollment Assister Toolkit: Designed to give new and experienced Enrollment Assisters groundwork information for working with American Indian and Alaska Native health care consumers. It also has some helpful tools such as an example patient information card and Federal Poverty Level(FPL) chart for easy enrollments. 

Affordable Care Act: What Native Youth Need to Know Toolkit: Comprising of a poster, brochure, and short video this toolkit provides resources for Enrollment Assisters to outreach and educate young people all throughout Indian country on concepts such as the importance of the federal trust responsibilities, health insurance coverage, and health Tribal communities.

Media and Messaging Toolkit: Provides a variety of resources for Enrollment Assisters to craft effective messaging campaigns to educate their community members. This toolkit is a great resource for expanding your social media presence which includes a PowerPoint, ten step guide, and sample posts.
These toolkits and more are all free to access and use at the link below!


Important Deadlines For Coverage
There are a variety of deadlines to consider for securing and make changes to your healthcare coverage throughout the year on the Marketplace. 

Please consider these dates in any given month when signing up for coverage:

  • 15th: the last day you can make changes to your health insurance coverage through the marketplace and have these changes be effective by the 1st of the next month. 
  • For example, if an individual applies for coverage February 25th, they can expect to have coverage beginning April 1st, not the 1st of March. (Remember, qualifying American Indians and Alaska Natives can sign up for health insurance through the marketplace any month, throughout the year. But, it is still important to track monthly enrollment deadlines to ensure you do not experience a gap in coverage)

Stories for Health Tribal Communities 
It is important that we continue to work with the Federal Government to ensure that the federal trust responsibilities to members of federally recognized Tribes and Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Shareholders are upheld. 

But, NIHB needs help to tell your stories of how Marketplace coverage, Medicaid, Medicare, or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) have helped our Native people to continue progress under the current administration!

NIHB is launching a storybanking campaign to record the positive stories of impact on Indian health for the last 8 years so we can continue the progress for #HealthyTribalCommunities everywhere.

Your personal information will not be shared in these stories and your identities will stay hidden! If you have any positive impact stories
Please e-mail them to Kristen Bitsuie at or call 202-507-4081
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact Chawin 'Win' Reilly at

Chawin 'Win' Reilly
National Indian Health Board