Advocates for Children & Youth a Voice for Maryland’s Children in the Maryland Health Benefits Exchange Act of 2012.
Advocates for Children & Youth (ACY) is proud to have been part of Maryland’s efforts to design and pass the Maryland Health Benefits Exchange Act of 2012. The legislation, which builds on the Exchange bill signed into law last year, defines and operationalizes the functions of the Exchange—Maryland’s new health market place. ACY congratulates the Governor and General Assembly for moving forward to set in place the structures that will enable thousands of uninsured Marylanders to gain coverage starting in 2014. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has already helped hundreds of Maryland families by allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance policies and by banning pre-existing condition exclusions for children.
As a long time advocate for effective outreach, education and enrollment programs for children and families, ACY appreciates the importance of a establishing a strong foundation for the Exchange’s Navigator Program. The new legislation sets up a framework for developing a responsive, community based program that can effectively reach out to underserved populations and help children and families across Maryland access the health services they need. ACY looks forward to working with the Exchange Board and stakeholders this summer to develop appropriate Navigator training and certification requirements.
A key provision of the ACA is the requirement that pediatric dental benefits be part of the essential health benefit package. As Maryland selects its “benchmark” health benefit plan over the summer, ACY will work to ensure that the plan includes a comprehensive pediatric benefits package, including oral health services, that meets the needs of all Maryland’s children.
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Advocates for Children and Youth (ACY) was founded in 1987 by a group of prominent child advocates in Maryland who saw the need for an independent organization to advocate for the needs of the state's children and families in the community, the media and the public policy arena. ACY's mission has remained unchanged since its founding: to identify problems, promote policies and programs that improve results for Maryland children in measurable and meaningful ways, and evaluate the effectiveness of programs and policies for the state's children and youth.