Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act is a game-changing tool in the national effort to end homelessness. The expansion of Medicaid eligibility (at state choice) to all persons whose incomes are at or below 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level will significantly increase health coverage and access to health care and services among people experiencing homelessness, especially single individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. In addition, low-income families and individuals will have access to affordable health insurance that can prevent financial catastrophe associated with illness, which can precipitate their entry into homelessness. Moreover, the Affordable Care Act is also transforming our nation’s approach to health care to focus on “whole person” needs and outcomes rather than on specific medical procedures, creating new opportunities to provide services linked to housing (e.g. in permanent supportive housing).
While the Affordable Care Act is an important tool, it is also a complex one. This page provides useful information to help communities and organizations working to end homelessness understand how the Affordable Care Act can help prevent and end homelessness. On this page you will find an overview of how the Affordable Care Act can prevent and end homelessness, a guide to engage people experiencing homelessness to enroll in Medicaid and other types of health insurance, information on Medicaid’s role in financing services in permanent supportive housing, and more.
General Info on ACA and Homelessness
- The Affordable Care Act's Role in Preventing and Ending Homelessness - A fact sheet from USICH providing basic information about the Affordable Care Act and how it benefits people experiencing homelessness
- Leveraging the Affordable Care Act to Solve Homelessness: A Message to CoCs and Ten-Year Plan Leaders - How can we make the best use of the Affordable Care Act to solve homelessness? USICH Executive Director Barbara Poppe poses five questions for communities to consider.
- The Day that Really Matters for the Affordable Care Act - There is no doubt that Oct. 1st is an important date. But it's not the only date that matters.
- Supreme Court Ruling on the Affordable Care Act - Former USICH Deputy Director Jennifer Ho explains the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision
Medicaid Expansion and Enrollment
- Medicaid Enrollment: Your Guide to Engaging People Experiencing Homelessness - A brief tool containing tips and talking points for front-line workers and services providers on engaging people experiencing homelessness in Medicaid and health insurance through the marketplace.
- How Medicaid Expansion Will Benefit People Experiencing Homelessness – Many states are still opting out or remain undecided about whether to participate in Medicaid expansion. One factor these states might consider in evaluating or re-evaluating their decision to participate is the impact of Medicaid expansion on homelessness in their state. But the benefits don’t stop there. Jack Tsai, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, explains.
- Getting Ready for the Health Insurance Marketplace - A toolkit from SAMHSA for housing support and homeless services organizations
Medicaid Financing for PSH Services
- Why Permanent Supportive Housing and Managed Care Need Each Other- The expansion of Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will mean that millions of currently uninsured adults will be eligible for coverage, including many formerly homeless individuals residing in supportive housing.
- Using Medicaid to Fund Supportive Services
- Solving for Services: New Medicaid Opportunities to Pay for the “Support” in Permanent Supportive Housing
- Primer on How to Use Medicaid to Assist Persons who are Homeless
- Primer on Understanding Medicaid Home and Community Services
- Report from HHS on Medicaid and Permanent Supportive Housing for the Chronically Homeless
- HHS Tools to Help States Lower Medicaid Costs while Improving Care
- The Business Case for Medicaid-financed Services in Supportive Housing
Resources from USICH Member Agencies
- Resource Library Page for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Health Reform - from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Healthcare.gov from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services