Health insurance options expand for Native Americans

Health insurance options expand for Native Americans

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -The Indian Health Service started a 30-day consultation period on July 18 with tribal leaders and Indian organization representatives on a policy that will help guide tribes, organizations and urban Indian health programs on how to purchase health insurance for tribal members.

The Indian Health Care Improvement Act, which became a permanent fixture under the Affordable Care Act, allows tribes and tribal organizations to buy health care coverage or sponsor premiums for IHS beneficiaries with federal funding.

"This new draft policy on sponsoring health premiums is one important way IHS works with and supports tribes in their efforts to enhance access to care for their members, improve third-party collections and achieve cost savings," said Mary Smith, IHS principal deputy director. "By using their health care funds to purchase qualified health plans for their tribal members, tribes can maximize the benefits for their members."

The extra coverage will allow IHS patients to have more health care coverage and options. The draft policy will also increase third-party billing revenue for IHS.

You can see the draft policy here.

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