Friday Five: Funding options for long-term care may expand; while funding for ACA navigators is cut

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September 14, 2018
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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about funding for long-term care, SNAP eligibility, how RPA and AI could impact the federal workforce, and how a decrease in navigator funding could affect ACA enrollment.

1. House may vote on Medicaid-Medicare long-term care bill this week

A bill that would allow private companies to use government funds to provide long-term care services to individuals still living at home may be up for a vote in the House this week. According to Think Advisor, the bill would establish regulations and expand access to PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) plans that use Medicaid and Medicare funding to provide an assortment of living needs for those receiving long-term care.

2. About those 2 million households losing SNAP benefits

In this blog from the American Enterprise Institute, the author argues that a recent analysis estimating 2 million households could lose benefits if the farm bill instituted new SNAP requirements fails to consider the broader context. The House farm bill would, in effect, reinstate asset and income limitations that had been replaced by categorical eligibility (allowing families to qualify for benefits with higher income or assets).

3. RPA demystified: The new opportunity for the digital age  

Robotic process automation (RPA) is expected to help streamline how federal agencies gather information, process transactions, and perform other repetitive, time-consuming tasks. GCN reports that RPA, when implemented correctly, can free employees up for more high-value tasks and increase efficiency by performing frequent tasks that require little thought or human intervention.

4. AI could mean massive reskilling initiatives for the federal workforce

As artificial intelligence and other technologies become more prominent within federal agencies, the government workforce will also need to adapt. Fedscoop reports that the government estimates it will need more employees with IT and cybersecurity skills. It will also need new training programs for employees that help them create strategies of how to best use AI to solve problems. 

5. Navigator funding cuts will leave many marketplace consumers on their own

The Department of Health and Human Services has cut spending on navigator programs (that assist individuals with signing up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act) by 80% since 2016. In this blog, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities argues that this is not enough funding – leaving some states with no navigators at all, while those receiving funding likely won’t have enough to make an impact. Navigators provide impartial information and are aimed at assisting individuals in vulnerable communities.