Affordable Care Act: What Social Workers Need to Know

February 1st, 2013

The recent passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) brings many new changes to our nation’s healthcare system. Some of these changes, like the new Essential Health Benefits (EHB) component of the ACA, will directly impact social workers who help their consumers with healthcare benefits and resources.

Essentially, the EHB process allows each state to define certain “essential health benefits” that individual and small group health plans will be required to provide.

It is up to social workers to advocate on behalf of the populations they serve to make sure that states’ are well-aware of the needs of people with chronic disease, disabilities, and other serious health issues. By educating the state about these special needs, social workers can ensure that the EHB benchmarks will provide adequate access to social work services.

To help medical social workers navigate the new changes, the National Association of Social Workers has published a fact sheet that summarizes the program, its effect on social workers, and ways to get involved.

Any social workers that work in medical, healthcare, or hospital settings, or any individuals responsible for managing the healthcare of their consumers should definitely read up on these important changes – and make your voice heard!

You can download a PDF copy of the EHB fact sheet here.


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