Trainings for Our Community

By Chuan Teng, Esq.

Managing Legal Director

 The Equal Access to Healthcare Program (EAHP) is holding a Spanish Language Immigration and Public Benefits Workshop on Thursday, September 15th from 10-2 p.m. at the Civic Center Library. This workshop will be conducted in Spanish and will address public benefits available to immigrant clients. Providers and clients are welcome to attend.

 Additionally, EAHP with the SF HIV Front Line Organizing Group (FOG) is hosting the Second Annual Open Enrollment Boot Camp on Wednesday, October 5th at UCSF Mission Bay from 9-5 p.m. This boot camp will offer training and resources to front line HIV-service providers on health insurance open enrollment and how to help clients make informed health coverage choices.

 For more information, please contact chuant@positiveresource.org.

 

 

Changes to AIDS Drug Assistance Program Effective July 1, 2016

By Jeff Kosbie, Esq.

Big changes are coming to the AIDS Drugs Assistance Program (ADAP), Office of AIDS Health Insurance Premium Payment Program (OA-HIPP), and Medicare Part D Premium Payment Program.

On July 1, 2016, Ramsell will no longer administer ADAP. A.J. Boggs will take over program eligibility and enrollment. Magellan Rx will handle pharmacy benefits management. And Pool Administrators Inc. (PAI) will manage the OA-HIPP and Medicare Part D premium payment programs.

This post identifies important steps that you should take now and how you can stay informed as these changes roll out. As always, please call us at 415-777-0333 if you need more assistance.

New out-of-pocket expense coverage for OA-HIPP clients!

One of the most exciting changes is the addition of a new program to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses for OA-HIPP clients. We are still waiting for more details on this program. At present, we do not know if it will only cover HIV-related out-of-pocket costs or if it will cover all costs. This new program will be administered by PAI. If you are enrolled in OA-HIPP, you should receive a new ID card from PAI along with instructions on how to use it. We will also update you as we learn more.

What should I do now to avoid any disruption in my drug access?

  • Keep an eye out for an informational letter from the State Office of AIDS and a welcome letter from Magellan Rx. The letter from Magellan Rx will include your new prescription benefit card. Please be sure to open this mail and keep your new prescription benefit card. The outside of the envelope will not say ADAP on it.
  • Update your address with your enrollment worker. If you have changed your address within the last year, make sure your address is up to date with ADAP. If you are not sure if you updated your address, call your enrollment worker now. Any enrollment worker can update your ADAP profile, even if they did not initially enroll you.

We have included images of what the new Magellan prescription benefit card should look like along with the welcome letter that you should receive at the end of this blog post.

Will I need to switch pharmacies?

ADAP clients must use a pharmacy within the Magellan pharmacy network to access medication. Magellan Rx is contracted with over 6,000 pharmacies in California, and the majority of ADAP clients will not need to change pharmacies. If your pharmacy is not in the Magellan network, you should be contacted directly by the CA Office of AIDS (a division within the California Department of Public Health). Your ADAP enrollment worker should also receive a notification that you will need to change pharmacies. If Positive Resource Center handles your ADAP enrollment, we will be sure to update you immediately if we learn that your pharmacy is not included in the Magellan network. You may also call the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) at 844-421-7050 to confirm that your pharmacy is in the Magellan network.

Can I still use my Ramsell Prescription Benefit Card after July 1st?

Your Ramsell card will be deactivated effective July 1st. To avoid any problems at the pharmacy, we advise you to look out for your new Magellan Rx card and be sure to bring it with you. However, your program ID number will remain the same. The Office of AIDS assures us that you should still be able to access your drugs at the pharmacy without your new Magellan Rx card.

What if I have problems accessing my drugs on July 1st?

Starting July 1st, you can Magellan Rx’s live support team at 800-424-5906 to address any problems with program roll-out. We will also be posting any updates we learn about.

Will I still be able to get all of my drugs?

We have not been informed of any changes to the ADAP drug formulary. We will continue to update you if we learn of any changes.

How will the (re)enrollment process change?

All new clients will continue to have to see an ADAP enrollment worker to enroll. All existing clients will have to see an ADAP enrollment worker for their annual re-enrollment, on or before their birth date. When you visit an ADAP enrollment worker after July 1st, your enrollment worker will create an account on A.J. Boggs portal with you. After that, you can update your account and do annual re-enrollments on your own.

We have been able to preview the new enrollment system and are excited for some of the changes. These include:

  • Improved communication abilities, including secure email within the web access portal.
  • Improved error checking to identify missing items before an application is submitted.
  • Ability to provide additional explanatory comments on application forms.
  • Tags to indicate when an applicant has changed an answer from their last application. These tags will help ensure that entered changes (e.g., in address or viral load) are intended.
  • Interactive pharmacy locator, searchable by address. Starting July 1st, this will be available without logging in at https://cdph.magellanrx.com.

 What about the six-month self-verification form?

You will continue to receive this in the mail. Please look for correspondence from A.J. Boggs. If you are enrolled in both ADAP and OA-HIPP, this process will be more streamlined. You will now be able to use the same SVF form to re-certify for both programs.

How can I keep up-to-date on any changes?

We expect to continue to receive more information as we get closer to the transition. We will remind you as key dates arrive and update you if we learn anything new. Call Positive Resource Center at 415-777-0333 and follow us on Facebook and Twitter (#UpOnADAP).

 

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PRC Now Provides ADAP and OA-HIPP Enrollment Assistance!

By Chuan Teng,

Positive Resource Center’s Equal Access to Healthcare Program (EAHP) now offers enrollment and re-certification assistance with the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) and the Office of AIDS Health Insurance Premium Payment program (OA-HIPP).

ADAP and OA-HIPP provide assistance with paying prescription co-pays and health insurance premium payments. HIV-positive individuals making less than $58,850/year may be eligible for assistance. Couples and families may also be eligible, as income rules depend on household income and size.

In addition to these new services, EAHP also provides healthcare access consultation and legal representation on many other issues. HIV-positive San Francisco residents may access services by calling 415-777-0333.

We’ve Been Nominated!

Get Excited! We’re excited to announce that we’ve been nominated for not one but two awards, including “Best Employer: Nonprofit” and “Most Community-Oriented Employer” for the 2016 Work Local Awards, Presented by: Local Wise.

The Work Local Awards shines the spotlight on the boutiques, cafes, nonprofits, startups, and all the local employers that make our local communities thrive. Positive Resource Center prides itself on being an organization that is truly engaged with the needs and concerns of people in San Francisco who are living with HIV/AIDS and or have a mental disability. Positive Resource remains the only place for people living with HIV/AIDS or mental disabilities to get comprehensive benefits counseling and employment services in San Francisco. For more than 29 years Positive Resource Center has been providing crucial services to the community. Since our inception, we have helped our client’s access lifesaving disability income and gainful employment, ultimately providing them with a baseline of financial and healthcare security.

Positive Resource Center exists for the community, we thrive with the community, and more importantly we are the community! Again, we would like to thank Local Wise for nominating Positive Resource Center for these prestigious awards. Please check out the links below to learn more about our services and to RSVP for the award ceremony on April 28th, 2016.

 

Thank you,

Positive Resource Center: http://www.positiveresource.org/

Localwise: https://www.localwisejobs.com/

RSVP Link for Work Local Awards Ceremony: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/work-local-awards-tickets-22673329539

 

 

 

 

 

The Ins and Out of Medi-Cal

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By, Tuquan Harrison

Positive Resource Center (PRC) would like to thank SF HIV Workers Frontline Organizing Group for hosting The Ins and Outs of Medi-Cal training on March 4, 2016. The training was attended by over 50 service providers including social workers, case managers, peer navigators, and many others who serve San Francisco’s HIV-positive community.

We would like to especially acknowledge Lashenna Sirles, from the San Francisco Human Services Agency for presenting this vital information to our community.

The goal of this training was to educate service providers on the Medi-Cal program, including how to apply for benefits and eligibility rules. For clients and service providers alike, navigating Medi-Cal is quite challenging due to lack of training on the program. By the end of this training, participants were able to:

  • Identify the different types of Medi-Cal programs and eligibility rules.
  • Describe the timeline from application to enrollment in Medi-Cal.
  • Better answer client questions about accessing services through Medi-Cal.

Again, PRC would like to thank Lashenna Sirles and the Human Services Agency, SF HIV Workers Frontline Organizing Group, and service providers for participating in this training and sharing information to help better serve our community!

Open Enrollment Closes January 30, 2016

Open Enrollment Deadline

By,

Chuan Teng

Open enrollment closes on January 30, 2016, so now is the time to purchase health insurance. For many, finding a health insurance plan that meets basic needs and works in coordination with other public benefits such as the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) and the Health Insurance Payment Program (HIPP) is a daunting task. Positive Resource Center’s benefits counselors are available to help with healthcare coordination and planning.

Here are some tips for buying health insurance:

  • Check to see what insurance plans are accepted by your doctor
  • Make sure your prescriptions are covered under prospective insurance plans
  • Find out co-pay amounts for routine services and any special procedures you expect to undergo in the next year
  • Find out maximum out of pocket annual limits
  • Find out monthly premiums

If you are HIV-positive and a San Francisco resident, call Positive Resource Center for help at 415-777-0333. Remember, open enrollment closes on January 30, 2016, so make sure you are covered today. Don’t forget—you can enroll in Medi-Cal anytime, even outside the open enrollment period. Finally, stay connected with Positive Resource Center to learn about new ADAP and HIPP enrollment services to come in 2016!

 

The Positive Resource Center (PRC) Would Like to Introduce our New Team Members:

Positive Resource Center (PRC) is gearing up for a New Year, New possibilities, and of course New amazing staff members. We are excited to introduce and welcome the following individuals to PRC:

Adam Fitch

Employment Specialist for the Employment Services Program

  • Adam graduated from California State University, East Bay with an M.A. in History, and joined the PRC team in June of 2015. Prior to PRC, Adam worked on housing issues with people living with HIV/AIDS, and has over 12 years in the field of non-profits and community service. Adam works as an employment specialist with PRC, and is proud to share his knowledge and experience to help others find rewarding employment opportunities. Adam enjoys reading, traveling, and his family when he is not fighting social injustice.

Adam writes, “Employment for people living with disabilities is the pressing concern for the community and I am proud to be serving a population I care deeply about.”

 

Adrienne Mendle

Staff Attorney for the Equal Access to Healthcare Program

  • Adrienne graduated from Harvard Law School, where she focused on issues of healthcare access. Working with Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, Adrienne helped advise health centers around the state on Medi-Cal law. At Harvard’s Public Health Law and Policy Clinic, she provided technical assistance to state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs as they implemented the Affordable Care Act. She looks forward to continuing her work in healthcare advocacy with PRC.

Adrienne writes, “Navigating the American healthcare system is a complicated undertaking even for society’s best off. For our clients, facilitating access to the complex ecosystem of services to which they are beneficiaries serves to reduce one major barrier to opportunity and health.”

 

Beth Mazie

Staff Attorney for the Equal Access to Healthcare Program

  • Beth Mazie was a Staff Attorney at Rubicon Legal Services in their Social Security disability advocacy program for fifteen years. She has represented hundreds of clients at Social Security hearings and further on in the appeal process. Prior to her work at the Rubicon, Beth worked as a supported living specialist for Golden Gate Regional Center, as an attorney at Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) and as a volunteer at Community Alliance for Special Education (CASE), advising parents of their rights under special education laws. She is currently a volunteer mediator with Community Boards.  

Beth writes, ” I enjoy using my skills to help people learn about and access resources and benefits that enable them to stabilize and improve their lives”.

 

Billy Allen

Program Assistant for the Employment Services Program

  • Billy worked on catalog photo shoots but always felt drawn to return to the non-profit sector. He has worked in HIV prevention doing theater-in-education programs for youth and as an event coordinator for Equality California and Under One Roof. For the past two years, Billy has been taking night classes at CCSF in pursuit of his BA.

Billy writes, “I find a lot of joy and personal fulfilment in seeing clients self-actualize. It is very inspirational. The aspect of working peer to peer, helping clients navigate beyond and transcending their disability is extremely rewarding.”

 

Hollis Fleischer

Computer Training Associate for the Employment Services Program

  • Hollis graduated from San Francisco State University in May 2015 earning a degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. Hollis knows firsthand the stigma that people with disabilities face. Hollis has worked in the community helping Individuals with mental illness believe that recovery is possible. It became her focus in 2012 to help people who are disabled focus on their strengths and abilities in order to find employment.

Hollis writes, “I am pleased to be here at PRC doing work that empowers people with disabilities to find work which utilizes their strengths and abilities.”

 

Kevin Lesh

Staff Attorney for the Benefits Counseling Program

  • Throughout his 15 years of legal practice, Kevin has advocated for numerous non-profit and public-interest causes, including: civil rights, disability rights, human rights, Native American rights, animal rights, and environmental protection. Accordingly, Kevin has defended and promoted the interests of disenfranchised groups and individuals around the country, and he has worked on the non-profit side (as a staff attorney for organizations), the public side (as a government attorney), and the private side (as a private practitioner). In addition to his work, Kevin enjoys volunteering for various non-profit causes. 

Kevin believes that “Everyone has a moral obligation to give back to the world, which starts with assisting those who are the most vulnerable.”   

Martin Fernandez

Front Office/ Volunteer Coordinator

  • Martin brings extensive experience in administrative management. Before joining PRC, Martin was an Advocacy Assistant with the People With Disabilities Foundation. Prior to that, he was an Executive Assistant for Elliot & Mayock, LLP.  We are thrilled that Martin has decided to join the PRC team.

Martin writes, “I’ve recently moved from corporate America and so glad  to now be a part of changing people’s lives for the better”.

Sergio Perez

Director of Finance

  • Sergio comes to PRC with over 10 years of non-profit accounting and finance experience, most recently working at Project Open Hand where he held the position of Controller. Prior to that, Sergio was the Senior Accountant at Action for Boston Community Development, Inc., the largest anti-poverty agency in New England providing low-income residents across the city of Boston with housing assistance, fuel assistance, and child care assistance. Prior to his transition over to the non-profit sector, he spent the first couple of years of his career working at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Boston as an auditor in the financial services industry.

Sergio writes, “With my career ranging from corporate to mission-based non-profit organizations, my work has kept me humbled and grounded and has given me the ability to understand, help, and communicate with people across all walks of life and along a variety professions.”

 

Symantha Chapman

Employment Specialist for the Employment Services Program

  • Symantha graduated from California State University East Bay earning a degree in Business Administration. She previously worked at Fred Finch Youth Center, Oakland, working with dual diagnosis children. Her hobbies include spending time with her family and camping.

“The greatest success we’ll know is helping others succeed and grow.” 

                                            -Gregory Scott Reid

 

Teena Rodriguez

Operations and Human Resources Manager

  • Teena has over 10 years of HR experience, having held increasing HR positions for Cypress Lawn Cemetery Association, Pacific Gateway Concessions, Hilton Hotels, and most recently Westside Community Services. She also holds numerous certifications in HIPAA, Fire Safety, HR and Sexual Harassment. Teena states, “ I specifically look for solutions that will be beneficial for both the employer and the employees.  I strive to focus on programs that benefit the employees and that are cost efficient for the company”.

 Teena writes, “Due to experiencing challenges within the healthcare industry, as well as dealing with other disabilities in my own personal life, I wanted to join a company that focuses on assisting the community. PRC is the perfect fit and I am happy to be a part of such a great organization”.

 

 

Tuquan Harrison

Legal Assistant for the Equal Access to Healthcare Program

  • Tuquan Harrison is the new Legal Assistant for the Equal Access to Healthcare Program at Positive Resource Center, San Francisco. He has a strong commitment to HIV/AIDS education and community work that began early in my life. While in high school, he began interning at Manual Arts Teen Clinic in South Los Angeles providing peer-based sex education and counseling to LGBTQ students of color. Tuquan continued this work through my undergraduate career creating university programing that focused on HIV/AIDS awareness and (de) stigmatizing mental health in the LGBTQ community. He also volunteers for the Black Brothers Esteem Group at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

Tuquan writes,I want my life’s work to be in the service of those who are left in the margins of our society. Joining Positive Resource Center will allow me to continue doing this important work and I am excited to apply my passion and dynamic expertise to this wonderful organization.”

 

WELCOME TO THE POSITIVE RESOURCE CENTER