Advocacy Alert: AHCCCS Medicaid Waiver

Dear Arizona Peer and Family Coalition members and community,
Public comments for the Section 1115 waiver are due on February 28th.

Critical changes are proposed that would limit the services available to those on AHCCCS. 
In the information below, you will find a template to assist you with submitting comment and the webpage to find more out about this proposal  Attached is the draft letter that the Board is submitting from the Coalition. We encourage feedback from our members about this letter, but can only take feedback for the next 48 hours due to the tight timeline.

Please feel free to forward this email to your networks and we also encourage submitting your comments to your legislators as well. The email for comments is


and be sure to click the arrows on each section to access the information:


Recommended talking points/letter format:
Please feel free to edit to match your concerns.
February 14th , 2017
Mr. Tom Betlach, Director of AHCCCS
801 E. Jefferson St. MD 4100
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Dear Director Betlach:
As a {Insert how you would like to identify yourself- such as Peer, Family Member, Survivor, Ally or what feels comfortable}, I would appreciate the opportunity to comment on the current Medicaid Section 1115 waiver. AHCCCS has done some admirable work in this community and I would like to see this continue. I would like to share my concerns with the proposed requirements for “able-bodied” adults receiving Medicaid services.
1. I feel the immediate need to define the term “able-bodied”.
When determining this definition, it’s important to understand the cyclical nature of mental illness. One month an individual may meet the “able-bodied” requirement, followed by periods of acute symptom exacerbation.
{Personal Story Here}
2. I oppose the policy of requiring able-bodied adults to verify on a monthly basis compliance with the work requirements and any changes in family income. I also oppose the policy that would ban an eligible person from enrollment for one year if the eligible person knowingly failed to report a change in family income or made a false statement regarding compliance with the work requirements.
I find this requirement to be burdensome and an administrative burden to both the claimant and AHCCCS. We know that 79% of adult and child Medicaid enrollees in Arizona are in families with at least one worker. For parents struggling to make ends meet in low-paying jobs, imposing a monthly reporting requirement with the penalty of a year lock out period only makes the goal of climbing out of poverty that much more difficult. Many people are able to work because of the AHCCCS coverage that keeps their chronic and mental health conditions under control. Work requirements would likely end in a loss of health coverage, adding to our unemployment and poverty rate.
{Personal Story Here}
3. I oppose the proposed lifetime coverage limit of five years for able bodied adults.
Individuals who experience poverty are at significantly greater risk of mental illness and individuals experiencing a mental illness often experience periods of wellness, interrupted by periods of severe illness. Imposing a five-year lifetime limit on AHCCCS eligibility contradicts what is known about disability, chronic disease and mental illness, and jeopardizes progress already gained by those covered by AHCCCS.
{Closing Remarks}
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
Krista Long

Acting President
Arizona Peer and Family Coalition

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