Thursday, June 25, 2015

New Mental Health Trainings

Family Voices Indiana and Families United for Support and Encouragement received a grant from Mental Health America of Indiana to create and share two new trainings featuring children's mental health. We presented these trainings in person in May. We also archived them as videos on youtube so they can be viewed at a time convenient for families and professionals. We hope you find them helpful. If you need additional resources or support, feel free to contact us.

Supreme Court Ruling on #ACA #SCOTUS

Family Voices Indiana shares the following information from AMCHP regarding the Supreme Court ruling:

June 25, 2015, Washington, DC -- Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) Chief Executive Officer Lori Freeman issued the following statement regarding today’s ruling in the King v. Burwell case:
“AMCHP welcomes today's Supreme Court ruling that preserves coverage for millions of low and moderate-income women and families who receive subsidized coverage through the federal health insurance marketplace.  

Through the Affordable Care Act, millions of women and their families have gained access to affordable health insurance, many for the first time. The importance of affordable, comprehensive health insurance for women and children cannot be overstated. For women of child-bearing age in particular, marketplace health plans offer critically important benefits that promote good health before, during and after pregnancy. Family planning, maternity and newborn care, breastfeeding support, smoking cessation, screening for breast cancer, diabetes, and HIV are some of the essential health services now available to more women, all without cost sharing. 

Today's ruling also preserves coverage for more than 700,000 children who receive health insurance through their parents' subsidized marketplace plans. From covering well-child visits with no cost sharing to providing care for children with complex medical conditions, marketplace plans have become a vital component of our nation's pediatric health insurance system along with Medicaid, CHIP and employer-sponsored coverage.

Although we applaud today's ruling, there is still work to be done. AMCHP and its members welcome the opportunity to partner with state and national policy makers as we continue our collective efforts to improve access to care and continuity of coverage for our nation's women and families.”

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Comment Period: IRS rules for #ABLE Act disability savings accounts

Last year, President Obama signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act into law. The ABLE Act created a new type of savings account designed to help people with disabilities save money without risking their eligibility for government benefits.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has proposed some regulatory rules governing how the new program will run. The rules have been posted at the Federal Register for public comment before they become official.

Among other things, the rules would require:
  • At the time the ABLE Act account is created, the beneficiary must provide evidence that they have a disability, such as a disability benefit verification letter from the Social Security Administration, or a diagnosis signed by a physician.
  • According to the ABLE Act, the account must be used for "qualified disability expenses." The proposed IRS regulations interpret the term broadly, to include basic living expenses related to maintaining or improving health, independence, or quality of life. Qualified disability expenses would not be limited to medical necessities.
If this issue is important to you, you can read the proposed regulations and share your thoughts at the Federal Register here: 

The IRS has specifically requested comments on what types of expenses should be considered "qualified disability expenses" and under what circumstances. However, people are welcome to comment on any area of the regulations.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Indiana High School Diploma Survey

Family Voices Indiana shares the following opportunity to share your voice:

As part of the Indiana Career Council, the Core 40 subcommittee was established in 2014 per IC 20-19-6-9 to examine the current Core 40 diploma offerings and make recommendations to the SBOE, which may include:
  • Changing course requirements for the Core 40 diploma
  • Changing the types of diplomas offered in Indiana
  • Analysis of need in Indiana for a CTE diploma and/or CTE offerings
Over the past several months, and through the chairmanship of both Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz and Commissioner of Higher Education Teresa Lubbers, a large committee made up of stakeholders representing business and industry, higher education, school administration, K-12 educators, special educators, and CTE directors has developed the following proposed draft of  diploma requirements to be implemented with the freshman class of 2018-2019. Please take a moment to review the drafts and then take the survey that follows. The survey will be open through June 30, 2015.
We appreciate your feedback!

link to survey:

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Got Coverage? Next Steps in Using Your Health #Insurance (for consumers)

Tuesday, June 23, 4:00-5:00 pm ET

Sponsored by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
Many people now have health insurance but may not know how to use it. This webinar will discuss how to read your insurance card, how to find a doctor, what you need to know in making an appointment and what to do in case you have a health emergency. Key terms will be discussed as well as recommended health screenings. Highlights include the Coverage to Care materials on health insurance literacy during the webinar. Register here. 

If you need additional supports around using insurance, feel free to contact Family Voices Indiana at 317 944 8982 or

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

New Assistant Project Director

Family Voices Indiana is excited to announce that we have promoted Kerry Bonney to Assistant Project Director. She will continue to support families in southern Indiana; but she will also coordinate our social media and match referrals to specialists.

Kerry Bonney describes her role as an advocate as one that she has prepared for all of her life. From her work in the healthcare field for eighteen years to caring for her son with multiple disabilities, she brings her experiences to share with others in hopes that they will be educated and empowered to successfully campaign for the needs of their children.
Kerry resides with her husband, Paul, in Seymour, and they have two adult children. Their daughter works as a music/choral teacher in Indianapolis, while their son resides at home. Kerry has worked in the field of advocacy for several years and currently serves at the president of The Arc of Jackson County.

If you need resources or support, feel free to contact us at Family Voices Indiana. 317 944 8982

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Caregiver Support (#respite funding) Opens July 1

Family Voices Indiana shares this announcement from The Arc of Indiana:

Families on the waiting list for Family Supports Medicaid Waiver services can receive $500 of Caregiver Support Services (respite) at no cost. These hours are provided to families on the waiver wait list on a first-come, first-served basis, in each BDDS district.  The application process begins each year on July 1; previous applications do not carry over.

The application can be submitted online starting July 1.

If you have not yet applied for the Family Supports waiver and would like help doing so, feel free to contact Family Voices Indiana: 317 944 8982