News and updates on the DHS efforts to assist low-income Minnesotans stay healthy and living productively.
On Jan. 1, 2015, federal authority to operate MinnesotaCare will transition from Medicaid to the new Basic Health Program (BHP) in the Affordable Care Act. DHS is seeking federal approval to transition MinnesotaCare to a BHP. DHS invites the public to review the BHP Blueprint Discussion Draft (PDF). This draft lays out Minnesota’s proposed choices related to eligibility, benefits and cost-sharing, service delivery, operations and fund management. DHS will add sections related to covered services, program integrity and financing later. DHS is also posting an overview of the BHP Discussion Draft (PDF), the Discussion Draft Table of Exhibits (PDF) and a copy of the Basic Health Plan Final Rule (PDF) as additional background information. Send questions regarding the blueprint and related materials to Mark.Siegel@state.mn.us. DHS will post the final draft of the blueprint for public comment in October.
As a tougher state law against synthetic drugs goes into effect, Minnesotans also have a new website to get factual information about the dangers and risks posed by the deadly substances. KnowTheDangers.com was created by DHS in partnership with state agencies participating in the Minnesota State Substance Abuse Strategy. At a news conference in Duluth Wednesday, Aug. 6, Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson announced the launch of the new website, which is designed to provide resources and information for parents, youth, educators, health care professionals and others who may encounter synthetic drugs. Website visitors can learn what types of substances, packaging and paraphernalia to look for, as well as what effects these drugs may have and how to reach out for help. More information is in a news release about the new law and website.
Applicants for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) should be aware there is never a fee for applying for benefits, and to be on the lookout for online ads or suspicious emails falsely offering help filling out applications. The goal of such scams is to collect personal information from potential SNAP recipients, including credit card information. The federal agency that manages SNAP reports that there have recently been scams in which applicants are asked to provide cell phone numbers and are then automatically enrolled into an expensive service without warning. A “scam alert” provides regular updates about these illegal schemes and how to get assistance if an applicant has already fallen victim.