Health care in Texas doesn’t have to be chaotic. We don’t have to make it harder to succeed, harder to hold a job, harder to stay well. Instead of having the highest numbers of uninsured children and adults in the nation, Texas could have the best health care system in America — especially if our governor sincerely is ready to work together to create meaningful coverage and affordable access for Texans. Our state leaders can protect the lives of Texas women and children by keeping mothers covered between pregnancies, preserve the right to cover children up to age 26, and provide options for the millions of people who would lose health coverage if the ACA actually goes away.
The Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) announced January 9, 2019, that Ken Janda, President and CEO of Community Health Choice, was elected as the organization’s next Chair of its Board of Directors. He was elected to a two-year term. Previously, Mr. Janda served as ACAP’s Vice Chair.
Mr. Janda has led Community Health Choice, located in Houston, since 2008. The nonprofit managed care organization provides health insurance plans to low-income families through programs including Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and subsidized individual health plans on the Federal Marketplace. He oversees 700 employees serving more than 400,000 members.
“Safety Net Health Plans—serving more than 20 million members in Medicaid managed care—play an integral role in their community by helping fulfill a wide variety of needs that go beyond health care and help Americans climb up the safety net ladder,” said Mr. Janda. “I’m excited to assume this role and help the Association continue its advocacy efforts in lifting up the country’s most vulnerable populations.”
Mr. Janda possesses strong ties to a variety of organizations in the local Houston community. He sits on the Boards of Directors of Christ Clinic in Katy, Texas; the Katy ISD Educational Foundation; and San Jose Clinic in Houston. Further, he serves on the Greater Houston Partnership’s Health Care Advisory Committee and the Texas Medical Center’s Health Policy Institute’s Executive Committee. Mr. Janda also is part of the Dean’s Advisory Committee to the School of Social Science at Rice University and teaches as an adjunct professor at Jones Business School at Rice University.
“Ken’s steadfast commitment to supporting the safety net make him a natural fit for this position; we look forward to his leadership of our Board over these next two years,” said ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray. “His deep knowledge and experience in managed care, advocacy, and strategic thinking have added—and will continue to add—creativity as he leads the Board in shaping ACAP’s approach to the changing health policy landscape.”
Fox26 anchor Sally MacDonald interviews Community Health Choice CEO Ken Janda about 2018 “open enrollment” for people selecting individual health coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace via Healthcare.gov. Financial assistance and subsidies remain available for many Americans.
Ken’s advice to consumers is: “Find people who can help you!” Including insurance agents and brokers, health insurance navigators, community health organizations, and even by calling companies like Community Health Choice and asking for a customer service specialist or advocate to help find the best health coverage.
Many Americans are wondering if they’ll still be able to obtain individual health insurance in 2018. The resounding answer from non-profit and for-profit health insurers is YES, but they have concerns.
In the following excerpt from the October cover story of Managed Healthcare Executive magazine, Houston’s Ken Janda discusses some of his…
Top concerns for 2018
A blanket ACA repeal without a replacement is among the greatest concerns of Ken Janda, JD, president and CEO, Community Health Choice, Inc., a managed care organization based in Houston offering Children’s Medicaid, CHIP programs, and plans through the health insurance marketplace.
“This would be devastating to Americans and hurtful to our healthcare system, as a blanket repeal of the ACA would not only hurt the millions of Americans in the individual market, but it would also change the benefits and protections currently enjoyed under all plans, including employer-sponsored coverage,” he says.
Another primary concern is whether the Trump Administration will withhold funding for cost-sharing reduction payments, says Janda. The payments to insurers were authorized in September, but remain uncertain for future months.
“Without continued reimbursement, monthly premiums could rise across the board and nonprofit insurers like us could take a devastating loss—jeopardizing our future involvement in the individual marketplace. I continue to hope for bipartisan commonsense fixes like the legislation Senators Alexander and Murray have pursued.”
Janda says the lack of enforcement regarding the individual mandate is troubling, as is the fact that the Trump Administration appears to not support open enrollment for marketplace plans. “With the time period for enrollment cut in half, the advertising budget slashed by 90%, and fewer navigators this year, many Americans may not even know they can sign up for health insurance via the marketplace,” he says. “Additionally, the Trump administration has placed doubt and uncertainty in consumers’ minds about whether the individual mandate is being enforced,” he says. “A mechanism to encourage enrollment must exist to incentivize a healthy and robust risk pool—whether via the individual mandate, a premium surcharge, or a waiting period.”
Find out what Texans need to know about the differences between the GOP’s “American Health Care Act” (AHCA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Spoiler alert: the AHCA as written results in health insurance becoming unaffordable for millions of people, with higher costs and lives lost prematurely.
Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) has a head-to-head comparison tool you can customize for yourself or loved ones. KFF notes: “The maps were updated on March 21, 2017 to show estimates of how much a person buying their own insurance would have to pay under both the ACA and the House replacement bill. The maps include premium tax credit estimates by county for current ACA marketplace enrollees at age 27, 40, or 60 with an annual income of $20,000, $30,000, $40,000, $50,000, $75,000, or $100,000.”
Economic Analyst Steve Rattner shared this chart on the television news program “Morning Joe,” using nonpartisan data from the Congressional Budget Office to show how many Americans will lose health insurance if Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act and passes the GOP’s AHCA.
The AHCA passed the House on a party-line vote, with only GOP / Republican Members voting for it. All Democratic Representatives opposed it and supporting keeping/updating the Affordable Care Act, instead. The ACA has insured more than 20 million Americans.
Community and corporate wellness programs make a difference to people, companies, physicians, and potentially to the cost of health insurance. Learn more as Community Health Choice CEO Ken Janda speaks with Fox 26 reporter Sally MacDonald in a health care news segment partnership between Fox 26 Houston and Community Impact newspapers.
Community Health Choice encourages employees as well as Marketplace and Medicaid Members to stay active, pursue wellness, and plan yearly wellness check-ups at their medical homes.
AUSTIN, Texas: December 17, 2015 — Reflecting its strategic focus on increasing health coverage for Texans while improving access to care, the Texas Association of Community Based Health Plans (TACHP) names Kay Ghahremani Chief Executive Officer effective Jan. 1, 2016. She formerly directed Medicaid programs for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).
TACHP is an association of 11 non-profit safety net health plans affiliated with health care systems across the state, serving 1.3 million low-income Texans. TACHP members also are some of the state’s Medicaid Managed Care Organizations, which cumulatively have saved Texas more than $10 billion in the last decade.
“TACHP’s non-profit health insurance leaders are keenly focused on improving the health of low income populations via coordinating care and increasing coverage among uninsured Texans,” said TACHP Board President Ken Janda, also President and CEO of member organization Community Health Choice. “Kay Ghahremani brings deep understanding of the regulatory environment for health plans in Texas, as well as seasoned policy insights for low income populations.”
“I’m very excited to join TACHP at this pivotal time,” said Ghahremani. “TACHP member organizations prioritize positive patient outcomes and improving access to care. I’m honored to help lead our push for more coordinated and integrated care, where we connect patients to the right care that comprehensively addresses their health care needs and encourages preventive services that can keep them healthier.”
Most recently, Ghahremani served as the Texas Medicaid Director, heading up operations for the state, providing strategic direction and managing Texas’ relationship with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Ghahremani’s focus on Texas Medicaid services will help inform her leadership of TACHP.
Ghahremani has 25 years of experience in health care administration and management. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs from the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs.
About Texas Association of Community Based Health Plans
Texas Association of Community Based Health Plans (TACHP) is an association of 11 non-profit safety net health plans affiliated with health care systems. TACHP members all contract with the State of Texas to administer Medicaid Managed Care, serving 1.3 million low-income Texans. Current member organizations include: Community First Health Plans, Community Health Choice, Cook Children’s Health Plan, Driscoll Children’s Health Plan, El Paso First Health Plans, FirstCare Health Plans, Parkland Community Health Plan, Scott & White Health Plan, Sendero Health Plans, Seton Health Plan, and Texas Children’s Health Plan.