The Otoe-Missouria Tribe

The Otoe-Missouria Tribe

Health Benefit Card Changes in 2020

By Courtney Burgess, Tribal Treasurer on January 01, 2020

The Otoe-Missouria Tribal Council decided it was best not to renew the AirMedCare flight insurance and put the funds instead toward the Tribal Assistance Health Benefit program.

This change is necessary to maintain the Health Benefit assistance program at a similar level in the new year. Since changing the Health Benefit program to a benefit card from a reimbursement program, more tribal members have taken advantage of the program.

The Tribal Assistance Program was created to help tribal members when all other resources have been exhausted. The Health Benefit card was provided to give you, the tribal member, for ease of accessibility to direct assistance for such services when needed.

Although the cards have always been preloaded for our tribal members with the amount of assistance offered, the tribe only pays what is being used. In other words, if someone decides not to use the Health Benefit Card, then the tribe does not lose money at the end of the year because someone did not use the benefit. Those funds remain in the tribe’s Health Benefit Card budget.

In addition to more people taking advantage of the Health Benefit Card, the tribal enrollment continues to grow. In 2020, our enrollment will exceed 3,300 members, which will increase the funds needed to offer the tribal assistance.

In 2020, the Health Benefit Card amount will decrease by $50 so that quarterly assistance of $300 can be divided equally for a total of $1,200 yearly. The benefit card will be loaded with $300 each quarter and will expire when the new quarter begins. Balances will not carry over.

The cost for the Health Benefit of $1,200, plus administrative fees to manage the card through Keystone Flex is over $4.2 million. The Extraordinary Direct Assistance is eligible quarterly as well, with a limit of $250 per tribal member. This is another assistance offered that alone is over $3.2 million. These two tribal assistance benefits total $7.4 million. The Otoe-Missouria Tribe has been fortunate enough to provide these services along with, school expenses reimbursement, holiday assistance, and elder assistance to its people thanks to our successful tribal enterprises.