TITLE: Support Tribal Grant Schools to Participate in the Federal Health Employees Benefit Program in the Affordable Care Act
WHEREAS, we, the members of the National Congress of American Indians of the United States, invoking the divine blessing of the Creator upon our efforts and purposes, in order to preserve for ourselves and our descendants the inherent sovereign rights of our Indian nations, rights secured under Indian treaties and agreements with the United States, and all other rights and benefits to which we are entitled under the laws and Constitution of the United States, to enlighten the public toward a better understanding of the Indian people, to preserve Indian cultural values, and otherwise promote the health, safety and welfare of the Indian people, do hereby establish and submit the following resolution; and
WHEREAS, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) was established in 1944 and is the oldest and largest national organization of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments; and
WHEREAS, the Indian Health Care Improvement Act did allow for Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act programs to participate in the Federal Employee Health Benefit program; and
WHEREAS, Tribal Grant Schools exist under PL 93-638 within 268 tribes located in 23 states and operate under the Amendment to the PL 93-638 Act, PL 100-297; and
WHEREAS, PL 100-297 was enacted for tribal schools to access further educational federal resources; and
WHEREAS, health care insurance premiums and deductibles have increased dramatically over the past years and Tribal Grant Schools have seen up to a 50% increase in health insurance premium rates; and
WHEREAS, Tribal Grant Schools have attempted to participate in the FEHB, however, the schools have been denied by the Office of Personnel Management; and
WHEREAS, at a recent meeting with Department of Interior and Office of Personnel Management, it was determined the decision to deny Tribal Schools the ability to participate in FEHB was OPM Policy and not an ACA law.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NCAI direct the Department of Interior and Office of Personnel Management to resolve the “policy issue” so Tribal Grant Schools can participate in the FEHB program; and
BE IT FURTHUR RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be the policy of NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.
The foregoing resolution was adopted by the General Assembly at the 2013 Annual Session of the National Congress of American Indians, held at the Cox Business Center from October 13 - 18, 2013 in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a quorum present.