In this first installment of our “Two Takes” column occasional series, two of our experts who come from different perspectives—Caitlin Morris, who focuses on health system improvement, and Claire McAndrew, who focuses on private insurance reform and consumer protections—take on the tough questions surrounding this issue. How can we stop the unsustainable growth in health care costs if we allow consumers to continue receiving care from providers who don’t deliver good value? And on the other hand, how can we ensure that consumers can obtain adequate, timely, geographically accessible care if we further restrict their networks?
There is a growing childhood epidemic in this country: Tooth decay is now the most common chronic illness among children. The effects of this epidemic are wide-ranging. Children lose 51 million school hours each year due to dental-related illness. And a study in southern California found that untreated dental disease may also interfere with children’s ability to learn: The study found that children with reported tooth pain were four times more likely than their peers to have lower than average grades.
Anyone concerned about affordable health care in the United States is rightly focused on the upcoming second open enrollment period and Medicaid expansion in the states. But there’s another important effort that demands advocates’ attention—extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Now is the time to ramp up awareness of the funding crisis threatening CHIP and enlisting the support of lawmakers to defend it. If Congress does not act in the coming year, millions of children will be left without affordable health insurance next October.
The Affordable Care Act has made immense strides in expanding access to affordable health coverage. But some lower and moderate-income consumers may still struggle to afford coverage and care, even with the help of federal financial assistance. Nonprofits can alleviate some of the burden facing consumers.
Last week, we highlighted forward-thinking solutions some states have implemented to provide greater financial assistance to consumers, such as implementing the Basic Health Program.
The Obama administration announced on Monday that 115,000 consumers will lose their health coverage under the Affordable Care Act on October 1 because they did not submit the proper paperwork proving their legal immigration or citizenship status.
An additional 363,000 consumers may see their financial assistance affected because they did not accurately report their income. More than eight in 10 people who applied for health coverage in the federally facilitated marketplace qualified to receive this financial assistance (also known as premium tax credits or premium subsidies).