When people leave prison or jail, helping them get health care is critical to ensuring they reenter their communities as seamlessly as possible. To help connect this population to health coverage, both Maryland and New York are proposing innovative ideas that have not been pursued in any other state.
Welcome to the new Health Equity Highlights monthly blog! Our Health Equity Connection newsletter has been promoted: Every month, you will now be able to find the latest health equity updates, top resources from Families USA and our partners, and important upcoming events here.
Read on to learn about new marketplace enrollment data, progress in covering immigrant children, upcoming health equity events, and more.
The second open enrollment period just ended—and it was a tremendous success. The fact that enrollment systems functioned much better this time around certainly made it easier for people to enroll. But there’s no doubt that the commitment and creativity of 23,000 certified application counselors, navigators, and in-person assisters across the country have made big contributions to enrollment gains. In this enrollment period, we saw navigators and assisters reach new heights of creativity as they strove to find consumers and help them sign up for health insurance.
The second open enrollment period in the health insurance marketplaces is officially closed. But HealthCare.gov and several state marketplaces are still accepting applications for coverage. These include California, Kentucky, New York, and Washington State—the four states participating in our final open enrollment teleconference call yesterday. The directors from these state-based marketplaces explained that the extensions are only for consumers who recently started an application to get health coverage but were not able to finish.
This month, Minnesota will be the first state to submit its blueprint for a Basic Health program to the federal government for approval. This is the final blog in our series encouraging states to consider Basic Health as a strategy for providing health coverage to low-income residents.
Here, state advocates share the main factors that contributed to their success in moving Basic Health forward in Minnesota and New York.
Proposed health insurance premium rates for 2015 varied greatly among states and insurers. To limit unreasonable rate increases, Families USA encourages state advocates to engage in the rate review process.
Earlier this year, we explained how advocates can participate in their state’s rate review process to influence the monthly premiums that health insurers are allowed to charge. We reached out to state advocates to “crowdsource” today’s blog about how advocates are challenging proposed rates.
The Affordable Care Act did a lot to help uninsured consumers get health coverage, but it did not entirely resolve the very real problems with insurance affordability for low- and moderate-income consumers. These consumers often struggle to meet other living costs and, even once they have health insurance, may not be able to get the health care they need because they have trouble paying for costs associated with their premiums, office visits, and other types of health care.
Advocates in New York recently celebrated a huge victory for health care consumers. Their efforts resulted in the public disclosure of insurer filings for all premium rate increases, guaranteeing greater transparency for consumers. New York advocates faced many challenges along the way, but ultimately their perseverance and resourcefulness led to this tremendous achievement.
Starting in 2014, health insurance exchanges will be up and running. They will serve as online hubs where individuals and businesses can shop for coverage with the help of easy-to-understand information on all their options. Developing a consumer-friendly Information Technology (IT) infrastructure will not only be important, but necessary, to making sure these exchanges work as efficiently as possible.
Andrew Ondrejcak, 24, was attempting to live out his dream. He moved from a small town to New York City to start a career in fashion. To make ends-meet, Andrew worked at a local bakery. He could barely afford rent and health insurance was out of the question.