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.
In most states, the health care sector is among the industry sectors with the largest employment. Health care jobs tend to pay more than a state’s median wages, and growth in this sector can have a positive economic effect on other areas of a state’s economy. Many organizations, ours included, have written about the effects of Medicaid expansion on a state’s economy. Recently, Missouri (a state that has not yet expanded Medicaid) compared its employment growth in the health care sector to that of select Medicaid expansion states.
Open enrollment for the health insurance marketplace begins this November. As a result, health insurers are filing their proposed health insurance premium rates for 2015. To examine how rates may change for consumers buying policies in 2015, we reviewed filings and news reports from 12 states where proposed rates have received media attention. For each state, we looked at overall proposed premium rate changes, which are an average for each insurer. A consumer’s actual premium increase or decrease may be higher or lower than the average depending on age, location, and plan choice.
When student volunteers at the Baltimore Rescue Mission—a free clinic in East Baltimore that serves low-income and homeless individuals—recognized that the clinic was providing a lot of duplicated, unnecessary, and costly services to its patients, they took action. Part of the problem, they recognized, was that it was challenging to keep up-to-date records on such a transient population and that there was little to no record sharing between clinics similar to the Mission.
This blog was written by a guest blogger from Maryland.
I am a 25-year-old underemployed recent college graduate. I received a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Maryland in the spring of 2010. When I graduated, I was offered a full-time position with an engineering firm that had several transportation contracts. As the economy stalled, so did those contracts, and I was laid off in the winter of 2012.
Health Action 2012 got off to a great start with a star-studded opening plenary that included HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, health policy expert Stuart Altman, and Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Donna Edwards (D-MD). As if that wasn't enough excitement, we were lucky enough to be visited by Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley for lunch.
Health insurance is simply out of reach for many Americans. While many jobs offer it, many don’t. Without an offer of coverage from their employer, workers have to navigate the individual market on their own. And it’s tough—especially for those with pre-existing conditions. If they even get an offer of coverage (which they often don’t), it is likely too expensive.
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.
Sometimes you have to hit the streets to make a difference. And sometimes, you have to go a bit further. We're not talking about the usual suspects, like protesting or a two-hour march. We're talking about huge march across three states that will urge Congress to finally push health reform over the finish line.