States are leading the way in improving how health care is paid for and delivered. Consumer advocates are integral to these reform efforts. Their participation can help ensure that reforms protect and improve consumers' access to high-quality care. While advocates often find it difficult to get involved in these discussions, the State Innovation Model (SIM) grant program gives consumer advocates an opportunity to weigh in on reforms in their states.
From February 4-6, 2016, the Health Action Conference—one of the nation’s largest gatherings of consumer health care advocates—will bring people together from across the country to prepare for the crucial work of improving access to affordable, high-quality health care. Registration begins November 1.
The Medicaid program is a reliable source of funding for states that bolsters their economies. Medicaid allows states to do more to meet their residents’ health care needs than they could do on their own.
Last week, the federal government, for the first time, announced far-reaching regulations banning discrimination in health care. With this historic action, the government is prohibiting discrimination in the provision of health care services based on sex and gender identity. The new regulations announced by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also expand existing discrimination bans on the basis of disability or health status, race, national origin, age, or language spoken.
With a majority of states expanding Medicaid, many more people stand to benefit, including people recently released from incarceration. States are re-evaluating their policies regarding the Medicaid coverage of incarcerated residents. Here we explain why states should adopt policies that make it easier to keep the justice-involved population enrolled in coverage and offer ideas for working with your state to implement those policies.
On September 2, HHS announced grants to organizations from 34 states to deliver the in-person assistance that has proven essential to the enrollment process. We congratulate all those who received funding and applaud HHS for continuing to support these critical positions. One big change this year is that HHS awarded the grants for three years, with 12-month budget cycles. This shift to three-year funding brings stability to enrollment assisters in the 34 states that receive federal funding for navigators.
Across the country, states are experimenting with new health delivery models aimed at strengthening primary care and addressing social service needs that can affect a patient’s overall health. Both community health workers and enrollment assisters can serve an important role in this work by connecting clients with services that enable them to access care and manage their health.
Communities of color face significant health disparities and are more likely to suffer from certain chronic conditions, like diabetes, where early detection and treatment could mean the difference between life and death. One way to improve the odds for people with these conditions is to increase access to services, like necessary medications or periodic medical tests, that prevent the progression of, or complications from, those diseases.
Unfortunately for many lower-income consumers with high-deductible health insurance plans, the out-of-pocket expense of this essential care is well beyond their financial reach, causing them to forgo care.
Two recent reports illustrate how residents of Kentucky are benefiting from Medicaid expansion. Not only has the state experienced one of the largest drops in its uninsured rate in the country, it's also seen a substantial increase in Medicaid enrollees’ use of preventive health care.
Last week’s Gallup poll indicates that states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act saw larger decreases in their uninsured rates than states that did not. This coverage means access to care, which includes preventive services that help keep people healthy and health care costs low.
Thousands of enrollment assisters across the country have worked tirelessly to help consumers sign up for coverage, often under stressful circumstances with little support. These assisters typically work independently in their communities, and it’s important to prevent them from feeling isolated or burned out. This blog shares creative ways that organizations can support and motivate enrollment assisters.