Communities of color, even once they have insurance, face barriers that can hinder access to those providers. Of those barriers, one of the most notable is the often limited availability of health care providers and facilities in communities of color. Today’s post outlines 10 tactics advocates can use to work with state and federal officials to help address these issues.
Despite the recent epic snowfall in D.C., our congressional leaders and President Barack Obama have continued to work towards a compromise on the health reform bills, in hopes of finding a way to move it across the finish line. Unfortunately, reform has not come quickly enough for many people in California.
Covered California could be the first exchange in the country to sell health insurance to undocumented immigrants and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. The state marketplace is trying to use a Section 1332 “state innovation” waiver to obtain federal approval for a plan to offer coverage to all Californians, regardless of immigration status. While the proposal does not allow undocumented people and DACA recipients to receive financial assistance to help them with the costs of insurance, it is an important step toward universal coverage.
Last Week, Covered California, the health insurance marketplace that California is establishing under the Affordable Care Act, released premium rates for 2014 health insurance plans. Before the release, rumors of “rate shock” were swirling, with predictions of much higher insurance premiums filling the headlines. Now that the rates are out, only opponents of the health care law are experiencing shock. Covered California revealed that, for people of all ages, rates in the marketplace will be much lower than anticipated.
With last month’s Supreme Court ruling affirming that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is here to stay, advocates and decisionmakers can turn to building on the law’s success, such as closing the Medicaid gap, improving the value of care, and eliminating the “family glitch.” Another top priority in this next phase of health reform is making good on the promise of health care for all, regardless of immigration status. Last month, California, the state with the most undocumented immigrants, took a momentous leap in that direction.
In order to get as many uninsured and underinsured Americans as possible signed up for health insurance through the marketplaces, some especially cognizant congressional lawmakers have taken steps to educate, engage, and enroll their constituents. While the Affordable Care Act funds navigators and other programs to help with enrollment, those groups can’t do it alone. Some members of Congress are playing the important role of making sure people know about the new health insurance options.
Over the past two decades, state-based consumer advocates and health care practitioners have worked together to help low-income people—including those living in communities of color or with chronic medical conditions—gain access to health coverage. As more people gained insurance coverage, consumer advocates and health care providers focused their attention on improving the patient’s experience with the health care system.
A new report released last week confirms the findings that enrollment experts emphasized on our teleconference with reporters last Wednesday: We still have a ways to go in getting “hard-to-reach” populations enrolled in health coverage.
Fast-Track Enrollment Could Save Your State Valuable Time, Money, and Staff Resources—All While Increasing the Number of People Who Get Health Insurance
New data from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) demonstrate the marked success of recent enrollment efforts: Since before the first open enrollment period to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has grown by 7.2 million people.
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.