With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, more Americans can afford quality health insurance. However, having health insurance does not always equal having access to high-quality health care. This is especially true for people of color, who historically have had to grapple with racial and ethnic health disparities. Many people of color continue to face barriers to obtaining high-quality health care, and our nation’s health is closely tied to addressing these obstacles.
What makes up an “adequate” network of health care providers for consumers from diverse racial and ethnic groups? Our new brief describes policies to help achieve such networks—and strategies to put these policies in place.
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 next open enrollment period begins on November 15, and navigator and assister programs are already gearing up to help consumers apply for new coverage or renew existing coverage. During the first open enrollment period, which ran for six months, navigators and assisters were inundated with requests for help from consumers. Demand was so great that staffers were often overwhelmed, and all available appointments were booked. Several state assistance programs found that using volunteers allowed their programs to reach and help more consumers.
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.
Breaking: HHS Announces September 5 Deadline for Immigration Document Submission in Order to Avoid Marketplace Health Insurance Termination
September 5, 2014 is the deadline to send documents to the marketplace for people with inconsistencies in the documents that they submitted to verify immigration and citizenship status. Those who miss the deadline will lose their health coverage and have to pay back any federal financial help they received.
Find out how certain racial and ethnic health disparities are undermining our communities and our health system.
This graphic compares how financial assistance for out-of-pocket health care costs changes when individuals move into Medicare from health insurance marketplace coverage or their state’s expanded Medicaid program.
From screening prospective clients to guiding consumers through the application process, volunteers are helping navigator and assister programs with enrollment efforts.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) improved insurance affordability and access for all Americans, including those eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, and private coverage offered through the health insurance marketplace. It strengthened Medicare in many ways — by closing the Part D prescription drug doughnut hole, offering free preventive services, and extending the life of the Medicare trust fund. However, the ACA’s improvements to Medicaid and private market insurance highlight longstanding shortfalls in programs that assist low-income Medicare beneficiaries with their health care costs.