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.
King v. Burwell: Where Consumers Losing Tax Credits Could See the Biggest Increases in Premium Payments
The Supreme Court will rule any day now on King v. Burwell, the case that will determine whether premium tax credits remain available in the 34 states in which the federal government runs the health insurance marketplace.
If the Supreme Court rules against the government, more than 6 million people in 34 states would lose access to the premium tax credits they rely on to afford their health insurance. All consumers who rely on tax credits in these states would pay substantially more out of pocket on their monthly premium payments. However, residents of some states and congressional districts would experience much higher spikes in their premium payments if they lose their tax credits.
State infographics illustrate how the damage from a decision against the government in King v. Burwell would be spread throughout the country, from Alaska to Florida. Thousands of people would suddenly face higher premiums in every congressional district in the 34 affected states.
Republicans swept the governor’s races last November, dashing hopes that those who opposed Medicaid expansion would be replaced in 2015. Instead, Republican governors put their alternative proposals on statehouse agendas in the South and the West, pitting them against GOP lawmakers. Some legislative sessions will be wrapping up this month and those Medicaid expansion proposals are generating some political battles, as you’ll see below.
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.
With the close of open enrollment only 10 days away, health insurance marketplaces are planning extra events and longer hours to encourage last-minute signups. Yesterday, as part of our open enrollment teleconference series, we heard from five enrollment leaders in states where the federal government runs the marketplace.
Many states are offering extended hours during the final weekend of open enrollment to make sure as many people as possible get covered.
Health Insurance Marketplace Experts: Savvier Consumers Prioritizing Health Care Needs over Premiums
With the second open enrollment period three weeks under way, we continued our series of talks with enrollment experts and journalists on December 3. Speakers shared how enrollment is unfolding in four of the federally facilitated marketplaces: Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, and Florida. There was general consensus among the experts that the emerging trend for second enrollment is that consumers renewing their coverage are savvier shoppers—thinking about how their health plans will meet their health needs rather than only focusing on the cost of monthly premiums. And they are asking more targeted questions about benefits and providers
Americans want Congress to improve the Affordable Care Act, not repeal it, according to two recent polls from Kaiser Tracking Health and Garin Hart Yang Research Group. But a special election in Florida this week has political analysts looking for clues on how candidates’ views on the Affordable Care Act will play out in midterm elections later this year.
When looking for a spouse, many people look for someone trustworthy, respectful, and kind. Others look for someone with wealth and power. And others, like one Florida rabbi, are just looking for someone with an affordable health care premium.