June brought us some encouraging highs and devastating lows in the world of health justice. This month, we remember the lives cut short in the Orlando shooting, who were mostly young LGBTQ people of color, and reflect on the health equity dimensions of the attack. On the positive side, we also have some progress to celebrate.
Thanks to new regulations released by the Obama administration last month, the right to receive health care without discrimination is stronger than ever before. Health justice and health equity advocates across the nation celebrated the long-awaited release of the regulations implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.
In May, the Obama administration released new regulations that prohibit discrimination by health plans, health facilities, and health care programs. The rules implement Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, and build upon existing civil rights law. One important feature of this provision is that individuals who believe they have suffered discrimination when seeking health care can take action.
Things have been pretty busy in the health equity world since last month’s blog. In addition to celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we received news that uninsured rates are the lowest ever (woo-hoo!), Medi-Cal coverage for undocumented children in California became a reality, the long-awaited health anti-discrimination rule was published, as was the rule on Medicaid managed care.
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.
April is National Minority Health Month and this year’s theme, accelerating health equity, reminds us that the quickening pace of change in the health arena provides strategic opportunities to narrow the disparities gaps between people of color and our white friends and neighbors. This month we celebrate the huge coverage gains among immigrants, several state initiatives to remove barriers to immigrant coverage, and Georgia’s big step toward making health insurance provider directories accurate and useful.
Recent actions by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) represent an encouraging recognition–by one of the biggest payers of health care in the nation—that one-size-fits all payment reforms do not benefit everyone equally.
And they raise the question of whether some of these pay-for-performance programs should be adjusted to better address racial and ethnic health disparities.
We know you have a lot going on, and there isn’t always time to read everything. That’s why we’ve rounded up five of our most popular blogs published between January and March of this year.
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.
With a majority of states expanding Medicaid, many more people stand to gain health coverage, including those recently released from jail or prison. States are re-evaluating their policies regarding Medicaid for incarcerated residents.
We’ve taken a closer look at what states have accomplished so far to get a better idea of how this has played out across states. We found that 34 states and the District of Columbia now have some form of policy to suspend Medicaid for people in prison or jail. Here, we explain why more states should adopt this policy.