In late 2015, Lori was in desperate need of cardiology care for her heart condition. Lori was out of money and uninsured. And she lived in Virginia, which has refused to expand Medicaid. Her story illustrates the plight of uninsured people who fall into the coverage gap--ineligible for regular Medicaid but can't afford private insurance.
In addition to enrolling consumers in marketplace insurance, assisters can serve another valuable role: helping consumers register to vote. Applications for health coverage, whether through HealthCare.gov and state-based marketplaces, provide clients with access to voter registration, which makes it easy for assisters to help people register to vote. Here’s what assisters should know about voter registration and how they can help consumers navigate this process.
Planned Parenthood provides essential health care services to 2.7 million women, men, and young people across the country, the large majority of whom have low incomes or live in underserved communities. Recent efforts at the federal and state levels to defund this critical provider would jeopardize access to comprehensive health care for millions of Americans.
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.
The next big debate over the Affordable Care Act is looming. States are already planning for changes they'd like to make to the ACA using the new 1332 state innovation waivers. Beginning in 2017, the ACA permits states to apply for waivers to begin experimenting with strategies to provide residents with access to high-quality, affordable health insurance. But whether these new strategies will be helpful or harmful is still anyone’s guess.
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.
Lack of access to dental care is a significant problem in American health care. Last week, USA Today reported that the number of adults seeking help in the emergency room for “long-delayed dental care” has doubled since 2000. This finding highlights data we released in May showing that dental care is one of the most persistent unmet health care needs for many adults.
Dr. Mary Williard, a mother and a dentist working in Alaska Native communities, describes how our broken dental care system brought her adopted daughter into her life for the first time. And, how an innovation she has made her life's work could change the way we provide dental care to the millions in the United States, like her daughter, who have suffered without it.
In just 10 years, dental therapists in Alaska have been able to expand dental care to 40,000 people here who couldn’t get that care before. They are so effective because they work with dentists as part of a team to bring dental care to communities that dentists can’t get to very often.
Across the country, there is tremendous momentum to change how health care is delivered and paid for in order to improve quality and to curb costs. These initiatives to transform the health system have the potential to improve care for everyone, and could directly address health disparities. Advocates must actively engage in these reform efforts—both to protect communities of color from harm and to take maximum advantage of opportunities to transform health care delivery to better serve people of color.
One of the most significant and popular features of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the new protection that puts an end to insurance company discrimination against people with pre-existing health conditions. This important ACA protection depends on two other provisions that keep coverage affordable: premium subsidies and the coverage mandate.