Health Justice CT

Health Justice CT Blog

Health Disparities Round-Up – April 17, 2015

iStock_000008573116_MediumJust in case you missed it, here’s some of the latest health disparities news, posts and reports from this past week. Survey: Nearly 9 in 10 US adults now have health insurance – “WASHINGTON (AP) — Underlining a change across the nation, nearly 9 out of 10 adults now say they have health insurance, according to an extensive survey released Monday. As recently as 2013, slightly more than 8 out of 10 had coverage. Whether the new number from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index turns out to be a high-water mark for President Barack Obama’s health care law, or a milestone on the path toward his goal of getting virtually all U.S. residents covered, remains to be seen.” >> Read more

Families USA: ACA Enrollment Drives Historic Decline in Uninsurance for Communities of Color – “Health care advocates across the nation are celebrating the milestone of nearly 11.7 million Americans gaining health insurance through the second open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act. At the same time, the latest enrollment numbers from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have led some to characterize enrollment of communities of color as “lagging.” What is getting less attention is the new HHS data showing a huge reduction in the disproportionately high rates of uninsured people of color. Through enrollment in the marketplace, Medicaid expansion, and other provisions, the ACA has contributed to an unprecedented decline in the national uninsurance rate for people of all races and ethnicities. Since the beginning of the first open enrollment period in October 2013, a total of 14.1 million adults gained coverage, reducing the national uninsurance rate to 13.2 percent.” >> Read more

The CT Mirror: Some Obamacare customers will need to file for tax extensions – “Some customers of Connecticut’s health insurance exchange say problems with the exchange-generated forms they need to file their taxes have left them unable to file their taxes just days before the deadline. The tax forms are known as 1095-As and are supposed to go to everyone who purchased a private insurance plan in 2014 through public exchanges like Connecticut’s Access Health CT. On Friday, Access Health CEO Jim Wadleigh said anyone who is having problems related to a 1095-A and has not yet filed a tax return should file for an extension. Here’s more information on what to do.” >> Read more

The New York Times: Health Insurance Shoppers Look to Limited Networks to Save Money – “This year, nearly half of the plans offered on public health care exchanges are so-called narrow network options, which sharply limit the medical providers whose services will be covered, new data shows. Furthermore, nearly a fifth are considered “ultranarrow networks,” which offer even fewer choices. At the same time, more employers are also embracing the plans for their workers, largely as a way to lower health care costs.” >> Read more

USA Today: Many unaware of required tax-time insurance reporting – “The special health insurance enrollment period set up for people surprised by their tax penalties hasn’t appeared to increase either awareness or enrollment by much, new research shows. People who live in the 34 states that use and didn’t know about the requirement to have health insurance can sign up through April 30 for 2015 coverage. But nearly half of people planning to file taxes said they had heard nothing or very little about the requirement to report whether they have insurance on their tax return, according to new research funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.” >> Read more

The Wall Street Journal: Health-Care Law Trips Up Some at Tax Time – “Federal officials said they have been working hard to help people get used to the law’s system of financial help to pay health premiums, and will continue to try to make it easier for them. They said the Treasury Department had estimated the vast majority of people who got tax credits would still have some tax refund, on net.” >> Read more

Kaiser Health News: There May Still Be Time To Save On Health Law’s Tax Penalties – “Even though the April 15 tax filing deadline has passed, you might be eligible for some health law-related changes that may save you money down the road.” >> Read more

Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut: Congress Passed a New Health Care Bill: Here’s What it Does – “For the first time in years, Congress has passed a big, bipartisan health care bill. On Tuesday night, the Senate passed H.R. 2, the Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015, by a vote of 92-8, after it was passed last month in the House by a similarly large margin. The bill garnered the support of Connecticut’s entire congressional delegation and President Obama has signaled that he will sign it.” >> Read more


 Image credit: iStock Photo


About Gina Hernandez

Gina Hernandez is a Program Director at the Society for New Communications Research and has worked 7+ years in the digital communications field. Prior to joining the Society for New Communications Research, Gina worked at re: Imagine group, where she where she led media and blogger outreach and agency research.

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