Health Justice CT

Health Justice CT Blog

Health Disparities Round-Up – February 13, 2015

February 15.Just in case you missed it, here’s some of the latest health disparities news, posts and reports from this past week. After Obamacare Deadline: Obstacles For Latinos Who Want To Use The System – “As the second annual open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act nears its Feb. 15 deadline, organizations such as the Connecticut Health Foundation, the Hispanic Federation and the Hispanic Health Council are looking beyond the immediate need to sign up as many people as possible. These organizations are focusing on longer term issues related to health insurance and well-being of a Latino participation which has a higher rate of uninsured and a greater incidence of some ailments, such as diabetes, than the general population. A major emphasis is on bolstering the dialogue with health-oriented state departments that would accelerate implementation of the federally supported No Wrong Door initiative, increasing the use of community agencies to explain health insurance and to enroll Latinos and other under-served groups in the so-called Obamacare health plans.” >> Read more

CT Mirror: As Obamacare sign-up period winds down, a final push for the uninsured –“ Access Health CT, the state’s health insurance exchange, has been mailing information to 200,000 state residents deemed like to be uninsured and calling many in Hartford – the city with the highest rate of uninsured residents, according to the exchange’s research. “We’re trying to really pull out all the stops,” said Jason Madrak, Access Health’s chief marketing officer. Many people expected this year’s three-month enrollment period to be more challenging than last year’s six-month sign-up blitz, which included enrollment fairs across the state, widespread publicity about the health law’s rollout and millions of dollars in federal funds that helped pay more than 200 people from community organizations to conduct outreach.” >> Read more

Kaiser Health News: Despite Efforts, Latino ACA Enrollment Lags – “Hispanics represent about a third of the nation’s uninsured, and for a number of reasons, signing them up has been harder. According to the latest government statistics, as of Jan. 16, two months into the current open enrollment period, just 10 percent of those who had enrolled in the 37 states served by are Latino. Despite a concerted effort by officials and health law advocates to reach Latinos, that’s up only slightly from 7 percent during the first few months of last year’s enrollment.” >> Read more

The New York Times: Insured, but Not Covered – “The Affordable Care Act has ushered in an era of complex new health insurance products featuring legions of out-of-pocket coinsurance fees, high deductibles and narrow provider networks. Though commercial insurers had already begun to shift toward such policies, the health care law gave them added legitimacy and has vastly accelerated the trend, experts say. The theory behind the policies is that patients should bear more financial risk so they will be more conscious and cautious about health care spending. But some experts say the new policies have also left many Americans scrambling to track expenses from a multitude of sources — such as separate deductibles for network and non-network care, or payments for drugs on an insurer’s ever-changing list of drugs that require high co-pays or are not covered at all.” >> Read more

CNN: Time to close HIV’s racial disparities – “National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, being marked Saturday, is a good moment to reignite the conversation over a crisis that should have ended years ago. Despite representing only 13% of the U.S. population, African-Americans account for nearly half of all new HIV infections each year. True, the impact of HIV varies across the black community — HIV infection rates have declined among injection drug users, black women, and black infants born to seropositive mothers. And new HIV infections among black heterosexual men are stable.” >> Read more

Huffington Post: A New Strategy to Narrow Health Disparities: Humanizing eHealth – “Today 59 percent of people over the age of 65 are online, but they often reject using the Web for their health care, opting for more traditional face-to-face or over the phone “low technology” interactions with their providers. According to a 2014 study, less than a third of Americans age 65 and over use the Web for health information, and just 10 percent of those with low health literacy go online for health-related matters. These findings fly in the face of a boom in information technology use in health care delivery, or eHealth, and raise new concerns about people caught in the digital divide.” >> 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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