Health Justice CT

Health Justice CT Blog

Health Disparities Round-Up – March 13, 2015

iStock_000012514736LargeJust in case you missed it, here’s some of the latest health disparities news, posts and reports from this past week.

Modern Healthcare: Exchange enrollment sees limited progress with youth, minorities – “Nearly 11.7 million consumers have now elected or were automatically re-enrolled into plans on federally operated or state-based insurance exchanges, while the percentage of under-35 enrollees was essentially unchanged from the prior year, said HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell and other agency officials Tuesday. That figure includes 8.84 million using the platform and 2.85 million in 14 state-based exchanges. The total is expected to increase because a special enrollment period from March 15 to April 30 is scheduled to help consumers avoid tax penalties for not obtaining health insurance coverage this year. Some states are also offering additional time to enroll.” >> Read more

The New York Times Upshot: A Roadmap for How Many People Could Lose Their Health Insurance – “So how many people in how many states could be affected by the big Supreme Court case about Obamacare’s insurance subsidies? Good question. A combination of data problems and legal ambiguities make some basic facts about the case difficult to summarize easily. Last week, news media coverage included widely ranging numbers of people who could lose their insurance and where they live. Here’s why it’s hard to estimate. We don’t know how many states a decision will affect.” >> Read more

The CT Mirror: Enrollment rose, but age distribution stayed the same in CT exchange – “Although enrollment in private health plans sold through Connecticut’s health insurance exchange rose by 37 percent this year, the age distribution of customers was virtually unchanged, according to data released by the federal government Tuesday. As in 2014, 30 percent of those who signed up for private coverage this year through the exchange, Access Health CT, were ages 55 to 64. The percentage of private insurance customers in the coveted 18 to 34 age group inched up, barely – from 25 percent in 2014 to 25.6 percent in 2015.” >> Read more

Medical Xpress: Race/ethnicity sometimes associated with overuse of medical care – “Racial and ethnic disparities in the receipt of health care (typically referring to minorities not receiving needed care) are well known. A recent review in the journal Milbank Memorial Quarterly has now found that while race/ethnicity is not consistently associated with the overuse of medical care (unnecessary care that does not improve patient outcomes). However, when overuse occurs, a substantial proportion occurs among white patients. These findings may lead to a better understanding of how and why race/ethnicity might be associated with overuse and may result in ways to reduce it from occurring.” >> Read more Decision in health care case would not disrupt state exchange – “A Supreme Court ruling in favor of plaintiffs opposed to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, might severely gut health insurance in states without their own health care exchanges, but would do little to Connecticut’s Access Health CT.” >> Read more

Kaiser Family Foundation: Consumer Assets and Patient Cost Sharing – “Higher cost sharing in private insurance has been credited with helping to slow the growth of health care costs in recent years. Plans with higher deductibles and other point of service costs provide health plan enrollees with incentives to make more cost conscious health care choices. For families with limited resources, however, high cost sharing can be a potential barrier to care and may lead these families to significant financial difficulties. Many current policies expose individual enrollees to thousands of dollars in cost sharing expenses and family expenses can easily top ten thousand dollars when someone becomes seriously ill. While concerns about cost sharing are not new, the recent coverage expansions under the ACA put a new focus on what it means for coverage to be affordable. The goal of the law was to cover more of the uninsured, many of whom have limited means. The law requires most people to have health insurance, if they can afford to pay the premium, or to pay a penalty. The issue for some families, however, is that the policies with affordable premiums may have cost sharing requirements that would be difficult for them to meet when they access services.” >> Read more


Image credit: iStockPhoto, contributed by hjalmeida

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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