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Health Disparities Round-Up – March 27, 2015

Just in case you missed it, here’s some of the latest health disparities news, posts and reports from this past week. On 5th anniversary of health care law, no end to debate – “Then: 49.9 million people were uninsured in 2010, according to the Census Bureau. Now: That’s down significantly, to somewhere between 30 million and 40 million people. The administration recently estimated that 16.4 million adults have gained insurance since the law’s coverage provisions took effect. Measuring differently, data from a large daily survey called the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index suggests a more modest impact: The uninsured rate dropped from 16.3 percent in early 2010 to 12.3 percent this year among adults 18-64, which translates to about 9.7 million fewer uninsured.” >> Read more

The Washington Post: How does Obamacare help low-income diabetes patients? First, it finds them. – “People in the more than two dozen states that expanded Medicaid under the health-care law are far more likely to be newly diagnosed with diabetes than those in states that did not expand Medicaid, according to a study being published Monday. The increased access to Medicaid, the state-federal program for the poor and disabled, resulted in more people getting tested for and diagnosed with one of the most prevalent and treatable chronic conditions in the United States, said the researchers from Quest Diagnostics, a private clinical laboratory.” >> Read more

The New York Times: Health Care Systems Try to Cut Costs by Aiding the Poor and Troubled – “More than 11 million Americans have joined the Medicaid rolls since the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act went into effect, and health officials are searching for ways to contain the costs of caring for them. Some of the most expensive patients have medical conditions that are costly no matter what. But a significant share of them — so-called super utilizers like Mr. Pate — rack up costs for avoidable reasons. Many are afflicted with some combination of poverty, homelessness, mental illness, addiction and past trauma.” >> Read more

Huffington Post: CDC: Uninsured Drop by 11M Since Passage of Obama’s Law – “WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of uninsured U.S. residents fell by more than 11 million since President Barack Obama signed the health care overhaul five years ago, according to a pair of reports Tuesday from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although that still would leave about 37 million people uninsured, it’s the lowest level measured in more than 15 years. The most dramatic change took place in comparing 2013 with the first nine months of 2014. As the health care law’s major coverage expansion was taking effect, the number of uninsured people fell by 7.6 million over that time.” >> Read more

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation: Repayments and Refunds: Estimating the Effects of 2014 Premium Tax Credit Reconciliation – “In January 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) began making federal premium tax credits available to eligible individuals who purchased health coverage through exchanges, or Marketplaces.  These subsidies are a centerpiece of the law and are designed to provide financial assistance to millions of Americans who could not otherwise afford health coverage. Taxpayers may claim a premium tax credit for themselves and other family members based on their income for the year.  An individual or family may also elect to receive an advance premium tax credit (APTC) based on projected household income.  Projected income may be based on previous income history and may be documented with the most recent available tax return or with other evidence of income.  These advance credits are an estimate and must be reconciled based on actual income when people file their taxes.  People who received an overpayment of the premium tax credit (for example, due to an unexpected increase in income midyear) have to repay some of or the entire amount overpaid when they file their taxes. Conversely, people who received an underpayment of the tax credit may get a refund when reconciling their advance payments with their actual annual income and subsidy eligibility.” >> Read more Insuring Undocumented Residents Could Help Solve Multiple U.S. Health Care Challenges – “Latinos are the largest ethnic minority group in the United States, and it’s expected that by 2050 they will comprise almost 30 percent of the U.S. population. Yet they are also the most underserved by health care and health insurance providers. Latinos’ low rates of insurance coverage and poor access to health care strongly suggest a need for better outreach by health care providers and an improvement in insurance coverage. Although the implementation of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 seems to have helped (approximately 25 percent of those eligible for coverage under the ACA are Latino), public health experts expect that, even with the ACA, Latinos will continue to have problems accessing high-quality health care.” >> Read more

Easton Courier: Affordable Care Act marks fifth anniversary – “In Connecticut, 552,603 residents have obtained health coverage through Access Health CT since it was launched in October 2013, reducing the state’s uninsured rate almost in half to 4 percent. During the most recent enrollment period, which ended Feb. 15, Access Health CT enrolled 204,358 new enrollees statewide. In addition, 110,095 Connecticut residents purchased health plans sold by insurance companies, and 442,508 enrolled in Medicaid.” >> Read more



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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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