Communities of Color Have Significantly Expanded Health Insurance Coverage

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Recorded color community The Department of Health and Human Services reported this week that the significant increase in health insurance coverage from 2020 to 2022 was largely due to improved affordability and outreach efforts to attract subscribers. due to an increase.

During that time, coverage for Hispanics increased by 53%, for Blacks by 49%, and for Native Americans by 32% through the Affordable Care Act insurance market.

This report, produced by researchers in the Office of the Undersecretary for Planning and Evaluation at HHS, analyzes market registration trends by race and ethnicity from 2015 to 2022, showed that health insurance coverage has improved across the board over the past two years. Growth in the Black and Latino communities, which have historically had the highest uninsured rates, has outpaced other groups, growing nearly 40% for both groups between 2021 and 2022, the report says.

Still, a gap remains in those who have health insurance, according to the report, with 25.7% of uninsured Latino adults under 65 as of early 2022 compared to 14.8% of blacks and 6.9% of whites. % is being compared.

“This highlights the importance of outreach and enrollment support,” said Cynthia Cox, vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation and director of programs for the ACA. “Hispanic people in particular were not taking advantage of free or reduced compensation, even though they were entitled to it.”

Cost is certainly a barrier to access. But the reasons often go beyond dollars and cents, Cox said, including immigration status, restrictions on internet and computer access, and word-of-mouth information that may not apply to your personal situation. It summarizes the factors of

The ACA is a vast piece of the health care bill that was pushed through the Democratic Congress and has been the cause of partisan warfare ever since.

President Donald Trump has been a fierce opponent of legislation that would allow more low-income people to enroll in public health insurance, and his administration has sought to help consumers who cannot obtain affordable benefits through work. It aimed at the insurance market that was created in Most people who purchase Marketplace plans receive federal subsidies.

The Trump administration has slashed federal funding for advertising, community outreach, and “navigators,” who act as enrollment coaches to help people navigate a complex system of planning and subsidies.

“When the Biden administration came into office, we not only recovered the dollar that was there, but increased it,” said Linda J. Blumberg, a research professor at Georgetown University and an Urban Institute Fellow. I’m here.

This “massive new influx of dollars and aid,” combined with increased subsidies to marketplace shoppers from the American Rescue Plan, means credits have been extended through 2025 by the Inflation Reduction Act. The coverage of the market is … much better,” said Blumberg.

of coronavirus The Relief Act, adopted by Congress in March 2021, includes: First expansion of federal aid Program History ACA Health Plan. The law will increase tax credits on monthly premium payments, allowing people with higher incomes to qualify for assistance.

In August 2021, the Biden administration awarded nearly 60 organizations with $80 million in grants and quadrupled the number of navigators to over 1,500. These navigators have held more than 1,800 outreach events at libraries, vaccination clinics, food drives, county fairs and job fairs, the administration said.

This year, the administration announced nearly $99 million in grants to the same organization. This will allow us to keep staff and hire more people to help consumers find insurance during the 2023 open registration period, which begins Tuesday. healthcare.govis the federal insurance market upon which 33 states rely.

By 2022, 14.5 million people will have health insurance through the insurance market, breaking records. This means that many people will be shopping to renew their insurance for the first time once open enrollment begins.

“One very important thing for people to know is that if they don’t actively shop on November 1st, they will automatically be re-enrolled in the same plan, but the cost varies a lot from year to year. It’s possible,” said Cox. “It’s not just about getting people in the door first, it’s about ensuring they continue to be covered from one year to the next.”

The country’s uninsured rate will reach an “all-time low” in early 2022, according to a federal report. And, according to health policy experts, this is a good thing because it improves access to health care. Not having insurance means your medical needs are less likely to be met. This leads to later diagnosis of illness, poor quality care and exposure to greater financial risk in the event of a medical emergency.

“We have also seen public health emergency provisions that allow new registration periods for those registering through the federal marketplace during the pandemic and provide more flexibility to maintain registration,” he said. Katherine Biker, Dean of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, said: For example, states weren’t allowed to kick someone off Medicaid during the pandemic in exchange for increased federal funding to support public health programs.

“Once the national public health emergency ends, some of these provisions will expire,” Biker said. “This could lead to people canceling their insurance.”

Blumberg of Georgetown said a “substantial percentage” of people would agree to lose their Medicaid coverage once the public health emergency was over, but there was a push to make coverage more affordable in the market. I think I am eligible for the subsidy.

expanded Margaret A. Murray, founder and CEO of the Community Affiliated Plans Association, says it’s annoying because tax credits expire after three years.

“We wanted them to be permanent,” Murray said. The industry organization represents more than 70 nonprofit safety net health plans that provide insurance to more than 20 million people with low-income and complex health needs. While we can’t address some of the health equity issues, we want to make sure people aren’t drawn to junk insurance because of low interest rates.”

Keys are affordable, she said When comprehensive coverage.

“Junk insurance looks affordable,” she said — “until you get sick.”

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