Tag: Medicaid

Health Disparities Narrowed for Blacks, Latinos Under Obamacare, Study Shows

A patient receives chemotherapy. (Simon Jarratt/Corbis/VCG / Getty Images)

by via nbcnews.com

Health care disparities among blacks and Latinos compared to whites have narrowed because of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, according to a study published by The Commonwealth Fund Thursday. The report found that the number of blacks and Latinos without health care coverage dropped during the first two years of the ACA’s coverage expansion.

From 2013 and 2015, the uninsured rate among blacks between ages 19-64 dropped 9 percent, and dropped 12 percent among uninsured Latinos ages 19-64, the study showed. The rate of uninsured whites dropped 5 percent. The disparity among uninsured blacks and whites also narrowed by 4 percent and among Latinos and whites narrowed 7 percent.

Dr. Pamela Riley, vice president of The Commonwealth Fund’s Delivery System Reform and a coauthor of the report, said although the study shows progress in health coverage for everyone, blacks and Latinos are still more likely than whites to not get the medical care they need. “If we are going to reduce these disparities, we must continue to focus on policies like expanding eligibility for Medicaid that will address our health care system’s historic inequities,” Riley said in a statement.

The analysis also found the number of uninsured Latino adults dropped 14 percent in states that expanded Medicaid coverage compared to 11 percent in states that did not. The number of uninsured black adults meanwhile fell 9 percent in states both with and without Medicaid expansion. And because of the decline in the number of uninsured, the number of adults ages 18 and older who reported skipping health care when they needed it because of high costs also declined.

After Senate Republicans failed to “repeal and replace” the current health care law, uncertainty looms around Obamacare’s future once Congress returns to Washington from recess. The Commonwealth Fund’s President Dr. David Blumenthal said improving the ACA will continue to help minorities get access to health care.

To read full article, go to: Health Disparities Narrowed for Blacks, Latinos Under Obamacare, Study Shows – NBC News

As Deadline Looms, Obamacare Has Already Led to Health Coverage for 9.5 Million

obamaWASHINGTON — President Barack Obama‘s healthcare law, despite a rocky rollout and determined opposition from critics, already has spurred the largest expansion in health coverage in America in half a century, national surveys and enrollment data show.

As the law’s initial enrollment period closes, at least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage. Some have done so through marketplaces created by the law, some through other private insurance and others through Medicaid, which has expanded under the law in about half the states.  The tally draws from a review of state and federal enrollment reports, surveys and interviews with insurance executives and government officials nationwide.

The Affordable Care Act still faces major challenges, particularly the risk of premium hikes next year that could drive away newly insured customers. But the increased coverage so far amounts to substantial progress toward one of the law’s principal goals and is the most significant expansion since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.

The millions of newly insured also create a politically important constituency that may complicate any future Republican repeal efforts.  Precise figures on national health coverage will not be available for months. But available data indicate:

• At least 6 million people have signed up for health coverage on the new marketplaces, about one-third of whom were previously uninsured.

• A February survey by consulting firm McKinsey & Co. found 27% of new enrollees were previously uninsured, but newer survey data from the nonprofit Rand Corp. and reports from marketplace officials in several states suggest that share increased in March.

• At least 4.5 million previously uninsured adults have signed up for state Medicaid programs, according to Rand’s unpublished survey data, which were shared with The Times. That tracks with estimates from Avalere Health, a consulting firm that is closely following the law’s implementation.

• An additional 3 million young adults have gained coverage in recent years through a provision of the law that enables dependent children to remain on their parents’ health plans until they turn 26, according to national health insurance surveys from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

• About 9 million people have bought health plans directly from insurers, instead of using the marketplaces, Rand found. The vast majority of these people were previously insured.

• Fewer than a million people who had health plans in 2013 are now uninsured because their plans were canceled for not meeting new standards set by the law, the Rand survey indicates.

Republican critics of the law have suggested that the cancellations last fall have led to a net reduction in coverage.

That is not supported by survey data or insurance companies, many of which report they have retained the vast majority of their 2013 customers by renewing old policies, which is permitted in about half the states, or by moving customers to new plans.

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Republican Resistance of Obamacare Lessens As Implementation Begins

Obamacare

Obamacare supporters react to the U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold President Obama’s health care law, on June 28, 2012 in Washington, DC. Today the high court upheld the whole healthcare law of the Obama Administration. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

This is an easy way for these Republicans to suggest to their party’s base they still oppose Obamacare, but the practical effect is that it gives the Obama administration more power, since the federal government will run the exchange in states where the governor refuses to set one up.

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