Photo: via photopin (license)More communities are looking for ways to close the health care gap in 2016.
Perhaps 2016 will be the year of the gap – tackling the issue of the working poor who fall between Medicaid and subsidized health insurance on the health care exchanges.
While the Affordable Care Act allowed for the expansion of the Medicaid – the joint federal-state insurance program for the poor – 31 states have broadened the program, while 16 states have not, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. That can leave many of the working poor in some states effectively still uninsured. Continue reading
Photo: Vee via Flickr
Geography, race and income matter when it comes to frailty, according to a new study from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Women and the poor are more likely to be frail, and older people in southern states more that three times likely to be frail than those in western states. Additionally, blacks and Hispanics were nearly twice as likely to be frail than whites, researchers concluded. Continue reading
In the wake of last month’s Supreme Court ruling on marriage, same-sex married couples in all 50 states should now qualify for financial protection against impoverishment under Medicaid if one of them goes into a nursing home.
Before the high court’s decision, spousal financial protection rules were unavailable to same-sex couples if their state of residence did not recognize their marriage. With a semi-private room in a nursing home costing $80,000 a year, many couples can easily wipe out all their assets without such protection. Continue reading
Images streaming from the recent unrest in Baltimore showed parts of a city in flames, buildings in ruins and turmoil in the streets following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray April 19 while in police custody.
Less visible – perhaps with the exception of a burned and looted CVS – are the scars of limited access to health care in a city with deep pockets of poverty.
A city on the brink
First, a look at the big picture in Baltimore, Maryland’s biggest city with roughly 623,000 residents and glaring disparities in crime rates, income, education, housing – and health.
Image: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). US Health Map. Seattle, WA: IHME, University of Washington, 2014. (Accessed 4/14/2015)
The impact of “income inequality” has been given a closer examination since the recession and is teeing up as a potential catchphrase in the 2016 election.
While poorer pockets of the United States is a well-known factor that can lead to poor health (among other issues), less clear has been the ramifications of living somewhere home to both the wealthy and those the low-income, thus creating a gap. Continue reading
The rumblings in Tennessee started earlier this year, after a new company took over the contract to provide dental services to the state’s children covered by Medicaid.
Now the state dental association, a number of black dentists, a youth-home operator and at least one angry grandmother are weighing in against the Boston-based dental benefits giant DentaQuest. They claim the company is making it harder for poor kids in the state to get dental care.
The Tennessean’s Tom Wilemon captured the mood in a June 6 story, “Complaints Mount about TennCare Dental Provider:” Continue reading