NIH OFFICIALLY DESIGNATES PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AS A HEALTH DISPARITIES POPULATION
This week, the National Institutes of Health officially designated people with disabilities as a health disparities population, marking a huge win for disability populations, advocates, and researchers. “Disability advocates have pushed for the inclusion of people with disabilities as a health disparity population for years. With more targeted research, we’ll be better able to identify and remove barriers to health access and improve outcomes for millions of people,” said Karl Cooper, Executive Director of AAHD.
As of September 28, over 7.5 million Medicaid enrollees have lost coverage, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. 37% of those who completed the renewal process were disenrolled and 12.4 million enrollees were able to qualify for renewed coverage. The large range of disenrollment rates in each state varies, with the highest of 69% being in Texas and the lowest of 14% in Maine and Oregon. Out of all states with available data, 73% of all those disenrolled were due to procedural reasons.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) continues to run their fall Beyond the Basics webinar series which provides training for assisters to prepare. The next webinar will be on October 3 and will cover how health insurance plans work as well as an overview of the different types of cost-sharing charges consumers may encounter. For a complete list of the dates and times for the entire webinar series, check out our news item which also has links for the slides and video recording of webinars which have been archived.
Young Invincibles are hosting an October Assister Webinar series with four webinars focused on outreach for navigators. The first webinar on October 5 will cover navigation of the CMS’s assister certification training program. The second webinar on October 12 will discuss health insurance literacy, the third webinar on October 19 will provide in person and digital outreach strategies. Finally, the last webinar on October 26 will look at reaching out to marginalized communities.
CMS is providing states with temporary waivers to address the need of additional state compliance tools during the Medicaid Unwinding. The Kaiser Family Foundation’s policy watch broke down number of waivers used by states into: increased ex-parte renewal (47 states), support enrollees with renewal form submission (44 states), facilitate reenrollment following a procedural disenrollment (31 states), and the use of other waivers (26 states).
On September 26, the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Department of Education celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act, which set the foundation for the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, in addressing access and equity for people with disabilities and prohibiting discrimination based off of a person’s disability.
As a government shutdown could potentially occur in the next few weeks, almost half of CMS’s workforce could be furloughed. Medicaid state eligibility workers should not be impacted by this, continuing renewals and required reinstatements, however monthly data and technical assistance on the unwinding could be delayed, as reported by Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families.
The Commonwealth Fund published an issue brief on the prospective impacts that continuous eligibility would have for adult Medicaid enrollees. This publication projected that if all states adopted 12-month continuous eligibility for adults, 451,000 more adults could be enrolled in Medicaid and total health care spending could decrease by $1.8 billion in 2023, with greater health outcomes due to continuous healthcare access and coverage.
The Modern Medicaid Alliance released information, toolkits, and resources with partners to ensure that Medicaid enrollees and their families can navigate through the redeterminations process. The goal of these outreach strategies is to support the transition in healthcare coverage for those who rely on Medicaid.
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