Saturday, June 22, 2024

Community Health Care Coverage Sees Historic Gains in Minority Communities under Biden-Harris Administration

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Community Health Care has released five new reports indicating significant advancements in health care coverage, particularly among minority communities, following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) provisions, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced. These reports underscore the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to enhancing access to affordable, quality healthcare, especially in underserved areas. Notably, the Inflation Reduction Act’s tax breaks have played a crucial role in reducing health care costs and improving affordability. Additionally, HHS announced a historic $500 million investment in Navigators, who assist individuals in signing up for healthcare, particularly in neglected communities.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra emphasized the administration’s dedication to ensuring equitable health care access for all, regardless of ethnicity. He highlighted the substantial progress made in reaching Black, Latino, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, and American Indian and Alaskan Native populations, who have historically faced higher rates of uninsurance. Neera Tanden, White House Domestic Policy Advisor, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing President Biden’s commitment to universal health care as a fundamental right.

Highlighting Community Engagement and Improved Survival Outcomes in Health Care Equity Gains

CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure highlighted the pivotal role of community engagement in achieving historic health equity gains. The administration’s comprehensive approach, including substantial investments in Marketplace outreach, has resulted in improved coverage accessibility for millions of Americans in underserved communities.

The reports provide detailed insights into the decline in uninsurance rates among minority communities between 2010 and 2022. For instance, the uninsured rate decreased significantly among Black Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and American Indians and Alaska Natives during this period.

In addition to the reports, HHS announced a substantial investment of $500 million over the next five years in Navigators, who have played a vital role in facilitating healthcare enrollment, particularly in underserved areas. These Navigators have contributed to the record-breaking number of individuals – 21.4 million – enrolling in health care coverage through the Marketplaces during the 2024 Open Enrollment Period.

Health Care

Navigator Program Boosts Health Care Enrollment and Equity in Underserved Communities

The effectiveness of Navigators is evident from the significant enrollment numbers in underserved communities in 2024. Notably, Latino Americans, Black Americans, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and American Indians and Alaska Natives have benefited from the Navigator program, demonstrating its impact in addressing healthcare disparities.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will distribute the $500 million investment over the next five years, with $100 million allocated for the first 12-month budget period. This substantial investment underscores the administration’s commitment to improving health care access and equity across diverse communities, building on past investments in the Navigator program.

 

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Resource: Health and Human Services, June 07, 2024

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