Industry News: Volume 2, Issue 14

30.0 Million People of All Ages Uninsured in U.S. in 2021

By HealthDay

consumer.healthday.com– In 2021, 30.0 million people of all ages were uninsured in the United States, representing a small, but not significant, decrease from 2020, according to early estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 2021, released by the National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Robin A. Cohen, Ph.D., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues used data from the 2021 National Health Interview Survey to present estimates of health insurance coverage for the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. population. In addition, selected trends were examined from 2019 to 2021.

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.

Telemedicine didn’t lag as much as feared for disadvantaged groups

Expanding telemedicine works, a new study in Health Affairs asserts. Researchers who analyzed more than 30 million Medicare claims found that when a pandemic-inspired waiver of restrictions on telemedicine went into effect, telemedicine visits increased 20-fold, improving more for people of color compared to white patients and more for people living in the least advantaged neighborhoods. In March 2020, Medicare allowed all providers, not just those in rural areas, to bill for telemedicine visits and to reduce or drop Medicare coinsurance charges or deductibles. Other research has shown that the pandemic widened health inequities, but this study, using a composite measure of income, education, employment, and housing quality, came to the opposite conclusion. “Our data suggest that the increase in telemedicine coverage has not worsened racial disparities in the Medicare population in the way some investigators feared,” they write.

By The Numbers: New AHIP Resource Illustrates How Employer-Provided Coverage Supports Better Health and Financial Stability

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (April 27, 2022) – Every American deserves affordable, high-quality health coverage that delivers access to proven health care and peace of mind. Employer-provided coverage plays a vital role in protecting the health and financial stability for nearly 180 million hardworking Americans. Today, as part of its Coverage@Work campaign, AHIP released Employer-Provided Health Coverage: State-to-State 2022, a new data resource highlighting the value that employer-provided coverage provides for families and communities across the nation.

“Americans have real choices and real control in the care, coverage, and protection they receive through work,” said Jeanette Thornton, Senior Vice President of Product, Employer, and Commercial Policy at AHIP. “By building on the strength, stability, and success of employer-provided coverage, we can ensure that more Americans have access to the affordable, high-quality care they deserve.”

Employer-Provided Health Coverage provides a state-by-state snapshot of what health insurance providers contribute in terms of:

  • Number of employees covered by employer insurance
  • Number of employees covered by an employer compared to coverage from other sources such as Medicare, Medicaid, or the individual Market
  • Percent of premiums paid by employers
  • Number of jobs the industry generates, both directly and indirectly
  • Number of active physicians financed and community hospitals supported

“Health insurance providers are proud to partner with America’s employers to provide comprehensive health coverage to working families,” Thornton continued. “We’ll continue to offer new and innovative solutions so employers can choose plans that meet the diverse needs of their employees.”

Coverage@Work recently released a one-pager focusing on the people that employer-provided coverage serves. Findings from the issue brief include:

  • Nearly half of Black Americans (47%) are enrolled in employer-provided coverage
  • More than 40% of Hispanic Americans are enrolled in employer-provided coverage
  • About two-thirds of Asian Americans and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders are enrolled in employer-provided coverage
  • 50% of children (age 0-18) in the United States receive health coverage through a parent/guardian’s job
  • 60% of those with incomes between 200-399% of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL) — $20,578 for a family of 3 — are enrolled in employer-provided coverage

View Employer-Provided Health Coverage: State-to-State 2022

View Coverage@Work one-pager, “Who Employer-Provided Coverage Serves”

Read Coverage@Work’s Employer-Provided Coverage Primer

About AHIP

AHIP is the national association whose members provide health care coverage, services, and solutions to hundreds of millions of Americans every day. We are committed to market-based solutions and public-private partnerships that make health care better and coverage more affordable and accessible for everyone. Visit www.ahip.org to learn how working together, we are Guiding Greater Health.

About Coverage@Work

Coverage@Work (C@W) is a campaign to educate policymakers and the public about the value of employer-provided coverage for nearly 180 million Americans. C@W supports and advocates for market-based solutions that advance health, choice, affordability, and value for every American. Learn more at AHIP.org/CoverageAtWork

To view the original press release, click here.

CDC: New Omicron Subvariant Responsible for a Third of New Coronavirus Cases

By Cecelia Smith-Schoenwalder

USNews.com– A new and highly transmissible coronavirus subvariant was responsible for more than a third of coronavirus cases last week, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

BA.2.12.1, which is a subvariant of omicron, caused more than 36% of new infections last week, according to CDC data. That’s up from nearly 27% of cases the week prior and 17% of infections the week before that.

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.

A shortage of health aides is forcing out those who wish to get care at home

By Natalie Krebs

NPR.org— A lot has changed in Jonathan Miller’s life in the past decade, but one thing that’s remained consistent is his house.

The brick two-bedroom, ranch-style house in West Des Moines, Iowa, is filled with Jonathan’s art, photos, puzzles and a substantial collection of University of Iowa gear.

Jon bought the house in 2007, and for three years put a lot of work into the fixer-upper — repairing storm damage, planting trees in the backyard and completely remodeling the interior.

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.

Omicron squeezed hospitals more than health insurers in the first quarter

By Tara Bannow and Bob Herman

STATNews.com— The beginning of 2022 was kinder to health insurers than it was to hospitals.

Many hospitals endured their most financially turbulent period of the pandemic, as the cushion of federal bailout funds faded and labor and supply costs exploded. Conversely, while health insurance companies paid out more to hospitals and doctors than they did a year ago, insurers arguably remain as rich and diversified as every—especially as they dip even further into taxpayer-funded insurance programs.

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.

Worries about the strain on health care grow in the U.S. as hot spots spread and hospitalizations rise

By Adeel Hassan and Sharon Otterman

NYTimes.com— When the coronavirus was in retreat across the United States in late February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new recommendations that veered away from depending on the number of new cases in a community to determine the need for pandemic safety measures.

The focus shifted more toward the number of hospitalized people with the virus. Far more new cases than before would be required to push a community into the medium or high-risk categories.

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.

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