Category: Healthcare Reform

How the Pandemic Affects Insurance Rates and Costs

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives. While the economy has been a frequent topic of fallout throughout the ongoing pandemic in the United States, the reality for lives of workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic is often overlooked or erroneously blamed on an unwillingness to work

Roughly 9.6 million American workers lost their jobs in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing the unemployment rate from 3.8% in 2019 to 8.6% in 2020. Not only did 23% of those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic not have employer-provided health insurance prior to being laid off, as many as 56% of those who remain unemployed lost their health insurance along with their jobs. Of those still unemployed:

  • 81% remain uninsured;
  • 58% are no longer receiving routine care;
  • 56% are no longer taking prescribed medications;
  • 46% have delayed planned medical procedures;
  • 44% are not seeking treatment for chronic conditions; and 
  • 41% have stopped receiving mental health treatment.

Most Americans could be easily overwhelmed by medical expenses. Only 39% of Americans can afford an unexpected $1,000 bill. Nearly 84% of uninsured Americans could be financially devastated in the event of a medical emergency. More than a third of adults in the U.S. have growing medical debt — even with health insurance.

Even while COVID-19

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Open Enrollment for 2022 Coverage

The Affordable Care Act (ACA; aka Obamacare) Health Insurance Marketplace is set to begin its tenth Open Enrollment period today. American healthcare consumers can sign up on the federal insurance exchange at healthcare.gov or through their state marketplaces. In recent years there has been increased confusion surrounding Open Enrollment due to changes (and attempted changes) made to the ACA under the Trump administration, though President Biden has reversed some of the harmful changes that led to the first increases in U.S. uninsured rate since 2014 and largest single-year increase since 2008

When Obama was president and launched the ACA, the Open Enrollment period ran 90 days beginning November 1 and running until the end of January. Trump cut Open Enrollment to 45 days along with outreach budgets his first year in office, limiting access to assistance and information for those in need. President Biden has set Open Enrollment to 75 days — now running from November 1 to January 15 — and reinstated funding and navigator requirements. The

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Health Benefits of Organized Labor

Labor Day is a national holiday to recognize and honor the American labor movement and the contributions of organizers and laborers to the development and achievements of the United States. Today, one out of every ten workers in the U.S. is a member of a labor union. Labor unions not only advocate for healthy and safe work environments; they improve the lives and promote the health of workers, their families, the community, and public health.

The labor movement has led the charge to protect working people from workplace injury, illness, and death since the Industrial Revolution. Unions in the United States have historically promoted and fought for healthy working conditions, safety and wellness programs, medical insurance, and democratic participation with support from organizations such as the American Public Health Association. Both labor unions and public health organizations intervene in the conditions that make people healthy through socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental conditions as well as individual choices, social and community networks.

Union workers are

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The Affordable Care Act in 2021

According to reported statistics, more than a half million people have used the healthcare exchange/marketplace created by The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) to obtain health insurance under the Biden administration. This is possible due to the expanded open enrollment in 2021 which continues until August 15, 2021.

With the ACA often misunderstood/maligned and the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in millions of people losing their health insurance, especially vulnerable minority communities, we wanted to review what the ACA is really all about.

The ACA was enacted in 2010 to ensure access to adequate/minimum value affordable healthcare, protect consumers from insurance companies, and attempt to distribute medical costs more evenly. It is commonly referred to as Obamacare after it was championed and signed into law by President Barack Obama.

In 2021, employee-based healthcare is considered to be affordable if your insurance premiums are less than

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LGBTQIA Healthcare in the United States

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) people are members of every community. They are diverse, come from all walks of life, include people of all races and ethnicities, all ages, all socioeconomic statuses, and from all parts of the country. The healthcare needs of LGBTQIA people are sometimes unique and often overlooked, contributing to health disparities experienced by vulnerable populations.

Experts report that LGBTQIA people often avoid seeking out medical care or refrain from “coming out” to their healthcare provider . This compromises an entire community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and asexual people who are at increased risk for several health threats when compared to heterosexual or cisgender peer groups

  • Gay men are at higher risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections; 
  • Lesbians and bisexual women are less likely to get cancer screenings; 
  • Transgender people are among the least likely to have health insurance along with risks from hormone replacement and atypical cancers; 
  • Intersex people (people born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the binary definitions of female or male) often have trouble finding doctors familiar enough with their bodies to provide appropriate care, or even filling out forms/paperwork with only binary gender options
  • Asexual people (people with little-to-no sexual attraction towards others) commonly have aspects of their care neglected by providers

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) had helped over 10 million Americans gain insurance during the Obama administration, including many LGBTQIA people. The ACA

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About Us

Welcome to the NeedyMeds Voice! We look forward to presenting you with timely, provocative pieces on healthcare reform, patient advocacy, medication and healthcare access, and other health-related news. Our goals are to educate, enlighten, and elucidate; together, we will try to make sense of the myriad and ongoing healthcare-related changes in the U.S. today.