Category: Healthcare Reform

Increasing COVID Costs for Uninsured Could Fuel Next Surge

We have been discussing the costs associated with COVID-19 for nearly two years. Earlier this year, we covered how the ongoing pandemic has affected employment and insurance status of millions of Americans. Now federal funds for vaccines, testing, and treatment of the novel coronavirus have run out and additional funding has failed to pass through Congress, leaving the 28 million uninsured Americans responsible for paying the costs themselves.

For most of the public health crisis even uninsured patients could receive free preventative vaccines, tests to detect the coronavirus, and treatment if infected. Unfortunately, this information hadn’t been widely circulated leading to many to not seeking necessary care — with sometimes tragically fatal results. Slow vaccination rates have even been partly caused by patients thinking they’d be charged for it. Despite an average of 30,000 new cases in the United States each day, uninsured patients have begun to be turned away from testing sites if they’re unable to cover the $100-$200 cost.

People without health insurance have been at a

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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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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.