COVID-19 Health Equity Data: Race, ethnicity, age, gender and location data is needed to understand how COVID-19 is affecting our more vulnerable populations.
In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started releasing nationwide data showing the race and ethnicity characteristics of COVID-19 cases, although race data was missing in 76% of cases. All states are now reporting some COVID-19 data, but the type and specificity of information that is collected varies considerably across states.
Connecticut reports COVID-19 data by age, gender, race, ethnicity, at the town level and at nursing homes, but not at the zip code level or for health care workers. Just 12 states are reporting by race, ethnicity and zip code or census tract level. Currently, only Mississippi reports deaths broken down by both underlying conditions and race. See State Health and Value Strategies maps for more.
Connecticut’s own Health Equity Solutions was featured in last week’s national SHSV webinar on tracking and taking action to address health disparities. Slides here; recording here. Health Equity Solutions has also published an article on Five Key Questions State Health Officials Can Ask Right Now to Advance Health Equity During COVID-19 Response Efforts and released the analysis of its recent survey and outreach effort to collect information about the impact of COVID-19 and measures to control its spread on underserved communities.
UConn’s Health Disparities Institute is holding a Facebook Live conversation on racial profiling on Wednesday, May 13 at 3 PM with nationally renowned scholar activists, researchers, and policy advisors.
DYK? Maryland Health Connection has an online Household Income Calculator to help applicants determine their Modified Adjusted Gross Income for the year in which they seek health coverage.
How did other states do with their COVID-19 emergency enrollment periods?
How will COVID-19 impact insurers? A recent Wakely Consulting study says COVID-19 could cost US insurers anywhere between $56 billion to $556 billion through the next year. This report comes when health insurers are working on plans to determine their rates for the 2021 benefit year. A different study released in March by actuaries at Covered California estimated the cost of covering testing, treatment, and care for the 170 million Americans in the commercial market anywhere between $34 billion to $251 billion or more in the first year of the pandemic. The Wakely study was commissioned by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).
The US Census Bureau released updated "Small Area Health Insurance Estimates" earlier this month. These graphs breakdown the uninsured population in CT by gender, certain race and ethnicity categories, and income.
Hispanic men under age 65 with income between 138-400% of the federal poverty level show the highest rates of uninsurance, at 21%. Women show lower rates of uninsurance than men, regardless of race, ethnicity or income level.
Generally speaking, people with household income between 138-400% of the federal poverty level qualify for financial help for health insurance coverage through Access Health CT. The tab showing uninsured population with income at or below 400% FPL also includes people who are eligible for Medicaid (Husky in CT).
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Texas v. US is due any time. The case on the ACA was argued in July before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Now that open enrollment is winding down in most states, will the decision finally be released? Which ever way it goes, surely it will be appealed to the US Supreme Court.
This is the case that appeals a federal trial court judge’s decision in Dec 2018 that the individual mandate and the entire ACA are invalid now that the tax penalty for being uninsured was dropped to zero. Currently, 18 states, led by Texas, claim the ACA is unconstitutional. 21 states, led by California, are defending the ACA. The federal government also now claims the whole ACA is unconstitutional. Previously, the US Supreme Court said that the tax penalty is what made the mandate and the ACA permissible because Congress has the power to tax.
Timothy Jost and @commonwealthfnd have a good explainer at http://bit.ly/36zTzu7.