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By Christine Vestal
Less than a year after low-income Arkansans started receiving health coverage under the Affordable Care Act’s controversial Medicaid expansion, the state is declaring its so-called “private option” experiment a success.
Hospitals saw fewer uninsured patients, state coffers were spared millions in health care costs and private insurers reported record-low premium hikes.
Most important, Arkansas’ uninsured rate fell from 23 percent to 12 percent, the sharpest drop in the country.
Arkansas calls its ‘private option’ Medicaid plan a success, and early estimates indicate next year’s insurance rates in the state will be an average of 2 percent lower than this year.
Meanwhile, other states are customizing their own alternative approaches to expanding Medicaid to cover adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($16,105 for an individual). Continue reading
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which supports the supported Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has launched a new mobile-friendly website, shoptobaccofree.org, that will allow shoppers to take their business to retailers that don’t sell tobacco products.
Plug in your ZIP code, city or state, and you’ll get a handy interactive map showing where to find tobacco-free shops and stores in your area.
A Seattle-area nurse being monitored for possible Ebola infection has shown no sign of the disease and is voluntarily restricting her movements to minimize the risk to others, health officials say.
Editors note: Even if a person has contracted Ebola, they are not contagious if they do not have symptoms.
What would happen if you ended the tax credits that subsidize premiums for health insurance purchased on the exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act?
Or ended the requirement that everyone buy insurance or pay a fine — the much maligned individual mandate?
The RAND Corporation, a non-partisan research organization, looked at how various tweaks to Obamacare would likely play out.
Some of their key findings:
Eliminating the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) tax credits would cause large declines in enrollment and substantial increases in premiums.
Without the ACA’s premium support, premiums rise by nearly 45 percent, and enrollment falls by nearly 70 percent.
Without the ACA’s individual mandate, the number of people enrolled in the individual market falls by more than 20 percent, and premiums rise by about 7 percent.
To learn more read their study: Assessing Alternative Modifications to the Affordable Care Act
Microsoft billionaire and philanthropist Paul G. Allen today increased his commitment to efforts to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to at least $100 million and called on the global community to join the cause.
“The Ebola virus is unlike any health crisis we have ever experienced and needs a response unlike anything we have ever seen,” Allen said. “To effectively contain this outbreak and prevent it from becoming a global epidemic, we must pool our efforts to raise the funds, coordinate the resources and develop the creative solutions needed to combat this problem. I am committed to doing my part in tackling this crisis.”
To help individuals contribute to the effort, Allen has created crowd-sourcing website — TackleEbola.com.
The donation platform is designed to coordinate and optimize individual global giving, Allen said
Donations of all sizes will go to funding the solutions required to treat, contain and prevent the spread of Ebola.
Donors will be able to select the need that they are most interested in funding and 100 percent of that contribution will be applied to that need.
The site also offers a way for donors to view the impact of their combined contributions with updates on progress towards goals.
By Millie Dawson
Health Behavior News Service
Nearly half of Americans age 65 and older, totaling about 18 million people, require help with routine daily activities like bathing, handling medications or meals.
A new study in Milbank Quarterly reveals a growing need for improved services and support for older Americans, their spouses, their children and other “informal caregivers.”
While 51 percent of older Americans in the study reported no difficulty with routine tasks, “29 percent reported receiving help with taking care of themselves or getting around in the previous month,” said co-author Vicki A. Freedman, Ph.D., a research professor with the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.
“Another 20 percent reported that they had difficulty carrying out these activities on their own,” she said.
- Nearly half of Americans age 65 and older require help with routine daily activities such as bathing, meals or taking medications.
- Substantial numbers of older adults living outside of nursing homes experience adverse consequences from unmet care needs.
- There is a growing need for improved community-based services and support for older Americans and their caregivers.
IN THE battle against Ebola, mobile phones could be invaluable—not just in themselves, as devices that can be used to send people public-health information or let them call helplines, but also because of the data they generate.
In the U.S., one in five children struggles with a learning and/or attention issue. That’s 15 million kids ages 3–20, and many of their issues go undiagnosed.
The adults in their lives often have a hard time understanding their issues due to misconceptions and a lack of information and resources.
As a result, these children often face both academic and social challenges.
However, with the right strategies and support, they can succeed in the classroom—and outside of it, too.
This campaign stems from the idea that parents can sense when their children are struggling but may not know why. Or what to do.
By demonstrating the realities that children with learning and attention issues face daily, the campaign aims to increase the number of parents who are actively helping and seeking help for their kids.
Parents are encouraged to visit Understood.org, a comprehensive free online resource that empowers parents through personalized support, daily access to experts and specially designed tools to help the millions of children with learning and attention issues go from simply coping to truly thriving.
Health law? What health law?
Almost nine of 10 uninsured Americans – the group most likely to benefit — don’t know that the law’s second open enrollment period begins Nov. 15, according to a poll released Tuesday.
Two-thirds of the uninsured say they know “only a little” or “nothing at all” about the law’s online insurance marketplaces where they can buy coverage if they don’t get it through their jobs.
Two-thirds of the uninsured say they know “only a little” or “nothing at all” about the law’s online insurance marketplaces.