This week’s reads cover a rise in the rate of uninsured children, how technology may advance health equity, an unexpected trend in association health plans, and more.
A Georgetown University report shows the number of kids without health insurance grew by 276,000 in 2017. That’s the first time in years that the number grew. “Our nation is going backwards on insuring kids and it is likely to get worse,” Joan Alker, the study’s co-author, told Kaiser Health News.
Dr. Derek Robinson, the chief medical officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, recently shared how he thinks technology and startups can play a role in advancing health equity. Read the full interview.
When the Trump administration expanded access to association health plans this year, it worried some experts. The plans allow small businesses and people who are self-employed to come together to purchase health insurance. The plans don’t have to follow some of the ACA’s guidelines protecting consumers. However, Modern Healthcare reports, early versions of the plans claim to comply with the rules anyway, such as covering essential health benefits as defined by the ACA.
This open enrollment season, health insurance executive Kevin Cassidy urges everyone to get actively engaged with their coverage and care. Two ways to do that? Think of health care as a financial investment and consider the role health benefits play in long-term well-being, says Cassidy, president of employer solutions for Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Read more in his LinkedIn article.
The Trump administration finalized new rules allowing some employers — mostly religious organizations, nonprofits and small businesses — to opt out of covering birth control at no cost to health plan members. Under the Affordable Care Act, most employers must cover birth control as a preventive service. The Associated Press has more.