5 Things to Read on Health Care Access

This week’s health care access reads cover the characteristics of the uninsured, what an insurance coverage lapse can mean for people with Type 1 diabetes, what would happen if states created their own individual mandates, and more.

Diabetics face ‘serious consequences’ when they lose health coverage

It’s bad news when people with Type 1 diabetes lose private insurance coverage, a recent study in Health Affairs found. If they experienced an interruption in coverage, their glycated hemoglobin rose. They also used fivefold more health care services after the interruption compared to before. The study concludes that health insurance interruptions have serious consequences for their well-being.

Less funding for HealthCare.gov navigators

The federal government funds “navigators” who help consumers shop for coverage during open enrollment on the federal health insurance exchange — but the funding is declining significantly. The government is offering $10 million this year, down from $36 million last year and $62.5 million in 2016, Modern Healthcare reports.

Who are the 30 million uninsured Americans?

The Urban Institute, a nonprofit research firm focused on well-being, released a report detailing who the roughly 30 million uninsured Americans really are. For instance, 44.3 percent of the uninsured in 2017 were full-time workers, in part because they’ve seen the lower gains in coverage than part-time workers and the unemployed.

State health insurance requirements could lower uninsured rate

Congress did away with the Affordable Care Act’s tax penalty for people who chose not to have health insurance coverage. But new research shows that if every state were to implement their own version of the individual mandate, about 4 million more people would have coverage. Premiums would also be about 12 percent lower. Read more from Axios.

‘It doesn’t make a difference if it’s legal if it’s inaccessible’

Abortion has been legal in the United States since 1973’s Roe v. Wade decision. But states have created their own boundaries to women who seek the medical procedure. The New York Times provides a side-by-side comparison of what it takes to get an abortion in California (one of the least restrictive states) and Mississippi (one of the most restrictive states). “It doesn’t make a difference if it’s legal if it’s inaccessible,” the owner of the only abortion clinic in Mississippi told the Times.

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