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2015 County Health Rankings Key Findings Report

March 30, 2015 Comments off

2015 County Health Rankings Key Findings Report
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The County Health Rankings are an easy-to-use snapshot of the health of nearly every county in the nation. The Rankings make it clear that good health includes many factors beyond medical care, including education, jobs, smoking, access to healthy foods and parks, and more. Now in its sixth year, the Rankings use factors that communities have the ability to do something about.

Key Findings

  • For 60 percent of the nation’s counties, rates of premature death (death before age 75) have declined, some dramatically; for 40 percent no progress has been made.
  • One out of four children in the United States lives in poverty; rates of poverty are more than twice as high in the unhealthiest counties in each state compared to the healthiest ones.
  • Unemployment rates are 1.5 times higher in the least healthy counties in each state compared to the healthiest ones.
  • The healthiest counties have higher college attendance rates, fewer preventable hospital stays, and better access to exercise opportunities. The least healthy counties have more smokers, more teen births, and more alcohol-related car accidents.

State-Level Trends in Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance: A State-by-State Analysis

February 23, 2015 Comments off

State-Level Trends in Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance: A State-by-State Analysis (PDF)
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes provisions to improve access to affordable health insurance, including access to employer sponsored insurance (ESI). However, concerns have been raised that the ACA could have unintended consequences that would cause declines in ESI. To provide a baseline for understanding the impacts of the ACA on ESI, this report examines and compares trends during two time periods: a period before and including the recession (2004/2005 to 2008/2009), and a period including and since the recession (2008/2009 to 2012/2013). While the majority of non- elderly Americans with health insurance are covered by employer-sponsored insurance (ESI), the percentage of the U.S. population with ESI has been declining for more than a decade — a trend that accelerated during the time of the Great Recession (December 2007 to June 2009).

State-Level Trends in Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

February 2, 2015 Comments off

State-Level Trends in Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Key Findings

+ Fewer employers offer insurance to their workers. Nationally, the percentage of private-sector employers offering coverage fell nearly 6 percentage points—from 55.7 percent in 2005 to 50.0 percent in 2013.

+ Prior to the recession, employer coverage was stable but more workers were declining their employers’ offers of insurance. Nationally, the percentage of workers who took up employer-offered coverage fell from 79.7 percent in 2005 to 77.8 percent in 2009.

+ Post-recession, workers’ take-up of coverage fell further to 75.3 percent in 2013, along with declines in employer offers of coverage (from 55.7 percent in 2009 to 50.0 percent in 2013) and the percentage of workers eligible to sign up for coverage (which fell from 78.8 % to 77.8 %).

+ Costs of insurance premiums continue to rise. Nationally, the average annual premium for employee-only coverage increased from $3,848 in 2005 to $5,478 in 2013. Family premiums increased from $10,367 on average to $16,302 during the same time period.

Marketplace Renewals: State Efforts to Maximize Enrollment into Affordable Health Plan Options

December 15, 2014 Comments off

Marketplace Renewals: State Efforts to Maximize Enrollment into Affordable Health Plan Options
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Key Findings

  • 2015 benchmark plans may not be the same as those from 2014.
  • Due to changes, many consumers could be auto-enrolled in a plan that does not maximize their premium tax credit.

Surveying Health Care Quality & Value

December 3, 2014 Comments off

Surveying Health Care Quality & Value
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Recent years have brought numerous efforts to educate and engage Americans in what “quality” health care is, how to find it and how they can get better value for their dollars. To better understand the latest trends, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago to conduct three surveys through the summer and fall of 2014.

The surveys each individually examined how consumers and employers, as purchasers, perceive health care quality and how they use quality information and performance data on health plans and providers. Learn more about the research and access links to the full reports with accompanying materials.

Comparing Federal Government Surveys that Count the Uninsured: 2014

October 30, 2014 Comments off

Comparing Federal Government Surveys that Count the Uninsured: 2014
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Estimates of the number of people who are uninsured are available from several different sources. This brief provides an annual update to comparisons of uninsurance estimates from five federal surveys. It presents trends in national estimates of uninsurance, presents the most recent available state-level estimates from these surveys, and describes the main reasons for variation in the estimates across the different surveys.

In States That Don’t Expand Medicaid, Who Gets New Coverage Assistance Under the ACA and Who Doesn’t?

October 14, 2014 Comments off

In States That Don’t Expand Medicaid, Who Gets New Coverage Assistance Under the ACA and Who Doesn’t? (PDF)
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

In states not expanding Medicaid, 6.3 million uninsured adults who could have qualified for Medicaid are instead ineligible, while 5.9 million other uninsured adults qualify for subsidized, private insurance. We compare these two groups and find the following:

Median income for such ineligible adults is 35 percent below poverty. For eligible adults, it is 175 percent of the federal poverty level. In dollars, median incomes are under $800 a month for the ineligible uninsured and over $2,000 a month for eligible adults. As a result:

  • Only 28.0 percent of uninsured black adults qualify for help paying for health coverage while fully 42.7 percent are ineligible because of nonexpansion. By contrast, more uninsured whites qualify (36.0 percent) than not (32.7 percent).
  • More uninsured women are ineligible than eligible (33.2 percent vs. 27.8 percent). Slightly more uninsured men qualify (30.9 percent) than not (29.7 percent).
  • Uninsured adults who are Hispanic, under age 25, or have at most a high school degree are more likely to be ineligible than eligible. The opposite is true for uninsured adults ages 45 to 64 or with at least some college education.

Uninsured adults ineligible for coverage assistance because of nonexpansion include 4.4 million with a high school degree or less, 3.1 million women, 1.6 million blacks, 1.5 million under age 25, and 1.3 million Latinos.

These contrasts involve coverage assistance that the ACA made available for the first time. However, before the ACA, nonexpansion states already provided Medicaid to 6.5 million adults, and 1.8 million uninsured adults were eligible for Medicaid but not enrolled.

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