NC groups work to improve health equity amid Medicaid changes
Tuesday, January 23, 2024
Health equity is becoming a top priority in North Carolina as Medicaid undergoes changes. People across the state are experiencing updates, that means some people will transition to managed care while others may lose their coverage. Many people will also become eligible for Medicaid for the first time. These updates are things health advocates say can worsen existing disparities.
Madison Allen, senior program officer with the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, said they are collaborating with local organizations to amplify feedback and address the problems.
"Some of the issues we've heard about from grantees include challenges associated with enrolling or disenrolling from plans, challenges with inadequate provider network, problems accessing transportation, confusing appeal processes," Allen explained.
She added grantees have found cases where people with disabilities have not been accommodated. Allen emphasized that the groups and researchers they support are actively working as intermediaries between the community and the programs to ensure that people receive the benefits they deserve.
About 47% of non U.S. citizens lack health insurance.
Hamutal Bernstein, senior fellow with the Urban Institute, explained that these challenges can be even more difficult for immigrant families. A recent report called "Supporting North Carolina's Immigrant Families" reveals a growing number of Spanish, Swahili and Hmong residents in the state.
Bernstein explains many of these families face language barriers, immigration concerns and discrimination, and added that in some cases, they encounter lengthy enrollment processes and struggle to receive help with documentation, preventing eligible family members from accessing essential safety-net programs.
"So, there are families where there are U.S. citizens, there are U.S. born citizens, there are naturalized citizens, there are sometimes undocumented members and there may be eligible family members for a program and other family members are absolutely not eligible, and so families have to sort all that out," Bernstein continued.
The report says some agencies are unsure about the language needs within their respective counties. To address this, a data tool has been developed to provide insights on immigration demographics. The report also recommends solutions such as hiring staff who represent immigrant communities, improving language accessibility beyond Spanish, and utilizing targeted modes of communication for different age groups.
get more stories like this via email
Most teenagers eagerly anticipate turning 16 to start driving and 21 for other milestones, but the significance of obtaining the right to vote at 18 …
New York state lawmakers have appointed members to the Community Commission on Reparations Remedies, created through legislation Gov. Kathy Hochul …
A new report argued many charitable foundations need to examine the origin of their wealth and repair harms done. The National Committee for …
A proposed urban reforestation program in Massachusetts aims to help cities mitigate the effects of climate change. Legislation would create a state …
A Wyoming nonprofit is helping single mothers climb out of poverty by connecting them with the training and support they need to step into and succeed…
Ahead of Super Tuesday, a new poll finds a majority of Mainers support replacing the Electoral College system with a national popular vote. More …
Even though March is barely underway, parents of Wisconsin kids are being encouraged to plan for summer reading activities - especially if their …
A law aimed at immigrants crossing the border in Texas will not take effect tomorrow, after a federal judge halted enforcement until a court battle …