Health News Roundup

Open enrollment begins, and more in this week’s roundup

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Open enrollment began in CT on Nov. 1. What you need to know. 
Jenna Carlesso, The Connecticut Mirror, Oct. 31
Open enrollment for 2023 health plans through Access Health CT began on November 1 and ends on January 15. About 84% of the people enrolled receive some financial assistance for their coverage, thanks to federal policy changes. Some residents will be eligible for no-cost coverage known as the Covered Connecticut program.
Related: 2023 open enrollment toolkit from CT Health

Primary care access for people recently released from prison expanding to Waterbury and New London
Sujata Srinivasan, Connecticut Public Radio, Oct. 27
The Transitions Clinic Network (TCN) in Connecticut, which provides health care to people recently released from prison, is expanding to Waterbury and New London. TCN plans to hire additional community health workers to bridge the gap between the care within prisons and health care in the community. A recent study suggests that every dollar invested in TCN returns $2.55 of savings to the state’s Medicaid program.

How a Connecticut woman is working to improve mental health care for her immigrant community
Ebong Udoma, WSHU, Oct. 27
Reena Aurora, who came to Connecticut from India more than three decades ago, is an active member of her temple’s community outreach program. She also leads the Healthcare and Mental Health Team at Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut (CONECT), a collective of religious congregations and civic groups in southern Connecticut. Aurora’s advocacy for mental health care is at two levels – reducing the stigma about mental health in her own community, and increasing culturally sensitive care for those who need it.

Hartford’s Black and Brown communities face health disparities at a much higher rate. ‘Health Leaders’ could be the solution. 
Ted Glanzer, Hartford Courant, Oct. 31
Taking aim at the underlying, corrosive racial and ethnic health disparities in Hartford, the city is taking applications for 20 residents to take part in the Hartford Health Leaders program to foster health equity at the neighborhood level. The goal is to create a network of leaders across the city who can engage in health initiatives in their own communities.

The unknown puts offspring at risk of sickle cell disease
Peggy McCarthy, Connecticut Health I-Team, Nov. 2
Most Connecticut residents who carry a trait for sickle cell disease don’t know it, resulting in thousands of people unwittingly risking having a child born with the debilitating illness. The reasons for this vary: There’s a lack of knowledge about results of newborn testing for the trait, parents don’t always convey tests results to their children, gaps in state record keeping, and state records that identify people with the disease or trait only go back to 2012.