Health News Roundup

CT lawmakers weigh changes to HUSKY, and more in this week’s roundup

To get these headlines delivered to your inbox every week, sign up for our weekly health news roundup.

Connecticut is weighing several changes to Medicaid. Here’s a look at some of them 
Katy Golvala, Jenna Carlesso, and Gabby DeBenedictis, The Connecticut Mirror, May 8
Over a quarter of Connecticut residents receive coverage through Medicaid. Lawmakers are considering several changes to the program this year, including expanding coverage to children regardless of immigration status; covering services delivered by community health workers; increasing rates paid to specialists; and raising the income and asset limits for coverage for people who are over 65, blind, or disabled.

The COVID public health emergency ends this week. Here’s what’s changing
Selena Simmons-Duffin, NPR, May 8 
After more than three years of social disruption, at least 6 million hospitalizations, and 1.1 million U.S. deaths, the federal public health emergency declaration for COVID-19 ended this week. What does that mean in concrete terms? Among other things, vaccines and tests will no longer be free (but are covered by insurance). COVID data tracking is being scaled back, while telehealth access stays in place. Millions of people could lose access to Medicaid with the return of the requirement to redetermine eligibility.

More than celebrations, community baby showers can also be prenatal care — and could save lives
Monique Jaques, STAT, May 8
Community baby showers — which bring together families, health care providers, city officials, and others — are growing in popularity across the country. Supporters say they’re a valuable way to reach a community and let them know about the public resources that are available during pregnancy and after childbirth. Research has shown community baby showers are popular among participants, and might increase awareness about infant mortality.

Immigrants are disproportionately uninsured in the United States
Arielle Dreher, Axios, May 5
Immigrant adults and children under the age of 65, including those who are undocumented, account for 8% of the U.S. population but make up nearly 32% of the uninsured population in the country, according to a new report. Despite tax credits being available for coverage purchased through health insurance exchanges through 2024, the majority of immigrants who are uninsured still won’t be able to access coverage “solely because of their immigration status,” the report says.

Climate change will worsen CT kids’ asthma and overall health, EPA report says
Michayla Savitt, Connecticut Public Radio, May 9
Children across Connecticut and the nation face a variety of health risks due to climate change, according to a new report from the Environmental Protection Agency. The report identifies health consequences future generations could face under an array of global warming scenarios. Under the report’s most severe warming scenario, the EPA found Connecticut kids could suffer some of the highest rates of asthma-related emergency department visits in the country.