Health News Roundup

Health disparities percolate into work-based coverage, and more in this week’s roundup

Health disparities percolate into work-based coverage
Adriel Bettelheim, Axios, July 25
A new analysis revealed that more than 150 million Americans who get their health insurance through work face significant inequities by race and ethnicity while managing complex health conditions. While there’s a perception that employer-sponsored insurance delivers robust coverage, researchers found major gaps in how certain socioeconomic groups in plans managed chronic disease, accessed care, and dealt with behavioral health and substance use issues.

Deadline to claim child tax credit fast approaching
Hugh McQuaid, CT News Junkie, July 26
The deadline for the one-time child tax rebate that could send low- and middle- income households up to $750 is Sunday, July 31. Of the estimated 300,000 families that are eligible, roughly 180,000 have applied, according to an update on July 26. Legislators have said the state should consider mailing checks directly to everyone known to qualify if the program is extended in the future.

Two deadly days in St. Louis: An overdose cluster kills 8 Black people – and shows the new shape of the addiction crisis
Andrew Joseph, STAT, July 25
A cluster of eight fentanyl overdose deaths in St. Louis captures how the decades-long overdose crisis has morphed and metastasized once again. Overdoses are claiming the lives of Black people, as well as American Indian and Alaska Native people, at rates never seen before. The changes have health officials scrambling to keep up and suggest that policymakers will have to shift strategies if they hope to save lives.

Millions of kids qualify for Medicaid. Biden funds outreach to boost enrollment
Selena Simmons-Duffin, NPR, July 19
The Biden administration announced $49 million in grants to help community groups sign more families and children up for health insurance – especially the more than half of the country’s 4 million uninsured children who qualify for free coverage. Even more children could be at risk of becoming uninsured once the federal public health emergency ends and states begin re-determining eligibility. Experts say children who are still eligible could lose coverage if states do not have up-to-date information about their families.

There aren’t nearly enough Native American physicians. A crash course in medicine seeks to change that
Usha Lee McFarling, STAT, July 21
There are only 3,400 Native American or Alaska Native physicians in the United States – less than 0.4% of the more than a million physicians practicing in the U.S. A new pipeline program that began this summer could help change that. The program aims to bring young Indigenous people who hope to be doctors to train at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.