Increasing Prevention and Avoiding the ER

In 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the average life expectancy for black males is approximately 64 years old, compared with 73 years for white males. Racial and ethnic minority groups are less likely to have access to the preventive care they need to stay and are more likely than white Americans to suffer from chronic conditions, prompting the theme for this year’s Minority Health Month; “Prevention is Power: Taking Action for Health Equity.”

Luckily, 10.2 million Latinos, 6.8 million African Americans, nearly 2 million Asian and Pacific Islanders, and over a half million American Indians and Alaska natives …read more

Commemorating National Minority Health Month

April is National Minority Health Month, an opportunity to raise awareness about health disparities affecting racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. The WellPower blog team is committed to raising these issues to public consciousness, and writing about the ways that social determinants like education, housing, and jobs affect health.

Throughout April, we will be blogging about issues that are aligned with this year’s Minority Health Month theme; Prevention is Power: Taking Action for Health Equity. This brings to mind the old saying that ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ Although there are many …read more

Outraged about Obamacare? Maybe You Shouldn’t Be

Many Americans are irritated with the insurance cancellations that have recently occurred due to the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare). This reaction marks a lack of true understanding about Obamacare.

I’ll share a personal example. My husband is currently covered under a very inexpensive ‘catastrophic’ health care plan, which is not ideal for many reasons; the most obvious being that he can’t go in to the doctor’s office for check-ups (unless we want to pay out-of-pocket for the visit).

My husband is only covered for a portion of the bill if he is hospitalized, meaning that we spend a …read more

Trader Joes

Trader Joe’s interior in Union Square in New York City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two-Buck Chuck is not what put Trader Joes in the headlines this week; instead it was their decision regarding health coverage for part-time employees. More specifically, the company announced that it will stop providing health insurance benefits for employees who work less than 30 hours a week, sending them instead to the new Insurance Marketplaces with an extra $500 to help purchase coverage.

Anti-health reform advocates are up in arms and touting this as the latest example of how Affordable Care Act will fail Americans and …read more

ACA Help is on the Way!

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you find the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and health insurance options confusing, you are not alone…literally. There is help on the way! Starting October 1, 2013, consumers in all states will be able to choose affordable health insurance options through new Health Insurance Marketplaces. Consumers can get help as they apply for and choose new insurance options from Community Navigator Organizations.

On August 15th, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the organizations who would be receiving nearly $65 million in funds to set up their Community Navigator programs. As stated …read more

No Breaks for America’s Poorest

Skeptics of the new healthcare law have been prophesying doomsday and the rise of socialism. The reality is that state-level healthcare policies will come far from providing universal coverage – many will actually leave out our nation’s poorest citizens.

Image from The Advisory Board Company at http://www.advisory.com/Daily-Briefing/2012/11/09/MedicaidMap

This omission was not an original component of the healthcare law, but rather came last year after the Supreme Court ruled that Medicaid expansion was a state-level choice. In the best case scenario, states would have seized this opportunity to leverage the Affordable Care Act and expand coverage to all of their …read more