Health disparities are differences between populations in rates of disease, health outcomes, and access to quality care. The Affordable Care Act takes several steps to reduce health disparities, including the creation of health benefit Exchanges to increase access to high-quality insurance. In September 2012, the New York Health Benefit Exchange convened a stakeholder meeting to discuss strategies to reduce health disparities through the Exchange. Following the meeting, we requested additional public comment on ways in which the Exchange might be utilized to reduce health disparities.
A report prepared by the Center for Popular Democracy summarizes presentations from a panel of policy experts and public comments received at and following the meeting, and recommends strategies the Exchange can implement to reduce health disparities in New York. These strategies include: 1) Improving access to consumer assistance in the Exchange and amongst Qualified Health Plans, for individuals with Limited English Proficiency, by providing consumer assistance in multiple languages; 2) Using plain, easy to understand, language in Exchange materials and developing materials that reflect the diversity of Exchange enrollees; 3) Providing sensitivity training to Exchange staff on language and communication assistance policies; 4) Conducting outreach to diverse communities and using trusted entities as Navigators; 5) Strengthening network adequacy provisions for Qualified Health Plans in the Exchange; and 6) Collecting and disseminating data on health disparities in the Exchange.
|NYHBE Health Disparities Study.pdf||739.97 KB|