State News

Oregon | Apr 23, 2024 | Report | Equity

Oregon Performs Better in Health Equity, but Disparities Remain

Oregon’s health system performance tends to be better in some measures than most states,
however, there are still major problems, reports The Lund Report. A report from the
Commonwealth Fund
compiled data on 25 health care measures tracking outcomes, quality,
access and use of services by five different racial and ethnic groups. The rate of preventable
deaths under age 75 for Black Oregonians is approximately double that of white Oregonians;
the proportion of people who reported skipping needed health care due to cost was 7 percent
for white people, but double that or more for people who are Black, Hispanic or American Indian
and Alaska Native. the findings for Oregon call for making health care more affordable, while
also focusing on strengthening the state’s provision of primary care.

Arkansas | Apr 23, 2024 | Report | Population Health

Maternal Health Initiative Launches in Arkansas

Arkansas’ governor has launched a new initiative to tackle the state’s maternal health crisis,
reports Little Rock Public Radio. The strategic committee plans to implement a multi-faceted line
of attack concentrating on education, access, coordination, and overall improvements to the
state’s maternal health services. Key initiatives outlined by the committee include advertising
and awareness campaigns, grants and funding opportunities, and the creation of a pilot program
pointed at counties with low rates of prenatal care.

Alabama | Apr 22, 2024 | Report | Equity

Alabama Has Poor Health System Performance, Stark Health Care Disparities

A new report finds Alabama has some of the most severe disparities in health care outcomes
among racial groups, reports the Alabama Reflector. The Commonwealth Fund report revealed
Alabama only performed better than Tennessee, Kentucky, Wyoming, Arkansas, Oklahoma and
West Virginia. While white Alabamians have better health outcomes than Black or Hispanic
Alabamians, they trail health outcomes for white Americans overall. The starkest disparity is
seen in infant mortality rates: white infant mortality reached an all-time low in 2021, while Black
infant mortality tripled. The report assessed 25 metrics of care delivery and outcomes, including
health indicators, care accessibility, and quality and utilization of services.

Texas | Apr 21, 2024 | News Story | Equity

Study Finds Hispanic and Black Residents in Texas Have Poorer Health Than Those in Other States

A report shows that Hispanic and Black Texans experience greater inequities in health care
compared to Hispanic and Black people living in other states, according to the Metro News.
According to The Commonwealth Fund 2024 State Health Disparities Report, Texas ranked 44th
out of 47th in health care system performance for Hispanic people, and ranked 32nd out of 39
states calculated for health system performance for Black residents. The researchers noted that
the U.S. Hispanic population is highly diverse, and health care access and outcomes can vary,
particularly by immigration status.

Massachusetts | Apr 19, 2024 | Report | Health Costs

Massachusetts Receives Approval for 1115 Waiver to Make Health Care More Equitable and Affordable

The federal government has approved Massachusetts’ 1115 Waiver, which will make health
care more accessible, affordable, and equitable for hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts
residents, according to the Office of the Governor. The Waiver enables Massachusetts to
expand health insurance subsidies to individuals who are not otherwise eligible for Medicaid or
CHIP, offer services that are not typically covered by Medicaid, and to use innovative service
delivery systems to increase efficiency and affordability of care.

Wisconsin | Apr 18, 2024 | Report | Equity

Report Finds Health Care Disparities for Black and Hispanic Residents in Wisconsin

A report finds that Black and Hispanic people have poorer health care than white people in
Wisconsin, reports the Wisconsin Examiner. According to the Commonwealth Fund's 2024
State Health Disparities Report
, Wisconsin’s health care system has the fifth-worth overall
performance in the country for Black residents with an overall score of 14, and a score of 30 for
Hispanic residents—out of 100. By comparison, the state’s health system performance score for
white residents was 82.

California | Apr 18, 2024 | Blog | Health Costs

California Removes Asset Limits for Medicaid Eligibility

California’s Medicaid program has removed asset limits for enrollees and will instead only
consider income when assessing financial eligibility, according to the California Health Care
. Prior to 2022, people with more than $2,000 in qualified assets, including cash
savings, were ineligible for the state’s Medi-Cal program. Assembly Bill 133 eliminated the asset
test in two phases, with the limit raised to $130,000 in 2022 and eliminated altogether in 2024.

Indiana | Apr 18, 2024 | Report | Equity

Report Finds Racial and Ethnic Disparities Persist in Indiana’s Health Care System

A report shows that racial and ethnic disparities in health care access, quality, and outcomes
persist in Indiana, reports WFYI Indianapolis. According to The Commonwealth Fund 2024
State Health Disparities Report, white people in Indiana experienced the highest health system
performance, while Black people experienced the lowest health system performance in the
state. In addition, Indiana ranked 28th of 47 states in health systems performance for Hispanic

Colorado | Apr 3, 2024 | Report | Price Transparency

Medical Debt Affects Much of America, but Colorado Immigrants Are Hit Especially Hard

Colorado’s overall medical debt burden is lower than most other states, but its racial and ethnic
disparities are wider, reports KFF Health News. The gap between the debt burden in ZIP codes
where residents are primarily Hispanic and/or non-white and ZIP codes that are primarily non-
Hispanic white is twice what it is nationally. Medical debt in Colorado is also concentrated in ZIP
codes with relatively high shares of immigrants, many of whom are from Mexico. Colorado has
taken steps to protect patients from medical debt, but the complexities of many assistance
programs remain a major barrier for immigrants and others with limited English proficiency.

Texas | Apr 1, 2024 | Report | Health Costs

Texas has Fifth Highest Health Care Costs in the Nation

Texas has the fifth highest health care costs in the nation, reports to Houston Culture Map. The
report, from Forbes Advisor, found Texas’ average annual premiums for plus-one health
coverage ($4,626) and family coverage ($7,051) through employer-provided policies were the
4th highest in the nation. In addition, 16 percent of Texas adults chose not to see a doctor in the
past 12 months due to the cost of health care.