Health Plans Make Progress on Racial Disparities, but Problem Remains Daunting

Racial disparities in health care have become a top policy priority since the start of the COIVID-19 pandemic, which disproportionately killed people of color, particularly Black and Native American people. The Biden administration made closing racial health gaps a key part of its pandemic response — and health insurance-related policy changes going forward. One new report from the CMS Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI, or the Innovation Center) says that the administration has made “meaningful progress” in closing racial disparities, and a review of health insurer equity efforts from the New York United Hospital Fund (UHF) says that “many…carriers have made substantial commitments to the communities they do business in,” but both conclude that insurers and policymakers must do far more to eliminate racial health gaps.

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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