Cancer Patients and Survivors Want to Work but Face Challenges

This week the CEO of Goldman Sachs announced that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma and would continue to work while receiving treatment.  Whether one remains at/returns to work after a cancer diagnosis depends greatly on an individual’s situation, but an online survey of American cancer patients and survivors found the majority (73 percent) want to work, citing financial concerns but also the belief that working helps in their overall recovery.

According to the survey, conducted by the Harris Poll for Cancer and Careers, although most respondents enjoy working, they also face challenges balancing their health needs with the workplace. For example, women were more likely than men to report working a reduced schedule due to treatment, and people of color were more likely to be advised by a medical professional to stop working while in treatment. Other findings from the poll,

  • fatigue was the primary daily challenge of employed respondents,
  • 20 percent have concerns that taking days off will weaken their employment stability, and
  • 65 percent feel that additional information is needed around navigating employment and workplace issues after a cancer diagnosis.

Additional data from the study is at the Cancer and Careers website, along with a resource library and employment search services and tools.

Rate of Uninsured Children on the Decline

An April 2014 report from the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) at School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota contains encouraging news on the impact of programs, such as Medicaid and CHIP, designed to reduce the number of uninsured children.   Between the years of 2008 and 2012, the rate of uninsured children in the United States dropped from 9.7% to 7.5%, according to data reported in SHADAC’s  State-Level Trends in Children’s Health Insurance Coverage. This national trend was mirrored in the 35 states that also reported significant declines in uninsured children during the same time period, with Oregon, Florida, Mississippi and Delaware experiencing the largest reductions.  Additional findings at the national level:

  • The percentage of privately insured low-and-middle-income children declined
  • Hispanic children experienced the largest gains in insurance coverage, yet in 2012 remained the largest group of uninsured persons (12.7%) under age 18
  • The gap between low-income and high-income children’s likelihood of insurance coverage is shrinking

In Pennsylvania, the rate of uninsured children declined from 6% in 2008 to 5% in 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

Report Citation: Sonier, J., Fried, B. 2014. “State-Level Trends in Childrens’ Health Insurance Coverage.” Minneapolis, MN: State Health Access Data Assistance Center.

Number of Insured Adults Increases

The steady increase of uninsured persons in the United States changed direction in 2011, with an overall decline in the number of uninsured persons age 64 and under (categorized as non-elderly by the Census) according to the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.  This trend reversal seems to be linked to coverage changes in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  While coverage for children remained stable between 2010 and 2011, it increased among non-elderly adults. Although the proportion of low-income adults increased in 2011, so did the number of insured adults.

This decline and the coverage and population factors that may have influenced it are discussed in the brief Reversing the Trend? Understanding the Recent Increase in Health Insurance Coverage among the Nonelderly Population  by John Holahan and Megan McGrath of The Urban Institute.  The complete paper is available at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation website.

Kaiser Reports on Trends in Medicaid Eligibility and Enrollment

A report released earlier this year from the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families details the state of Medicaid eligibility and enrollment in the country, as well as what may need to occur to put Medicaid-related provisions in place as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Some highlights from the report:

  • 37 states now have an online application for Medicaid or CHIP – an increase of 12 percent since January 2012, while 36 states currently provide online accounts.  More than half  (28) of the states in the nation have made it possible for families to renew their coverage online, an increase of 40 percent since last year’s report.
  • Overall,  families were not burdened with extra cost requirements via the states in the past year.   Premium adjustments were few, with 9 states increasing the copay requirement.

The report Getting into Gear for 2014:  Findings from a 50-State Survey of Eligibility, Enrollment, Renewal, and Cost-Sharing Policies in Medicaid and CHIP, 2012–2013, and a webcast from the January 2013 briefing are available at the Kaiser Family Foundation website.