February 2, 2018
February 2, 2018
Kentucky to offer health and financial literacy tests to those losing Medicaid coverage
After recently announcing work requirements for its Medicaid beneficiaries, Kentucky has announced it will offer financial and/or health literacy tests as an option to regain coverage for those unable to meet the work requirements. While the exact content of the tests has not yet been determined, one state official said it could contain elements such as “household budgeting, opening a checking account, weight management and chronic disease management.”
Despite the intent, literacy tests harken back to the Jim Crow South where these types of tests were often offered to impede access to voting registration. The move has garnered much criticism from health policy experts. Atul Gawande, a surgeon and researcher from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, called the move “expensive, punitive, and cruel,” adding that it “serves no health benefit whatsoever.”
There is no standard definition of health or financial literacy—determining what constitutes a passing grade can vary based on the test and the types of questions asked.
The Prevent Cancer Foundation® believes access to health care, including preventive and early detection services, should not be dependent upon one’s ability to pass a test.
Corporate giants join forces to create independent health care entity
In an unprecedented move, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announced this week their intent to collaborate to create their own independent health care company to provide care services to their employees. While little information has been released about the plan, the companies did say that the goal is to increase access to care for their employees and their families at a reduced cost. Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, said the project would be “free from profit-making incentives and constraints.”
The move signals a shift in health care delivery, moving away from the traditional model with care providers, insurers and pharmacies in distinctly separate roles. This transition was also evidenced by CVS Health’s purchase last month of Aetna, one of the nation’s largest insurers, for $69 billion.
Although this will prove to be a massive project, Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon, said they will “enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty.”
It’s Cancer Prevention Month
February is National Cancer Prevention Month and we need your help to spread the word about the lifesaving power of prevention and early detection. This year alone, more than 1.7 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer, but research shows that up to 50 percent of all cancer cases are preventable. Many people are unaware they have the power to reduce their cancer risk—help us spread the word this month by sharing the Seven Steps to Prevent Cancer:
Awareness is the key to preventing half of cancer cases and half of cancer deaths. Spread the word this month on how to make choices daily to reduce your cancer risk. For more information, visit preventcancer.org.
Check Your Mate on Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, making it the perfect time to Check Your Mate! In many instances, “mates” are the first ones to detect abnormal moles, lumps or irregularities, potentially catching cancer early, when successful treatment is more likely. Check Your Mate encourages couples to pay attention to each other’s bodies and consult their health care professionals if they notice changes.
Learn more about what to look for when you Check Your Mate.