Your Weekly Dose of Health October 16, 2015

Governor Cuomo this week sent a delegation of officials to Puerto Rico to continue to help them with their health care system.  Those on the trip included Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, Secretary of State Cesar Perales, Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, State Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson, and Assembly Members Marco Crespo and Richard Gottfried.

A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that over 50% of uninsured New Yorkers qualify for either the expanded Medicaid program or for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

Another challenge for the Affordable Care Act is that the insurance exchanges are having a difficult time retaining the people that have already signed up for healthcare.  Read more in the New York Times.

Community groups around New York State have been effective in signing up people for health insurance, according to this article in Crain’s New York .

Thursday October 15th was the first day of the annual open enrollment period for Medicare.  A New York Times article suggests that those in a Medicare Advantage Plan or with a separate prescription drug plan should review their policy and compare different options.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Health Commissioner Dr. Mart Basset announced this week a report of health profiles for every community district in Brooklyn.  They hope that their report will push community boards toward action on health in their neighborhoods.

Medication decisions should be based on medical necessity, not cost. New York’s step therapy policy requires patients to fail one or more, typically lower cost, medications before allowing them to “step up” to another more expensive medication. Click here to learn more about this dangerous policy.