Explaining new vaccine data and the re-opening of the Affordable Care Act

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The Affordable Care Act re-opened Monday for a special enrollment period that runs thru mid-may. The action comes by way of an executive order from President Biden, who says that the move is designed to help expand health care coverage for the many who are out of work due to the pandemic. Dr. Swapna Reddy from Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions discussed what this means.

“This is a really important piece because we know that we’ve had millions of people that are experiencing unemployment in the last about year of this pandemic and most of us receive our health insurance through our employers right and so we know that there havent been that many options when it comes to health insurance. We’ve seen lots of people go toward medicaid for insurance coverage and coverage incredibly important right now, not just for us but for our loved ones that depend on us for coverage, so yes this will re-open the ACA marketplaces and hopefully offer a new option for coverage right now.”

Dr. Reddy went on to later talk about data that was released by Maricopa County surrounding demographics receiving vaccines. She stated that in higher income zip codes, like that of Paradise Valley or North Scottsdale which are predominately white, the percentage of eligible people that have been vaccinated is high. Dr. Reddy says on the opposite side of the data is something interesting though.

“What’s a little bit more striking is who’s not getting vaccinated. And what we see from that data are really the very low income zip codes in fact the lowest income zip codes in Maricopa County, many of which are overwhelming comprised of communities of color, have very low rates of vaccinations. It says quite a bit about maybe outreach, trust, also where vaccination distribution centers are located and accessibility.”

Dr. Swapna Reddy, JD, DrPH, MPH - Assistant professor from ASU College of Health Solutions

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