Improving Race and Ethnicity Data Collection: A First Step to Furthering Health Equity Through the State-Based Marketplaces

By Dania Palanker, Jalisa Clark, and Christine Monahan

Despite the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) major coverage gains, racial and ethnic disparities in health access, coverage, and outcomes persist. There are ongoing efforts at the state and federal level to advance health equity, including in the ACA’s marketplaces. State-based marketplaces (SBM) are uniquely situated to improve health equity by using enrollees’ demographic data to target policies and determine whether equity-focused interventions are achieving their objectives, but significant gaps in the data pose obstacles. After the 2022 open enrollment period, more than half of SBMs were missing race or ethnicity data for over 20 percent of enrollees.

In a new post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR’s Dania Palanker, Jalisa Clark, and Christine Monahan examine the landscape of marketplace race and ethnicity data, and detail strategies SBMs can implement for the upcoming open enrollment period to improve data collection. You can read the full post here.

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