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What Do They Mean When They Talk About Pre-Existing Health Conditions?

One health care issue about which the presidential candidates acknowledge they have differences is how the health care system should treat people with pre-existing health conditions. People who have a health condition (such as an illness or pregnancy) or who are at higher than average risk of needing health care…

KFF Health Security Watch Delaying Health Care to Avoid Cost Common

While economic challenges facing the country continue and the Supreme Court is deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), May’s Health Tracking Poll finds that the problems and concerns related to health care costs and access are wide-spread. A quarter report they have had problems paying medical bills in…

How the ACA Changes Pathways to Insurance Coverage for People with HIV

There are multiple sources of insurance coverage and care for people with HIV in the United States.  These include public programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare, and the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, as well as private coverage through an employer or in the individual market. Medicaid, the nation’s principal safety-net…

A Profile of Health Insurance Exchange Enrollees

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act calls for the creation of Health Insurance Exchanges in all states by January 1, 2014. The exchanges are a critical element of the health reform law, aimed at helping individuals and families shop for and purchase health insurance on their own with additional…

Access to Care and Use of Health Services by Low-Income Women

This article, by Ruth Almeida and Lisa Dubay of the Urban Institute and Grace Ko of Brown University, examines the effect of insurance on low-income women’s access to care and use of health services. Using the 1997 National Survey of America’s Families, it examines access to health care for three…

Access to Care for Low-Income Women: The Impact of Medicaid

Health coverage is of critical importance to low-income women. This study was undertaken to assess how low-income women with Medicaid, private insurance, or no insurance vary with regard to personal characteristics, health status, and health utilization. Data are from a telephone interview survey of a representative cross-sectional sample of 5,200…

Medicare Patients’ Access to Physicians: A Synthesis of the Evidence

Congressional debates about the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) raise questions about whether doctors are willing to see Medicare patients. This issue brief examines multiple data sources to assess beneficiaries’ access to physicians, particularly vulnerable beneficiaries with greater health needs and other disadvantages. It examines the share of doctors who are participating physicians as well as those who have opted-out of the Medicare program to privately contract with Medicare patients. It includes State analyses of rates of physicians who are accepting new Medicare patients as well as patients with private health insurance and Medicaid.

Health and Access to Care and Coverage for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals in the U.S.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals often face challenges and barriers to accessing needed health services and, as a result, can experience worse health outcomes. Recent policy changes have the potential to impact how LGBT individuals access and receive health care. This issue brief examines population characteristics of the LGBT community including demographics, health challenges such as chronic conditions, HIV/AIDS epidemic and STIs, mental health and substance use, sexual and physical violence, adolescent and young adult health, and access to care and insurance coverage. Additionally, this brief examines the impacts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the recent Supreme Court rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and other policy changes related to same-sex marriage on insurance coverage and access to health care services.