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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) and the recent Supreme Court rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and how these policy changes will impact insurance coverage and access to health care services.

Health Affairs Article: Medicaid Expansion: Chronically Homeless Adults Will Need Targeted Enrollment and Access to a Broad Range of Services

Homeless adults may gain access to health services under the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, which takes effect in 2014. This study, published in Health Affairs, analyzed the health coverage, health status, and health services use of 725 chronically homeless adults with disabilities in eleven cities in the United States.

Key Facts about the Uninsured Population

This fact sheet provides details about the 47 million nonelderly Americans that were uninsured in 2012. It answers questions about why so many Americans are uninsured, how uninsured numbers have trended over time, who the uninsured are, and how being uninsured impacts their daily lives, from health care access issues to financial implications. It also explores the potential implications of upcoming Affordable Care Act provisions on uninsured individuals and how it might help them gain coverage.

Coverage for Abortion Services and the ACA

This issue brief, Coverage of Abortion Services and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), summarizes the major coverage provisions of the ACA that are relevant for women of reproductive age, reviews current federal and state policies on Medicaid and insurance coverage of abortion services as they relate to the ACA, and presents national and state estimates on the availability of abortion coverage for women who are newly eligible for Medicaid or private coverage through the Marketplaces as a result of the ACA.

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.

The Twin Goals of Health Insurance

Drew Altman, in The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, examines a study finding Massachusetts’ health reform saved lives in the context of health insurance’s twin goal: better access to improve health and economic security.

Women and Health Care in the Early Years of the ACA: Key Findings from the 2013 Kaiser Women’s Health Survey

This report addresses a wide range of topics that are at the heart of women’s health care, as well as changes that women may experience as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The findings in the report, based off a nationally representative survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, highlight differences in health care for uninsured, low-income, and minority women. Other focus areas include: coverage, access, and affordability; connections to health providers; access and utilization of preventive services; and reproductive and sexual health services for women of reproductive age, such as contraception and family planning services and screenings for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Health Coverage and Care for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: The Role of Medicaid and CHIP

This brief provides an overview of the health and mental health needs of girls and boys in the juvenile justice system and the role of Medicaid and CHIP in addressing those needs. It focuses on the circumstances of youth who are placed in juvenile justice residential facilities, the discontinuity of Medicaid coverage for those youth, and the options for improving coverage, continuity of care and access to needed services post-discharge, including new opportunities provided by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).