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Health Care Access and Coverage for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community in the United States: Opportunities and Challenges in a New Era

This Policy Insight looks at the challenges and questions surrounding recent policy changes that are expected to increase health insurance coverage and access to care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals and their families, including the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision.

The Affordable Care Act and Insurance Coverage in Rural Areas

Rural populations face disparities compared to metropolitan populations in health care. While rural individuals were not more likely to be uninsured than metropolitan counterparts pre-Affordable Care Act, they were poorer and less likely to have private insurance. With coverage changes in the ACA involving an expansion of Medicaid for poor and near-poor populations, decisions by states with large rural populations may cause rural residents to have disparate access to coverage, which may exacerbate cost and access barriers to health care.

Health Coverage and Care in the South in 2014 and Beyond

This issue brief provides an overview of health coverage and care in the South today, with a focus on demographics, the impact of the ACA coverage expansions, and ongoing efforts to improve the delivery system and safety net in the South.

Health Coverage and Care in the South: A Chartbook

The South has faced longstanding disparities in health and health care, although significant variation exists between southern states. As a group, compared to those in other regions, Southerners are more likely to be uninsured, less likely to have access to needed health services, and more likely to experience a number of chronic health conditions. This chartbook provides key data on the demographic and economic characteristics of the southern population as well as their health status, health insurance coverage, and access to care today.

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.

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.