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How are Seniors Choosing and Changing Health Insurance Plans?

This report summarizes first-hand accounts of seniors’ Medicare private plan decision making strategies, based on focus groups conducted in four cities. Seniors found the initial plan selection process overwhelming due to the volume of information they received and their inability to organize it. Few used the government’s online comparison tool, and those that did cite several shortcomings. Many relied on advice from sources they trust, including insurance agents, plan representatives, friends, family members, doctor’s offices and pharmacists. After they enroll in a plan, many seniors did not revisit their initial decision or review plan options without the strong provocation of a substantial increase in cost, change in coverage, or shift in personal health care needs. Moreover, they feared that a change in plans may disrupt their care, or lead to an unforeseen increase in out-of-pocket costs, and require them to learn new rules and requirements. They are doubtful they would end up in a plan that is appreciatively different or better for them. Overall, seniors preferred to have numerous choices in plans but would like personalized help and advice from experts to ease the process.

Providing Outreach and Enrollment Assistance: Lessons Learned from Community Health Centers in Massachusetts

As states and communities gear up to provide outreach and enrollment assistance under the ACA, the enrollment assistance experience of health centers in Massachusetts, where a major expansion of health coverage was implemented six years ago, offers valuable lessons that can help to inform current and emerging efforts by health centers and other community-based organizations to reach and enroll millions of low-income, uninsured Americans in health insurance.

Key Facts about the Uninsured Population

This fact sheet discusses the insurance coverage situation in the US up to the ACA and during the early stages of coverage reforms. It also features a brief examination of how the uninsured have changed over time, the early data on coverage expansions, and a discussion on health and financial implications of being uninsured

Obamacare and You: If You Are Uninsured…

The Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, creates several new ways to get health coverage. This fact sheet explains how If you are uninsured and not offered health coverage through your job, you may be able to obtain coverage through Medicaid or through a new health insurance marketplace (or exchange) in your state. It is from our Obamacare & You series.

Obamacare and You: If You Are Low-Income and May Qualify for Medicaid…

This fact sheet from the Obamacare & You series explains health coverage options that may be available to people who have low-incomes or may be qualified for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, The law expands Medicaid and creates creates new private insurance marketplaces, in which subsidies will be available to low- and moderate-income people.

Medicaid Eligibility for Adults as of January 1, 2014

Regardless of state Medicaid expansion decisions, all states must implement new eligibility and enrollment processes, including a transition to determine income eligibility for most groups based on Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI). As part of the transition to MAGI, states’ existing Medicaid income limits for children, pregnant women, parents, and childless adults will be converted to MAGI-equivalent limits. This fact sheet provides Medicaid income limits for parents and childless adults as of January 2013, and the new income limits that will be in effect as of January 1, 2014.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.