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Advancing Opportunities, Assessing Challenges: Key Themes from a Roundtable Discussion of Health Care and Health Equity in the South

This brief summarizes the primary themes expressed by participants of a roundtable discussion of current and future opportunities and challenges for advancing health care and health equity in the South organized by Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

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).

Report, Briefing Examine How Seniors Choose Among Their Medicare Plan Options

Report & Briefing Examine How Seniors Choose Among Their Medicare Plan Options Seniors appreciate having a wide range of Medicare private plan choices available to them but often feel unqualified to choose among them, a new Kaiser Family Foundation report concludes. Based on discussions with seniors in four cities around…

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.

A Guide to the Supreme Court’s Review of the Contraceptive Coverage Requirement

This issue brief dissects the issues raised by the legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that private insurance plans include contraception as part of their coverage of preventive services for women. Over 40 for-profit corporations and over 40 nonprofit corporations have filed lawsuits claiming that the requirement to provide their employees with contraceptives violates their religious rights. On November 26, 2013, the Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases filed by for-profit corporations, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, that claim that this requirement violates their religious rights. At the crux of these cases is a question that the Supreme Court has not previously addressed: Do for-profit corporations have religious protections under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment? The brief provides background on how the ACA’s contraceptive requirement works, summarizes some of the legal challenges brought by for-profit and non-profit organizations and discusses the implications of potential rulings by the Supreme Court.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: May 2014

More than four years after the Affordable Care Act’s enactment and more than a month after the close of open enrollment, six in 10 Americans say the health reform law has not had an impact on them or their families, Kaiser’s May Tracking Poll finds. Among those who say it has, Republicans are much more likely to say their families have been hurt by the law than helped, while Democrats are more likely to say their families have been helped than hurt.

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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.