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The ACA’s Basic Health Program Option: Federal Requirements and State Trade-Offs

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) gives states the option to implement a Basic Health Program (BHP) that covers low-income residents through state-contracting plans outside the health insurance marketplace, rather than qualified health plans (QHPs). In March 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued final regulations on the requirements for a BHP and the methodology for calculating federal payments to states. States can choose to implement BHP beginning in 2015. This report summarizes these federal policies, including the requirements for BHP as well as the methodology for determining federal BHP payments. It then analyzes the key trade-offs facing states as they decide whether and, if so, how to implement BHP, with a particular focus on the impact of BHP on state budgets and the size, stability, and risk level of state marketplaces.

Health Insurance Explained: The YouToons Have it Covered

In this five-minute animated video, the YouToons help consumers understand their health insurance through fun, easy-to-understand explanations and scenarios. This cartoon serves as a tutorial for consumers and organizations. The YouToons previously appeared in the 2010 animated movie, “Health Reform Hits Main Street” and the 2013, “The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare: Health Insurance Changes Coming Your Way Under the Affordable Care Act.”

The Affordable Care Act’s Impact on Medicaid Eligibility, Enrollment, and Benefits for People with Disabilities

Medicaid is an important source of health insurance coverage for people with disabilities. This issue brief explains how Medicaid eligibility and benefits for people with disabilities are affected by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) rules as of 2014. Marketplace rules are discussed to the extent that they relate to Medicaid eligibility determinations for people with disabilities.

Retiree Health Benefits At the Crossroads

This issue brief reviews recent trends and developments in employer-sponsored retiree health coverage and examines the impact of recent legislation, such as the Medicare drug benefit and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on retiree health coverage. The report describes leading strategies employers have been pursuing or considering to limit costs for retiree health benefits. In addition, the report considers the potential implications of proposals aimed at reducing federal spending for retiree health coverage and costs.

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.

How is the ACA Impacting Medicaid Enrollment?

This issue brief provides an overview of new Medicaid enrollment data released by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and its interpretation to assess the influence of the ACA on Medicaid enrollment.

Potential Supreme Court Decision: Who Will Bear the Coverage “Burdens?”

The Supreme Court is expected to reach a decision by the end of June, 2014 on the cases brought forth by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, two for profit corporations challenging the ACA’s contraceptive coverage requirement. The plaintiffs contend that the requirement that they include coverage for certain contraceptive services (emergency contraceptive pills and intrauterine devices) in the insurance plans “substantially burdens” both the corporation’s and the owners’ religious rights. During the arguments, several of the justices discussed the extent to which the corporations did or not did not have a choice in offering coverage to their workers. In this brief, we explore some of the factors influencing coverage decisions and possible consequences for women and employers given possible Supreme Court decision options: either upholding the contraceptive coverage requirement, or in favor of Hobby Lobby.

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.

Issue Brief Explores Consequences of Potential Supreme Court Decisions on the ACA Contraceptive Coverage Requirement

A new Kaiser Family Foundation issue brief explores some of the factors influencing employers’ coverage decisions and possible consequences for employers and workers that could arise from possible Supreme Court decisions in the cases brought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, for-profit corporations challenging the Affordable Care Act’s requirement…

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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.