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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.

A Closer Look at the Impact of State Decisions Not to Expand Medicaid on Coverage for Uninsured Adults

The Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion is a core component of the Affordable Care Act, designed to fill longstanding gaps in health coverage for adults. However, in states that do not implement the Medicaid expansion, millions of low-income adults that could have gained Medicaid will remain ineligible for the program. This fact sheet discusses the impact of state decisions not to expand Medicaid on health coverage for uninsured adults in states that are not currently implementing the ACA Medicaid expansion.

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.

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.

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.

The Coverage Gap: Uninsured Poor Adults in States that Do Not Expand Medicaid

The expansion of Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) fills in historical gaps in coverage for adults and is a key piece of the continuum of new coverage options. However, in states that do not expand Medicaid, nearly five million poor uninsured adults have incomes above Medicaid eligibility levels but below poverty and may fall into a “coverage gap” of earning too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for Marketplace premium tax credits.

As the Economy Improves, the Number of Uninsured Is Falling But Not Because of a Rebound in Employer Sponsored Insurance

Insurance coverage has rebounded since the end of the Great Recession, mostly because of increases in Medicaid coverage. Employer coverage stabilized after the recession, but mostly because of policies allowing young adults to stay on parents’ coverage. For other age groups, employer coverage rates are still falling. Ongoing shifts in employment status, industry type, income, demographics, and region have affected changes in coverage nationally.

All Eyes on the Supreme Court: More than Birth Control at Stake

On March 25th, the Supreme Court will hear two cases brought by for-profit corporations challenging the ACA’s contraceptive coverage rule on religious grounds. These two corporations are Hobby Lobby, a national chain of craft stores owned by a Christian family and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a cabinet manufacturer, owned by a Mennonite family. Beyond the impact on the ACA and contraceptive coverage, the Court’s decision may have implications for religious rights of employers and employees, as well as corporate and civil rights laws. This brief examines three fundamental questions raised by some of the 84 amicus briefs that have been submitted to the Court.