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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.

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.

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.

Measuring Changes in Insurance Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act

This data note discusses the details and timing of some of the private and federal surveys that will be used to look at how coverage has changed due to the Affordable Care Act. Different surveys offer different information and insight into coverage under the ACA, and we discuss the contributions and challenges in each type of effort.

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.

Summary of the Affordable Care Act

This document summarizes the comprehensive 2010 health reform law, often called the Affordable Care Act or ACA, including changes made to it by subsequent legislation, with a focus on provisions to expand coverage, control costs, and improve delivery systems.

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.