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Summary of HHS’s Final Rule on Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities

On May 18, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule to implement Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which prohibits discrimination in health coverage and care based on race, color, national origin, age or disability, and, for the first time sex. This Issue Brief provides a technical summary of Section 1557 and the final rule and highlights new protections and provisions included in the law and rule. Notably, Section 1557 is the first federal civil rights law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in health care. Moreover, the proposed rule extends the definition of sex discrimination to include discrimination on the basis of gender identity. In addition, the final rule establishes regulations related to the provision of language assistance services based on long-standing HHS policy guidance.

Analysis Finds End-of-Life Medicare Spending Declines With Age Among Seniors

Among beneficiaries who died in 2014, Medicare spent significantly more per person on medical services for seniors in their late sixties and early seventies than on older beneficiaries, according to a new data note from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The analysis comes at a time when physicians can now be…

Medicaid Financial Eligibility for Seniors and People with Disabilities in 2015

This report describes state variation in financial eligibility criteria and adoption of different options in the major Medicaid state plan eligibility pathways related to age and disability based on a 50-state survey. It also discusses how the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion affects eligibility for people with disabilities, describes optional state take-up of the ACA’s streamlined eligibility renewal procedures for age and disability-related pathways to date, and identifies issues to watch related to state policy changes in these areas.

Dual Eligible Demonstrations: The Beneficiary Perspective

This issue brief provides insights about initial implementation of the financial alignment demonstrations from the perspective of dual eligible beneficiaries in Massachusetts, Ohio, and Virginia, based on 12 individual interviews conducted in early 2015. Profiles of six beneficiaries are presented to illustrate representative program experiences, along with key findings from across all of the interviews.

Behavioral Health Parity and Medicaid

This issue brief explains how behavioral health parity applies in the Medicaid program, including the major provisions of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) April 10, 2015 proposed regulations, and identifies key policy issues at the intersection of behavioral health parity and Medicaid.

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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.