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Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: June 2014

As many employers begin to expand their wellness programs under new guidelines set forth by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds workers oppose programs that make them pay higher premiums if they fail to participate or meet specific health goals. Overall public opinion of the ACA remains about the same as it has for the last several months, with a somewhat higher share of the public continuing to express an unfavorable view of the law (45%) than a favorable one (39%).

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.

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…

Report Examines Current Role and Future Outlook of Retiree Health Coverage

A new Kaiser Family Foundation report examines the current role and future outlook of employer-sponsored retiree health benefits for pre-65 and Medicare-eligible retirees. Retiree Health Benefits At the Crossroads reviews recent trends and developments in employer-sponsored retiree health coverage and examines the impact of recent legislation, such as the Medicare…

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.

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.

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.

The Uninsured: A Primer – Key Facts about Health Insurance on the Eve of Coverage Expansions

In 2012, 47 million nonelderly Americans were uninsured. While the number of uninsured people has decreased slightly in recent years, this trend has not reversed several years of recession-related losses in coverage for millions. Coverage expansions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that will go into effect in 2014 have the potential to substantially further reduce the number of people without insurance.