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Kaiser Health Policy News Index: January 2015

The January 2015 Kaiser Health Policy News Index finds fewer than 3 in 10 Americans report paying attention to recent health policy news stories; considerably less than the shares who report following national and international news stories such as tension between the police and the mayor in New York City and the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: February 2014

The February 2014 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that those who are most likely to be customers in the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s new insurance exchanges (the uninsured and those who purchase their own coverage) are more likely to prefer less costly plans with narrow provider networks over more expensive plans with broader networks, while the public overall has the opposite preference. Overall opinion of the ACA remains about the same as it has been since November, with just under half the public viewing the law unfavorably and just over a third having a favorable view.

Connecting Consumers to Coverage: Lessons Learned from Assisters for Successful Outreach and Enrollment

This brief highlights the experiences of Navigators and other Marketplace consumer assistance programs under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in conducting outreach and providing enrollment assistance during the ACA’s first open enrollment period. It provides insight into the outreach and enrollment strategies the assisters developed and identifies the keys to successfully overcoming the challenges of the first year. These insights are based on findings from focus groups with assisters in four cities: Miami, Florida; Houston, Texas; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Cleveland, Ohio.

Data Note: Gearing Up For Round 2 of Open Enrollment: Some Lessons From Round 1

As the second round of open enrollment approaches, policy makers, journalists, insurers and enrollment groups may want to keep in mind what health insurance shoppers told us about their experiences during the first open enrollment period. This data note examines selected findings from two Kaiser Family Foundation surveys that shed light on how people navigated the new options and choices available under the ACA during last fall’s open enrollment, with the hope of helping to inform our understanding of individuals needs during this second open enrollment period.

Explaining the 2015 Open Enrollment Period

The brief provides an overview of what consumers can expect during the second annual Open Enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which runs from November 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015. It is the second opportunity for uninsured individuals to enroll in private insurance coverage, premium tax credits and cost sharing subsidies and the first time that people newly insured in 2014 can renew their health plan coverage and subsidies. It also overlaps with the start of the tax filing season, during which subsidized individuals will undergo tax reconciliation of their 2014 financial assistance and the individual responsibility provisions of the ACA will be enforced.

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.”