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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 Impact of the Coverage Gap in States not Expanding Medicaid by Race and Ethnicity

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expansion of Medicaid to adults with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL) effectively became a state option following the Supreme Court decision, creating a “coverage gap” for many poor uninsured adults in states that do not expand Medicaid. This brief examines this coverage gap by race and ethnicity.

Data Note: Attempting to Measure Early Impact of the ACA through National Public Opinion Polls- A Note of Caution and What to Watch For

After the October start of open enrollment, under the Affordable Care Act, many journalists, policymakers, and the public at large are eager for early data indicating how the law is working from the perspective of potential enrollees. In particular, given the problems with Healthcare.Gov and some of the state exchange websites, many people want quantitative data about people’s experiences attempting to purchase or enroll in some sort of health insurance coverage using these mechanisms.
This Data Note raises a note of caution about the possible pitfalls of using standard national public opinion polls to make judgments about Americans’ early experiences with health plan enrollment under the ACA.

State Marketplace Profiles: Delaware

Updated as of October 10, 2013 Establishing the Marketplace In July 2012, Governor Jack Markell (D) indicated that Delaware would begin planning for a State Partnership Marketplace.1 Delaware will retain plan management and consumer assistance functions, and defer other Marketplace management functionality to the federal government.2 In July 2013, the…

State Exchange Profiles: Missouri

Updated as of December 13, 2012 Establishing the Exchange On November 6, 2012, Missouri voters passed a ballot measure blocking Governor Jay Nixon (D) from establishing an exchange via Executive Order.1 Legislation establishing a state-based health insurance exchange failed in both the 2012 and 2011 legislative sessions. While the Governor initially…

State Exchange Profiles: Mississippi

Updated as of February 11, 2013 Establishing the Exchange In October 2011, Mississippi’s elected Commissioner of Insurance Mike Chaney (R) announced that the state would establish a Health Insurance Exchange that would be operated by the Mississippi Comprehensive Health Insurance Risk Pool Association and regulated by the Insurance Department.1 However, Governor…

State Marketplace Profiles: Massachusetts

Updated as of September 29, 2013 Establishing the Marketplace On April 12, 2006, former Governor Mitt Romney (R) signed into law comprehensive health reform legislation designed to provide near-universal health coverage for state residents.1 The Massachusetts health reform law became the model for national health reform. An important component of…

State Marketplace Profiles: West Virginia

Updated as of October 24, 2013 Establishing the Marketplace On February 15, 2013, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) submitted a blueprint to Secretary Sebelius for West Virginia to establish a Partnership Marketplace with plan management responsibilities.1 In the previous year, Governor Tomblin had signed SB 408 into law to…