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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.

Sizing Up Exchange Market Competition

This issue brief offers an early look into how competitive the health insurance exchanges (also called marketplaces) are under the Affordable Care Act in selected states. Through analysis of enrollment data released by seven states (California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New York, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Washington) this brief finds that exchange markets in California and New York are shaping up to be more competitive than their individual markets were in 2012 while those of Connecticut and Washington show less competition (less even market share distribution). In several states, market concentration of individual insurers have shifted significantly compared to the individual market prior to the ACA, pointing to the potential for greater price competition in the future and the influence of new entrants to the market.

What People Don’t Realize About the Affordable Care Act

Drew Altman, in The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, discusses what people don’t realize about the ACA: it is engineered for variation and it is up to Congress and the states to learn from that variation.

Those Long Lines To Enroll In The ACA

In the latest post from the series Policy Insights, Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman discusses the need for community based outreach to enroll the long term uninsured. All previous Policy Insights posts are archived online. The Kaiser Family Foundation, a leader in health policy analysis, health journalism…

The Health-Cost Problem Is Coming Back

Drew Altman, in The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, discusses how the conversation will soon shift back to health-care costs from health coverage, because they are rising more sharply again. And as the discussion turns back, he says that because there is no national agreement on a strategy to address increasing costs, current efforts in the public and private sector, however fragmented and uncoordinated, will need to step up their game.

The Twin Goals of Health Insurance

Drew Altman, in The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, examines a study finding Massachusetts’ health reform saved lives in the context of health insurance’s twin goal: better access to improve health and economic security.

Women and Health Care in the Early Years of the ACA: Key Findings from the 2013 Kaiser Women’s Health Survey

This report addresses a wide range of topics that are at the heart of women’s health care, as well as changes that women may experience as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The findings in the report, based off a nationally representative survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, highlight differences in health care for uninsured, low-income, and minority women. Other focus areas include: coverage, access, and affordability; connections to health providers; access and utilization of preventive services; and reproductive and sexual health services for women of reproductive age, such as contraception and family planning services and screenings for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The Next Big Health-Care Issue

Drew Altman, in The Wall Street Journal‘s Think Tank, writes that the next big concern for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be how much premiums increase in exchanges for 2015. He discusses the factors to focus on to put this issue in perspective when states report premium increases.