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Getting into Gear for 2014: Shifting New Medicaid Eligibility and Enrollment Policies into Drive

On January 1, 2014, many key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will start to go into effect, including the expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults and the launch of new Medicaid eligibility and enrollment processes, which are designed to move toward a coordinated enrollment system across health coverage programs, including Medicaid, CHIP, and the new Health Insurance Marketplaces. Over the past year, states have made steady and significant progress preparing for these changes, but readiness varies considerably as 2014 nears, and implementation work and ongoing process improvements will continue into the foreseeable future. To provide greater insight into the status of implementation, this report provides an overview of key state Medicaid eligibility and enrollment policies slated to go into effect based on data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Webinar for Journalists: How the Affordable Care Act Affects Baby Boomers and Medicare Beneficiaries

As part of the “Covering Health Reform” series, this webinar focused on the major changes facing older people. The Foundation’s Associate Director of the Program on Medicare Policy, Juliette Cubanski and Senior Fellow Karen Pollitz discussed how the Affordable Care Act impacts Medicare benefits and beneficiaries, as well as the ACA’s role for baby boomers who are not yet 65 and eligible for Medicare.

Fast Track to Coverage: Facilitating Enrollment of Eligible People into the Medicaid Expansion

To help states launch the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Medicaid expansion and efficiently enroll eligible individuals, CMS has offered states a series of facilitated enrollment options. These options include strategies, referred to as “fast track enrollment” in this issue brief, that allow states to enroll eligible individuals into coverage using data already available from their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance programs (SNAP) and/or their Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs for children. This issue brief provides an overview of the new “fast track” enrollment options, including how they have been implemented, their impacts, and key lessons learned. It is based on a series of interviews with state officials in Arkansas, Illinois, Oregon and West Virginia conducted by Manatt Health Solutions and the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured in October 2013.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: November 2013

Amid heavy news coverage of problems with the Affordable Care Act’s rollout, the November Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds a significant negative shift in the public’s views of the law, with roughly half now holding an unfavorable view and just a third holding a positive one.

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.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: April 2014

Despite the news that 8 million people have signed up for health insurance through the ACA’s new marketplaces, the April Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds no change in overall opinion of the law since last month . The most common reason for remaining uninsured is not being able to find an affordable plan. Also, a majority of the public supports the ACA’s requirement that private health insurance plans cover the full cost of birth control and believes that for-profit companies should be subject to this requirement even if their owners object to birth control on religious grounds.

Kaiser Health Policy News Index: April 2014

The Kaiser Health Policy News Index is designed to help journalists and policymakers understand which health policy-related news stories Americans are paying attention to, and what the public understands about health policy issues covered in the news. This month’s Index finds that the public followed the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, the shooting at the Fort Hood army post, and the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, more closely than any health policy news stories. Among health policy news, the most closely-followed story was coverage of how many people have enrolled in health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which just over half the public reports following “very” or “fairly” closely.