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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.

Key Findings from the Field: Early Experience with ACA Enrollment in Maryland and Nevada

To learn more about the early ACA enrollment experience in two states, the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and PerryUndem Research and Communication conducted focus groups in Baltimore, Maryland and Reno, Nevada in November 2013 with low- and moderate-income individuals who recently applied for health insurance and consumer assisters trained to help individuals enroll. This study builds on previous work that examined preparations for open enrollment in several states, including Maryland and Nevada, which are both moving forward with the ACA’s Medicaid expansion to low-income adults and have established their own State-based Marketplace (SBM). The focus group discussions included adults who had successfully applied as well as consumer assisters.This brief provides key findings about the early ACA enrollment experience in Baltimore, Maryland and Reno, Nevada based on focus group discussions with these recent applicants and enrollment assisters.

Health Coverage and Care in the South: A Chartbook

The South has faced longstanding disparities in health and health care, although significant variation exists between southern states. As a group, compared to those in other regions, Southerners are more likely to be uninsured, less likely to have access to needed health services, and more likely to experience a number of chronic health conditions. This chartbook provides key data on the demographic and economic characteristics of the southern population as well as their health status, health insurance coverage, and access to care today.

How is the ACA Impacting Medicaid Enrollment?

This issue brief provides an overview of new Medicaid enrollment data released by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and its interpretation to assess the influence of the ACA on Medicaid enrollment.

A Closer Look at the Impact of State Decisions Not to Expand Medicaid on Coverage for Uninsured Adults

The Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion is a core component of the Affordable Care Act, designed to fill longstanding gaps in health coverage for adults. However, in states that do not implement the Medicaid expansion, millions of low-income adults that could have gained Medicaid will remain ineligible for the program. This fact sheet discusses the impact of state decisions not to expand Medicaid on health coverage for uninsured adults in states that are not currently implementing the ACA Medicaid expansion.

Measuring Changes in Insurance Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act

This data note discusses the details and timing of some of the private and federal surveys that will be used to look at how coverage has changed due to the Affordable Care Act. Different surveys offer different information and insight into coverage under the ACA, and we discuss the contributions and challenges in each type of effort.

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.

Visualizing Health Policy: Preventive Services for Women and the ACA

This month’s Visualizing Health Policy infographic takes a look at preventive health services for women, including missed opportunities for preventive counseling on risk factors (such as smoking or alcohol) and sexual health issues (such as contraception, sexually transmitted infections, and domestic violence), the effects of lack of insurance on rates…