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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.

Kaiser Health Policy News Index: February 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 implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was the most-closely followed health policy news story this month, ranking behind news of the U.S. economy. The survey also finds that the news media is by far the public’s top source of information on the ACA, and the public believes media coverage of the law has focused more on politics and controversies than the impact on people.

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.

Coverage for Abortion Services and the ACA

This issue brief, Coverage of Abortion Services and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), summarizes the major coverage provisions of the ACA that are relevant for women of reproductive age, reviews current federal and state policies on Medicaid and insurance coverage of abortion services as they relate to the ACA, and presents national and state estimates on the availability of abortion coverage for women who are newly eligible for Medicaid or private coverage through the Marketplaces as a result of the ACA.

Explaining Health Care Reform: Risk Adjustment, Reinsurance, and Risk Corridors

This report examines the premium stabilization programs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Risk Adjustment, Reinsurance, and Risk Corridors — also called the Three R’s — will work in the early years of health reform to stabilize premiums and promote insurer competition on the basis of quality and promote market stability.

Webinar for Journalists: Women’s Health Under the Affordable Care Act

The Kaiser Family Foundation hosted an interactive webinar for journalists through its Media Fellowships Program: “Women’s Health Under the Affordable Care Act,” which took place on Thursday, February 6 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. Now that the ACA’s coverage expansions are in effect, the Foundation’s latest webinar looked at…

Medicaid Enrollment Under the Affordable Care Act: Understanding the Numbers

This issue brief walks through data recently released from Health and Human Services (HHS) and what it can and cannot tell us about the number of people that have applied for Medicaid since open enrollment for health insurance marketplaces began, how many have enrolled, and what the role of the ACA is in recent Medicaid coverage gains.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: January 2014

With enrollment in new coverage options underway, a majority of the public believes that only “some” of the ACA’s provisions have been put into place, while just about one in five think “most” or “all” of the law has been implemented. Awareness of the law’s individual mandate and health insurance exchanges has increased slightly since last year, but about four in ten of the public overall and half the uninsured remain unaware of other major provisions. For the third month in a row, overall views of the law remain at their post-rollout more negative levels (50 percent unfavorable, 34 percent favorable), though over half the public – including three in ten of those who view the law unfavorably – say opponents should work on improving the law rather than keeping up efforts to repeal it.