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Challenges to Forecasting Obamacare Enrollment for 2015

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman explains why 2015 enrollment in the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces is very hard to predict. All previous columns by Drew Altman are available online.

Estimating Federal Payments and Eligibility for Basic Health Programs: An Illustrative Example

In some states, policymakers and stakeholders are considering adoption of the Basic Health Program (BHP) option permitted under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Federal regulations allow BHP implementation beginning in 2015. Through BHP, consumers with incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) who would otherwise qualify for subsidized qualified health plans (QHPs) offered in health insurance marketplaces instead are offered state-contracting standard health plans that provide coverage no less generous and affordable than what have been provided in the marketplace. To operate BHPs, states receive federal funding equal to 95 percent of the premium tax credits (PTCs) and cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) that BHP enrollees would have received if they had been covered through QHPs. This paper seeks to inform state-level analysts about the characteristics of BHP-eligible people in their state and how to use that information to estimate the approximate federal BHP payment amount per average BHP-eligible resident.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: November 2014

Following the Nov. 4 midterm elections, nearly half of Americans expect increased debate between the two parties over the Affordable Care Act. In comparison, 42 percent say the amount of debate will not change, and very few (5%) say it will decrease. Conducted just prior to the start of the ACA’s second open enrollment season, the poll also probes the views of people without health insurance, one of the key target groups for outreach and enrollment efforts. It finds the uninsured remain largely unaware of the renewed opportunity to purchase or enroll in health insurance through the marketplaces over the next few months.

How 13 Million Americans Could Lose Insurance Subsidies

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman examines the potential impact if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs in the King v. Burwell case. Based on Congressional Budget Office estimates, Altman presents a new Kaiser Family Foundation analysis that shows that 13…

Kaiser Health Policy News Index: November 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. According to this month’s index, the public remains captivated by news coverage of the Ebola virus. Fewer, but still substantial shares, report following the conflicts in Iraq and Syria and the results of the midterm elections.

Web Briefing: Early Impacts of the Medicaid Expansion for the Homeless Population

The Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion provides a significant opportunity to increase health coverage and improve access to care for individuals experiencing homelessness, who historically have had high uninsured rates and often have multiple, complex physical and mental health needs. On Monday, December 15, 2014, the Kaiser Family Foundation hosted a…

Following Midterms, Both Democrats and Republicans Expect Washington to Continue to Debate the Affordable Care Act, But the Public Is Splintered Over What Congress Should Do

About Half of Uninsured Expect To Find Coverage in the Coming Months, Though Another Quarter Say They Won’t Because They Do Not Believe They Can Find an Affordable Plan Following the Nov. 4 midterm elections that saw Republicans seize control of the Senate and expand their House majority, nearly half of…

JAMA Forum: Why Health Insurance Literacy Matters

Larry Levitt’s November 2014 post looks at the challenges with people not understanding basic health insurance concepts as millions of them evaluate and choose health plans during open enrollment season for insurance in 2015.

Medicaid Expansion in Red States

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman explains that Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s decision on Medicaid expansion via the Affordable Care Act is the latest sign of pragmatism slowly winning over ideology in red states.