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Health Insurance Explained: The YouToons Have it Covered

In this five-minute animated video, the YouToons help consumers understand their health insurance through fun, easy-to-understand explanations and scenarios. This cartoon serves as a tutorial for consumers and organizations. The YouToons previously appeared in the 2010 animated movie, “Health Reform Hits Main Street” and the 2013, “The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare: Health Insurance Changes Coming Your Way Under the Affordable Care Act.”

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.

The ACA’s Basic Health Program Option: Federal Requirements and State Trade-Offs

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) gives states the option to implement a Basic Health Program (BHP) that covers low-income residents through state-contracting plans outside the health insurance marketplace, rather than qualified health plans (QHPs). In March 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued final regulations on the requirements for a BHP and the methodology for calculating federal payments to states. States can choose to implement BHP beginning in 2015. This report summarizes these federal policies, including the requirements for BHP as well as the methodology for determining federal BHP payments. It then analyzes the key trade-offs facing states as they decide whether and, if so, how to implement BHP, with a particular focus on the impact of BHP on state budgets and the size, stability, and risk level of state marketplaces.

The ACA and Recent Section 1115 Medicaid Demonstration Waivers

This brief focuses on Section 1115 Medicaid demonstration waivers related to implementation of the ACA Medicaid expansion (eligible for ACA enhanced matching funds) or other coverage (not eligible for ACA enhanced matching funds). To date, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved waivers to implement the Medicaid expansion in three states: Arkansas, Iowa and Michigan. In addition, Pennsylvania has a waiver proposal.

Medicaid Quiz

How much do you know about Medicaid, the role it plays in the lives of many Americans, how program dollars are spent and how Medicaid eligibility will change under health reform? Take this interactive quiz to find out.

Key Themes in Capitated Medicaid Managed Long-Term Services and Supports Waivers

This issue brief analyzes key themes in 19 capitated § 1115 and § 1915(b)/(c) Medicaid managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS) waivers approved to date by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) with a focus on covered populations and services, provisions aimed at expanding beneficiary access to HCBS, beneficiary protections, and quality measurement and oversight.

Early Impacts of the Medicaid Expansion for the Homeless Population

This analysis provides an early look at the impact of the expansion for homeless providers and the patients they serve. It is based on focus groups conducted with administrators, providers, and enrollment workers at four sites serving homeless individuals in states that have expanded Medicaid (Albuquerque, NM; Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; and Portland, OR) and one site in a state that has not expanded (Jacksonville, FL), as well as administrative data collected from the sites.

The Coverage Gap: Uninsured Poor Adults in States that Do Not Expand Medicaid – An Update

In states that do not implement the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many adults will fall into a “coverage gap” of earning too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for Marketplace premium tax credits. Nationwide, nearly four million poor uninsured adults are in this situation.This brief describes the population in the coverage gap and discusses the implications of them being left out of ACA coverage expansions.

How the Midterms Factor Into Medicaid Expansion

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman discusses how Democratic victories in several close gubernatorial races on Tuesday could revive efforts to expand Medicaid.