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A Tale of Two Siblings, the ACA, and the Supreme Court

In a column published on The Huffington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman shows how the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to make the ACA Medicaid expansion a state option has upended the health insurance system for low and moderate income people in many states and discusses how the states and federal government can address the problem.

State Fiscal Conditions and Medicaid: 2014 Update

This issue brief provides an overview of Medicaid financing, Medicaid’s role in state budgets, the relationship between Medicaid and the economy and how the ACA and the Medicaid expansion could affect state budgets.

The Affordable Care Act’s Impact on Medicaid Eligibility, Enrollment, and Benefits for People with Disabilities

Medicaid is an important source of health insurance coverage for people with disabilities. This issue brief explains how Medicaid eligibility and benefits for people with disabilities are affected by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) rules as of 2014. Marketplace rules are discussed to the extent that they relate to Medicaid eligibility determinations for people with disabilities.

Profiles of Medicaid Outreach and Enrollment Strategies: The Cook County Early Expansion Initiative

The brief provides an overview of the Cook County, Illinois “CountyCare” early expansion waiver experience, which may help inform continued efforts as the Medicaid expansion is implemented across states. It finds that, in just over 12 months, more than 82,000 Cook County residents successfully enrolled in CountyCare coverage, allowing the state and county to get a significant jump start on the Medicaid expansion. Illinois implemented the full Medicaid expansion in January 2014 and automatically transitioned CountyCare enrollees to the expansion. As of March 2014, CountyCare members account for nearly half of the total statewide enrollment of adults into the Medicaid expansion.

Health Coverage and Care in the South in 2014 and Beyond

This issue brief provides an overview of health coverage and care in the South today, with a focus on demographics, the impact of the ACA coverage expansions, and ongoing efforts to improve the delivery system and safety net in the South.

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 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.

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 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.