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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.

Uncompensated Care for the Uninsured in 2013: A Detailed Examination

This report provides estimates of spending for uncompensated care, in 2013, just before implementation of health reform’s major coverage provisions. The report estimates the amount of uncompensated care provided, analyzes the site of care for uncompensated services, and details sources of funding for uncompensated care. These estimates provide an important baseline against which to measure major changes that are occurring under the ACA.

The Affordable Care Act and Insurance Coverage in Rural Areas

Rural populations face disparities compared to metropolitan populations in health care. While rural individuals were not more likely to be uninsured than metropolitan counterparts pre-Affordable Care Act, they were poorer and less likely to have private insurance. With coverage changes in the ACA involving an expansion of Medicaid for poor and near-poor populations, decisions by states with large rural populations may cause rural residents to have disparate access to coverage, which may exacerbate cost and access barriers to health care.

Strategies in 4 Safety-Net Hospitals to Adapt to the ACA

This brief examines four safety-net hospitals to learn how they were preparing for the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), in order to gain additional insight into the strategies being used and challenges being faced among safety-net hospitals across the country.

Advancing Opportunities, Assessing Challenges: Key Themes from a Roundtable Discussion of Health Care and Health Equity in the South

This brief summarizes the primary themes expressed by participants of a roundtable discussion of current and future opportunities and challenges for advancing health care and health equity in the South organized by Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

Does the Affordable Care Act Cover the Uninsured?

Drew Altman, in The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, discusses what a new Foundation survey finds about one of the biggest questions about the Affordable Care Act: whether it covers the uninsured.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: October 2014

In the final Kaiser Health Tracking Poll before the 2014 midterm elections in November, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to be just one of several issues on voters’ minds. Less than 1 in 10 registered voters identify the ACA as the most important issue to their vote, ranking behind the economy, dissatisfaction with government, education and the situation in Iraq and Syria. With the ACA’s second open enrollment period approaching, the poll also finds the uninsured are not yet tuned in. About 9 in 10 of the uninsured are unaware of when the next open enrollment period begins, two thirds say they know “only a little” or “nothing at all” about the marketplaces, and just over half are unaware of financial assistance available.

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.

Data Note: Gearing Up For Round 2 of Open Enrollment: Some Lessons From Round 1

As the second round of open enrollment approaches, policy makers, journalists, insurers and enrollment groups may want to keep in mind what health insurance shoppers told us about their experiences during the first open enrollment period. This data note examines selected findings from two Kaiser Family Foundation surveys that shed light on how people navigated the new options and choices available under the ACA during last fall’s open enrollment, with the hope of helping to inform our understanding of individuals needs during this second open enrollment period.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.