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Women’s Health Policy

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Women at Risk: A View from the Safety Net

This video provides a snapshot of the Arlington (Va.) Free Clinic where, four times a month, medical personnel provide care and screenings exclusively to women. The video explores the hurdles that uninsured women face in accessing health care and the social issues, including work and family responsibilities, that create challenges…

State Medicaid Coverage of Perinatal Services: Summary of State Survey Findings

The report examines state Medicaid program policies regarding coverage of pregnancy-related services. It details state-level Medicaid eligibility and enrollment policies for pregnant women, as well as scope of coverage for prenatal and screening services, delivery and post-partum care, educational classes and support services.

Visualizing Health Policy: The Role of Medicaid and Medicare in Women’s Health Care

This month’s Visualizing Health Policy infographic provides information about the role of Medicaid and Medicare in women’s health care: the proportion of US women who are covered by Medicaid and Medicare; how women comprise the majority of those covered by the Medicaid and Medicare programs and the majority of those receiving long-term services and supports (such as home health care); how women on Medicaid are poorer and sicker than women with private coverage; how Medicaid is a primary payer for women’s reproductive health services; and how women on Medicare spend more than their male counterparts on medical care and also have higher rates of health problems and social challenges.

Putting Men’s Health Care Disparities On The Map: Examining Racial and Ethnic Disparities at the State Level

This report documents the persistence of disparities between white men and men of color — and among different groups within men of color — on 22 indicators of health and well-being, including rates of diseases such as AIDS, cancer, heart disease and diabetes, as well as insurance coverage and health screenings. It also catalogues disparities in factors that influence health and access to care such as income and education, and other social determinants of health.

Health Coverage and Expenses: Impact on Older Women’s Economic Well-Being

In this article in the Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, researchers from the Kaiser Family Foundation examine how health issues that women face over the course of their lives, as well as policies that shape Medicare, Medicaid and other supplemental coverage, can affect retired women’s economic well-being. They found that…

Potential Supreme Court Decision: Who Will Bear the Coverage “Burdens?”

The Supreme Court is expected to reach a decision by the end of June, 2014 on the cases brought forth by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, two for profit corporations challenging the ACA’s contraceptive coverage requirement. The plaintiffs contend that the requirement that they include coverage for certain contraceptive services (emergency contraceptive pills and intrauterine devices) in the insurance plans “substantially burdens” both the corporation’s and the owners’ religious rights. During the arguments, several of the justices discussed the extent to which the corporations did or not did not have a choice in offering coverage to their workers. In this brief, we explore some of the factors influencing coverage decisions and possible consequences for women and employers given possible Supreme Court decision options: either upholding the contraceptive coverage requirement, or in favor of Hobby Lobby.

Minimum Contraceptive Coverage Requirements Clarified by HHS Guidance

New HHS clarification on ACA contraceptive coverage requirement specifies that insurance plans must cover at no cost to women all of the 18 contraceptive methods approved by the FDA.  If a provider recommends a specific option or product, plans must cover it at no cost as well. Minimum Contraceptive Coverage…

Round 2 on the Legal Challenges to Contraceptive Coverage: Are Nonprofits “Substantially Burdened” by the “Accommodation”?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most private health insurance plans to provide coverage for a broad range of preventive services including Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved prescription contraceptives and services for women. Since the implementation of the ACA contraceptive coverage requirement in 2012, over 200 corporations have filed lawsuits claiming that including coverage for contraceptives or opting for an “accommodation” from the federal government violates their religious beliefs. This brief explains the legal issues raised by the nonprofit litigation and discusses the impact of the Hobby Lobby decision on the current litigation.

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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.