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Women’s Health Policy

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Women’s Health Issues Journal: Medicaid and Women’s Health Coverage Two Years into the Affordable Care Act

As Medicaid marks its 50th year, the program has unquestionably become the mainstay of health coverage for low-income women in the nation. Since its inception, its role for women has continued to evolve and expand, but the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) swung open the doors for Medicaid to serve even more low-income women who lack access to private or employer-based insurance. This is because the ACA enabled states to finally eliminate Medicaid’s historical “categorical” requirements, which had essentially shut out women and men without dependent children.

Summary of HHS’s Proposed Rule on Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities

On September 8, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed regulations to implement Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which prohibits discrimination in health coverage and care based on race, color, national origin, age or disability, and, for the first time sex. This Issue Brief provides a technical summary of Section 1557 and the proposed rule and highlights new protections and provisions included in the law and rule . Notably, Section 1557 is the first federal civil rights law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in health care. Moreover, the proposed rule extends the definition of sex discrimination to include discrimination on the basis of gender identity (but does not explicitly include sexual orientation). In addition, the proposed rule establishes regulations related to the provision of language assistance services based on long-standing HHS policy guidance. This brief does not assess the implications of the proposed rule.

Data Note: Are Nonprofits Requesting an Accommodation for Contraceptive Coverage?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most private health insurance plans to provide coverage for a broad range of preventive services, including most contraceptives for women. This policy was at the center of a Supreme Court case brought forward by for-profit corporations (Hobby Lobby and Conestoga) that successfully claimed that the contraceptive coverage requirement violated their religious rights. Last month, the Supreme Court agreed to hear yet another challenge (Zubik v Burwell) to the contraceptive coverage requirement, this time brought by nonprofit corporations, claiming that the accommodation established by the federal government for religiously affiliated nonprofit employers with objections to contraception violates their religious rights.

State Profiles for Women’s Health

This interactive tool provides state profiles on women’s health and access to care. Browse the map and click on a state to view a women’s health data dashboard in each of the four categories: demographics, health insurance coverage and access, sexual health, and pregnancy.

New Interactive Profiles Women’s Health in Each State

The Kaiser Family Foundation has launched a new interactive map and dashboard that offers the latest national and state-specific data on women’s health in the United States via comprehensive, easy-to-access state profiles. State Profiles for Women’s Health allows users to hover over a state in the map to see key facts for…

A Gender Gap in Economic Security for Seniors

Following up on an earlier column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank on seniors and poverty, Drew Altman looks at why older women will be more at risk of economic insecurity than men in the future.

A Gender Gap in Economic Security for Seniors

Following up on an earlier column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank on seniors and poverty, Drew Altman looks at why older women will be more at risk of economic insecurity than men in the future. All previous columns by Drew Altman are available.

Intrauterine Devices (IUDs): Access for Women in the U.S.

Intrauterine devices (IUDs), along with implants, are known as long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs) because they can be used to prevent pregnancy for several years. This fact sheet reviews the various IUDs approved by the FDA; awareness, use, and availability of IUDs; and key issues in insurance coverage and financing of IUDs in the United States.

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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.