Policy Watch

Quick-hitting policy analysis, polling, and updates on the key issues facing the country.

Considerations for Covering Over-the-Counter Contraception

In October 2023, the Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services issued a request for information to gather public input about the potential benefits, costs, and implementation considerations of requiring private health insurance plans to cover OTC preventive services and supplies without a prescription. This policy watch addresses key considerations for the implementation of insurance coverage for non-prescribed OTC contraceptives based on the lessons learned from KFF’s 2023 study of Insurance Coverage of OTC Oral Contraceptives.

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What to Watch in the 2024 ACA Open Enrollment

With the start of the 2024 Affordable Care Act open enrollment, the Marketplaces have been operating for a full decade and are heading into their eleventh year. This policy watch outlines changes to watch out for during 2024 Open Enrollment.

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Signing Up for Marketplace Coverage Remains a Challenge for Many Consumers

As open enrollment begins for Marketplace plans, this Policy Watch provides information about consumer experiences with Marketplace sign up from the 2023 KFF Consumer Survey. Data from the survey show that Marketplace sign up has been a challenge to many consumers—often more complicated than enrollment in other kinds of health insurance. The Policy Watch also spotlights efforts to address common enrollment problems such as option overload and transitioning to Marketplace coverage from other forms of coverage.

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Six Months into the Medicaid Unwinding: What Do the Data Show and What Questions Remain?

Six months into the unwinding of the Medicaid continuous enrollment provision, KFF tracking shows states are reporting outcomes for over 28 million renewals, accounting for three in ten people who were enrolled as of March 2023 when continuous enrollment ended. This policy watch examines the latest data and key questions as the unwinding continues to unfold.

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Understanding Medicaid Ex Parte Renewals During the Unwinding

As states unwind the Medicaid continuous enrollment provision, they must comply with federal renewal requirements, including the requirement to conduct ex parte, or automated renewals. This policy watch explains what ex parte renewals are, examines variation in ex parte renewal rates across states, and discusses current issues as well as actions states are taking to increase ex parte rates.

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What Do Medicaid Unwinding Data by Race and Ethnicity Show?

As of September 2023, nine states are reporting data that allow for analysis of disenrollment patterns by race and ethnicity. Five states (Arizona, California, Indiana, Minnesota, and Oregon) provide data on disenrollment rates by race and ethnicity. Four states (Nevada, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Washington) report the distribution of disenrollments by race and ethnicity that can be compared to the distribution of overall Medicaid enrollment in each state by race and ethnicity.

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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.