Policy Watch

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

Falling off the Subsidy Cliff: How ACA Premiums Would Change for People Losing Rescue Plan Subsidies

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers subsidies to offset the cost of health insurance, capping how much people signing up on the ACA Marketplaces pay at a certain percent of their income. These subsidies work on a sliding scale, with people whose incomes are just above poverty receiving the most generous subsidies while those with incomes of three to four times poverty paying more. For years, people with incomes just over four times the federal poverty level were not eligible for subsidies under the ACA, meaning even a small increase in income could mean they would have to pay full price – what came to be known as the “subsidy cliff.”

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Reading the Post-Roe Tea Leaves in States Without Abortion Bans or Protections

In the 17 states without explicit laws prohibiting or protecting abortions, we present a number of indicators to assess abortion access, including abortion restrictions, the number of clinics and women of reproductive age per clinic, as well as State Supreme Court rulings interpreting the right to abortion in that state.

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Community Health Centers Are Taking Actions to Prepare for the Unwinding of the Public Health Emergency

Community health centers, a national network of safety-net primary care providers, are poised to be on the front lines of the unwinding of the Medicaid continuous enrollment requirement when the public health emergency (PHE) ends. Health centers can be effective in raising awareness about Medicaid renewal requirements and in providing the help needed for enrollees to maintain Medicaid or transition to other coverage.

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Examining Prior Authorization in Health Insurance

This post explains what’s known about how insurers use prior authorization as a tool to control costs and encourage cost-effective care, the state and federal laws that govern it, and ongoing policy debates over efforts to impose standards to limit or regulate its use.

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For ACA Enrollees, How Much Premiums Rise Next Year is Mostly up to Congress

Health insurers are now submitting to state regulators proposed 2023 premiums for plans offered on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplaces. Changes in these unsubsidized premiums attract a lot of attention, but what really matters most to the people buying coverage is how much they pay out of their own pockets. And the amount ACA Marketplace enrollees pay is largely determined by the size of their premium tax credit. Generally speaking, when unsubsidized premiums rise, so do the premium tax credits, meaning out-of-pocket premium payments hold mostly steady for people getting financial assistance.

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Employer Coverage of Travel Costs for Out-of-State Abortion

This Policy Watch gives an overview of employers offering to cover travel expenses for workers who need to go out of state for an abortion in the context of increasing restrictions on abortion around the country. We discuss who is offering these benefits, the implications for workers, and some of the legal and political concerns for employers.

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