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Health Coverage and Care in the South in 2014 and Beyond

This issue brief provides an overview of health coverage and care in the South today, with a focus on demographics, the impact of the ACA coverage expansions, and ongoing efforts to improve the delivery system and safety net in the South.

Health Coverage and Care in the South: A Chartbook

The South has faced longstanding disparities in health and health care, although significant variation exists between southern states. As a group, compared to those in other regions, Southerners are more likely to be uninsured, less likely to have access to needed health services, and more likely to experience a number of chronic health conditions. This chartbook provides key data on the demographic and economic characteristics of the southern population as well as their health status, health insurance coverage, and access to care today.

Women and Health Care in the Early Years of the ACA: Key Findings from the 2013 Kaiser Women’s Health Survey

This report addresses a wide range of topics that are at the heart of women’s health care, as well as changes that women may experience as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The findings in the report, based off a nationally representative survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, highlight differences in health care for uninsured, low-income, and minority women. Other focus areas include: coverage, access, and affordability; connections to health providers; access and utilization of preventive services; and reproductive and sexual health services for women of reproductive age, such as contraception and family planning services and screenings for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

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.

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.

Federal and State Standards for “Essential Community Providers” under the ACA and Implications for Women’s Health

Safety net providers such as community health centers and family planning clinics have served a significant role in the provision of primary care and reproductive health care services to low-income and uninsured people, particularly women. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has a provision aimed at assuring that newly-insured individuals, as well as those without coverage, can continue seeing their trusted safety net providers, also called Essential Community Providers (ECPs). This brief reviews the definition of ECPs, examines the federal and state rules that govern the extent to which plans must include these providers in their networks, identifies the variation from state to state, and discusses the particular importance of these rules and providers for women’s access to care.

Safety-Net Emergency Departments: A Look at Current Experiences and Challenges

Safety-net hospital emergency departments (EDs) are an important part of our health care system, especially, but not only, for the uninsured and others with low income. With multiple major changes unfolding in our system today, including the development of new models of health care delivery, payment reforms, expanded insurance coverage, and increasing demand for primary care access, safety-net EDs are a sort of crucible in which these shifts and transitions can be seen playing out. To understand more about their current experiences and challenges as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) begins to takes hold, we conducted interviews with ED directors in a convenience sample of 15 safety-net hospitals around the country in June and July 2014.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

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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.