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The Uncertain Future of Policies to Promote Access and Affordability Put in Place During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In this column for the JAMA Health Forum, Larry Levitt highlights four changes implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic that helped to make health care more accessible and affordable and the prospects for those changes to telehealth, COVID-19 coverage, Medicaid and marketplace premiums continuing beyond the pandemic’s end.

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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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Unwinding the PHE: What We Can Learn From Pre-Pandemic Enrollment Patterns

This brief examines typical enrollment patterns for Medicaid and CHIP and uses 2018 Medicaid claims data to gain insight into the effects of the continuous enrollment requirements by eligibility group. Roughly 2% of Medicaid enrollees come on or leave the program in an average month, although there is variation across eligibility groups. A policy to require continuous enrollment would result in sharp reductions in monthly disenrollment rates and would also reduce monthly enrollment rates due to reductions in churn.

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Ending COVID-19 Emergency Declarations Will Bring an End to Flexibilities that Aided Patients, Providers, Insurers, and Public Programs in Responding to the Pandemic

When the federal government ends COVID-19 emergency declarations that were declared in the early days of the pandemic, it will bring to a close several changes that were enacted temporarily to enable the U.S. health care system to better deal with the crisis. A new KFF resource details a number…

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What Happens When COVID-19 Emergency Declarations End? Implications for Coverage, Costs, and Access

This brief provides an overview of the major health-related COVID-19 federal emergency declarations that have been made since early on in the pandemic, summarizes the flexibilities triggered by each, and identifies the implications for their ending, related to coverage, costs, and payment for COVID-19 testing, treatments, and vaccines; Medicaid coverage and federal match rates; telehealth; access to medical countermeasures through FDA emergency use authorization (EUA); and other Medicaid, Medicare and private health insurance flexibilities.

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Health Coverage of Immigrants

This fact sheet provides an overview of health coverage for noncitizens and discusses key issues for health coverage and care for immigrant families today.

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Out-of-Pocket Charges for Rape Kits and Services for Sexual Assault Survivors

Although federal legislation intends to provide no-cost rape kits to all survivors of sexual violence, some survivors still face out-of-pocket charges for minimum standard rape kit services as well as other medical care that takes place following a sexual assault. This brief examines the policies that impact coverage of health care services for survivors of sexual assault and identifies gaps in those programs and coverage for their care, particularly for women with private health insurance.

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Without Build Back Better, Will the End of the Public Health Emergency Leave Even More People Uninsured?

Continuous enrollment in Medicaid and enhanced premium assistance have helped millions afford and maintain coverage, but those gains could be reversed as the public emergency ends and if the provisions like those in the Build Back Better Act fail to pass.

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People With HIV in Non-Medicaid Expansion States: Who Could Gain Coverage Eligibility Through Build Back Better or Future Expansion?

In this analysis, we explore the implications of the Build Back Better Act’s current coverage provisions for people with HIV in select non-expansion states. We estimate the size of the population that could gain eligibility as well as their socio-demographic characteristics, examine their affordability barriers and assess the potential impact on the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. We also explore what Medicaid expansion could mean in these non-expansion states for people with HIV.

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Are Medicare Advantage Insurers Covering the Cost of At-Home COVID-19 Tests?

The Biden Administration’s requirement for private insurers to cover the cost of at-home rapid COVID-19 tests for their enrollees does not apply to Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans (offered by private insurers) have the option to cover at-home tests but are not required to do so. This policy watch examines whether some of the largest private Medicare Advantage plans are covering the cost of at-home rapid tests for COVID-19.

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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.