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New Incentive for States to Adopt the ACA Medicaid Expansion: Implications for State Spending

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 encourages non-expansion states to take up the expansion by providing an additional temporary fiscal incentive for states to newly implement the ACA Medicaid expansion. This brief provides illustrative estimates of the net fiscal benefit to states from these incentives relative to state costs under the expansion.

How are States Addressing Racial Equity in COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts?

This brief reviews information available through state websites and publicly available vaccine distribution plans to provide greater insight into how states are addressing equity through vaccine allocation and distribution strategies, outreach and communications efforts, and data collection and reporting. It provides a snapshot and examples of state efforts in these areas.

ACA Open Enrollment Matters for Medicaid Coverage, Too

President Biden’s January 28th executive order to reopen enrollment in the federal ACA Marketplace from February 15 through May 15, combined with $50 million in federal spending on outreach and education about ACA coverage options, has the potential to reach millions of people who were uninsured prior to or have lost coverage during the pandemic. As of 2019, there were 29 million non-elderly uninsured people, and the majority (57%) were eligible for financial assistance through the ACA Marketplaces (33%) or Medicaid (25%). KFF estimates indicate that nearly nine million uninsured people could be eligible for free or subsidized Marketplace coverage during the new enrollment period. Importantly, these actions to facilitate enrollment in ACA Marketplace coverage will also likely lead eligible low-income people to enroll in Medicaid coverage.

Analyzing Recent Trends in Medicaid/CHIP Applications: What We Do and Do Not Know

This data note discusses changes in the number of applications for Medicaid/CHIP coverage during the coronavirus pandemic. Although enrollment in Medicaid/CHIP has increased steadily by more than 6 million individuals (9%) from February to September 2020, the total number of Medicaid/CHIP applications has decreased by more than 150,000 (-6%) in the same time period. The decline in applications might on the surface suggest that fewer people are applying for coverage even in the face of large job and income losses, but data limitations – in particular, the fact that application statistics do not distinguish between new signups and renewals – make it difficult to draw any clear conclusions.

Key Issues for State Medicaid Programs When the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Ends

As a result of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) , states have experienced increased enrollment along with administrative challenges. After the PHE ends, states are likely to have renewal and redetermination backlogs and will face decisions around continuing temporary policy changes. This brief highlights key issues from the new CMS guidance to states on how to unwind emergency authorities and resume normal eligibility and enrollment operations.

The Coverage Gap: Uninsured Poor Adults in States that Do Not Expand Medicaid

In states that do not implement the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many adults will fall into a “coverage gap” of earning too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for Marketplace premium tax credits. Nationwide, 2.2 million poor uninsured adults are in this situation. This brief presents estimates of the number of people in non-expansion states who could have been reached by Medicaid but instead fall into the coverage gap and discusses the implications of them being left out of ACA coverage expansions.

The Language of Health Care Reform

Published in the Jan. 19 edition of JAMA, this article from KFF Executive Vice President for Health Policy Larry Levitt lays out the major health policy challenges that will confront President-elect Biden and potential approaches to major reform. While a big reform debate may not be likely this year, one…

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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.