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Disparities in Health and Health Care: Five Key Questions and Answers

This brief provides an introductory overview of health and health care disparities, including what disparities are and why they matter, the status of disparities today, and key efforts to address disparities, including provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and their impact on health and health care disparities.

Implications of CMS’s New “Healthy Adult Opportunity” Demonstrations for Medicaid

On January 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance inviting states to apply for new Section 1115 demonstrations known as the “Healthy Adult Opportunity” (HAO). These demonstrations would permit states “extensive flexibility” to use Medicaid funds to cover Affordable Care Act (ACA) expansion adults and other nonelderly adults covered at state option who do not qualify on the basis of disability, without being bound by many federal standards related to Medicaid eligibility, benefits, delivery systems, and program oversight. In exchange, states would agree to a limit on federal financing in the form of a per capita or aggregate cap. States that opt for the aggregate cap and meet performance standards could access a portion of federal savings if actual spending is under the cap. This issue brief explains the key elements of the HAO guidance and considers the implications of the new demonstrations.

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, 2.3 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.

Why it Matters: Tennessee’s Medicaid Block Grant Waiver Proposal

On November 20, 2019, Tennessee submitted an amendment to its longstanding Section 1115 Waiver that would make major financing and administrative changes to its Medicaid program. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) certified the waiver as complete and opened a federal public comment period through December 27, 2019. Most significantly, Tennessee is requesting to receive federal funds in the form of a “modified block grant” and to retain half of any federal “savings” achieved under the block grant demonstration. This brief provides a high-level overview of the proposed waiver changes and context for why these changes matter.

HIV, Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), and Women: An Emerging Policy Landscape

Intimate partner violence has been shown to be associated with increased risk for HIV among women, as well as poorer treatment outcomes for those already diagnosed. This brief reviews the link between IPV and HIV, key policy changes and initiatives that attempt to address these challenges.

Analysis of Recent Declines in Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment

This fact sheet provides analysis of this recent enrollment decrease and discusses potential implications for coverage rates. It is based on Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Performance Indicator Project Data.

From Ballot Initiative to Waivers: What is the Status of Medicaid Expansion in Utah?

The Utah legislature significantly changed and limited the Medicaid coverage expansion that was adopted by the voters through a ballot initiative in November 2018. This issue brief explains new provisions in Utah’s recently amended Section 1115 Medicaid waiver and the additional amendments that the state has submitted to CMS, including most recently a request for enhanced ACA federal matching funds for an expansion to 138% FPL with an enrollment cap.

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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.