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The Burden of Medical Debt in the United States

This analysis uses government data to examine the burden of medical debt, including variations based on age, race and ethnicity, and health status . It estimates 9% of adults – or roughly 23 million people -owe medical debt, including 11 million who owe more than $2,000.

Potential Impact of Additional Federal Funds for Medicaid HCBS for Seniors and People with Disabilities

The American Rescue Plan includes a provision to increase the federal matching rate (FMAP) for spending on Medicaid HCBS by 10 percentage points from April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022 provided states maintain state spending levels as of April 1, 2021. This brief discusses the proposal and provides state by state estimates of the potential effects of the policy change. It was updated on May 28 to include key points from the new CMS guidance about how states can access the funds and examples of how funds can be used.

Direct Care Workforce Shortages Have Worsened in Many States During the Pandemic, Hampering Providers of Home and Community-Based Services

During the pandemic many states have experienced worsening direct care workforce shortages that have affected providers of home- and community-based long-term care services (HCBS), according to early findings of a new KFF survey of Medicaid HCBS programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Most states reported workforce…

Children with Special Health Care Needs: Coverage, Affordability, and HCBS Access

This issue brief provides context for ongoing policy discussions by describing key characteristics of children with special health care needs, comparing insurance affordability and access to key benefits among those covered by Medicaid/CHIP and those with private insurance, and considering the implications of additional Medicaid HCBS funding for children with special health care needs.

Two Medicaid-Related Initiatives That Help Promote Long-Term Care at Home and in the Community, Rather Than in Institutions, Are Set To Expire at the End of December

Two initiatives that for years have helped shift Medicaid enrollees away from nursing homes in favor of long-term care at home and in the community face year-end deadlines that could undercut that trend, according to two new KFF issue briefs. While there does not appear to be substantive disagreement over…

A View from the States: Key Medicaid Policy Changes: Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020

This report provides an in-depth examination of the changes taking place in Medicaid programs across the country. The findings are drawn from the 19th annual budget survey of Medicaid officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and Health Management Associates (HMA), in collaboration with the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD). This report highlights certain policies in place in state Medicaid programs in FY 2019 and policy changes implemented or planned for FY 2020.

Analysis Finds End-of-Life Medicare Spending Declines With Age Among Seniors

Among beneficiaries who died in 2014, Medicare spent significantly more per person on medical services for seniors in their late sixties and early seventies than on older beneficiaries, according to a new data note from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The analysis comes at a time when physicians can now be…

Summary of HHS’s Final Rule on Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities

On May 18, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule to implement Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which prohibits discrimination in health coverage and care based on race, color, national origin, age or disability, and, for the first time sex. This Issue Brief provides a technical summary of Section 1557 and the final rule and highlights new protections and provisions included in the law and rule. Notably, Section 1557 is the first federal civil rights law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in health care. Moreover, the proposed rule extends the definition of sex discrimination to include discrimination on the basis of gender identity. In addition, the final rule establishes regulations related to the provision of language assistance services based on long-standing HHS policy guidance.

Medicare’s Role for People Under Age 65 with Disabilities

This issue brief examines the role of Medicare for people under age 65 with disabilities, including how this group qualifies for Medicare, the characteristics of people under age 65 with disabilities compared to those age 65 or older, and how sources of supplemental coverage and prescription drug coverage, spending and use of services, and access to care differ for Medicare beneficiaries under age 65 with disabilities and older beneficiaries.

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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.