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Lowering the Age of Medicare Eligibility to 60 Could Reduce the Cost of Health Care and Have a Modest Effect on the Number of People Who Are Uninsured

A new KFF analysis shows that lowering the age of Medicare eligibility to 60 could improve the affordability of coverage for people who are already insured and expand coverage to over a million of the nation’s 30 million uninsured. Such a policy could provide a path to Medicare coverage for…

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4.7 Million Uninsured Adults Could Become Eligible for Medicaid by 2021 if All Remaining States Expanded the Program under the ACA

About 4.7 million uninsured adults could gain eligibility for Medicaid by 2021 if the 14 remaining non-expansion states were to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, a new KFF analysis finds. That figure includes an estimated 2.8 million adults who already were uninsured prior to the coronavirus pandemic and…

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Implications of the Expiration of Medicaid Long-Term Care Spousal Impoverishment Rules for Community Integration

To financially qualify for Medicaid long-term services and supports (LTSS), an individual must have a low income and limited assets. In response to concerns that these rules could leave a spouse without adequate means of support when a married individual needs LTSS, Congress created the spousal impoverishment rules in 1988. Originally, these rules required states to protect a portion of a married couple’s income and assets to provide for the “community spouse’s” living expenses when determining nursing home financial eligibility, but gave states the option to apply the rules to home and community-based services (HCBS) waivers.
Section 2404 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed the spousal impoverishment rules to treat Medicaid HCBS and institutional care equally from January 2014 through December 2018. Congress subsequently extended Section 2404 through December 2019. This issue brief answers key questions about the spousal impoverishment rules, presents 50-state data from a 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation survey about state policies and future plans in this area, and considers the implications if Congress does not further extend Section 2404.

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Expanding Medicare to Adults at Age 60 Years—Medicare-for-More?

In this column for the JAMA Health Forum, Larry Levitt examines the implications of lowering Medicare’s age of eligibility, which is emerging as a potential pathway toward Medicare-for-all or a public option among single-payer advocates. He explores the implications for costs, industry, people and broader reform efforts.

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Medicaid 101: What You Need To Know

With some states grappling over whether to expand Medicaid, and Congress facing big decisions about the future of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), this briefing reviewed the basics about both programs, and discuss current issues. Co-hosted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Alliance for Health Reform, KFF’s Diane Rowland and Ed Howard of the Alliance moderated the discussion.

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Briefing: Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility and Enrollment in 2016, and a Look Ahead: Findings from a 50-State Survey

At 9:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, January 21, the Kaiser Family Foundation hosted a public briefing to present findings from our 14th annual 50-state survey of Medicaid and CHIP eligibility, enrollment, renewal, and cost-sharing policies. The survey, conducted by the Foundation’s Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (KCMU) and…

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Brief Examines Per Enrollee Medicaid Spending for Seniors and People with Disabilities, Which Varies Greatly By State

Medicaid coverage of acute and long-term care for more than 6 million low-income seniors and 10 million nonelderly people with disabilities accounts for nearly two-thirds of overall Medicaid spending, although such enrollees represent less than a quarter of people on Medicaid.  Much of Medicaid’s spending on seniors and people with…

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Current Flexibility in Medicaid: An Overview of Federal Standards and State Options

The Trump Administration and new Congress have indicated that they will seek to cap Medicaid financing through a block grant or per capita cap, reduce federal funding for the program, and offer states increased flexibility to manage their programs within this more limited financing structure. The size of the federal reductions as well as which federal program standards would remain in place and what increased flexibility might be provided to states under such proposals would have significant implications. To help inform discussion around increased flexibility, this brief provides an overview of current federal standards and state options in Medicaid and how states have responded to these options in four key areas: eligibility, benefits, premiums and cost sharing, and provider payments and delivery systems.

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Aligning Eligibility for Children: Moving the Stairstep Kids to Medicaid

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that Medicaid cover children with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) ($31,322 for a family of four in 2013) as of January 2014. Today, there are “stairstep” eligibility rules for children. States must cover children under the age of six in families with income of at least 133 percent of the FPL in Medicaid while older children and teens with incomes above 100 percent of the FPL may be covered in separate state Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) or Medicaid at state option. While many states already cover children in Medicaid with income up to 133 percent FPL, due to the change in law, 21 states needed to transition some children from CHIP to Medicaid. This brief examines how the transition of children from CHIP to Medicaid will affect children and families as well as states. The brief also looks to New York and Colorado for lessons learned from the early transition of coverage.

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Getting into Gear for 2014: Findings From a 50-State Survey of Eligibility, Enrollment, Renewal and Cost-Sharing Policies in Medicaid and CHIP, 2012-2013

This 50-state survey provides a snapshot of Medicaid and CHIP enrollment and eligibility policies and procedures and highlights the changes that states will need to make in their programs to prepare for the ACA in 2014.

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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.