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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.

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.

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.

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.

An Introduction to Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility and Enrollment Performance Measures

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently established 12 new Medicaid and CHIP eligibility and enrollment performance indicators for states to report beginning in October 2013. These indicators provide insight into the performance of new eligibility and enrollment policies established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In December 2013, CMS released initial reports for a subset of the indicators. This brief provides an overview of the new performance indicators; the initial data; and the opportunities and challenges associated with reporting, analyzing, and interpreting the data.

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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.