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Getting into Gear for 2014: Shifting New Medicaid Eligibility and Enrollment Policies into Drive

On January 1, 2014, many key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will start to go into effect, including the expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults and the launch of new Medicaid eligibility and enrollment processes, which are designed to move toward a coordinated enrollment system across health coverage programs, including Medicaid, CHIP, and the new Health Insurance Marketplaces. Over the past year, states have made steady and significant progress preparing for these changes, but readiness varies considerably as 2014 nears, and implementation work and ongoing process improvements will continue into the foreseeable future. To provide greater insight into the status of implementation, this report provides an overview of key state Medicaid eligibility and enrollment policies slated to go into effect based on data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Fast Track to Coverage: Facilitating Enrollment of Eligible People into the Medicaid Expansion

To help states launch the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Medicaid expansion and efficiently enroll eligible individuals, CMS has offered states a series of facilitated enrollment options. These options include strategies, referred to as “fast track enrollment” in this issue brief, that allow states to enroll eligible individuals into coverage using data already available from their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance programs (SNAP) and/or their Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs for children. This issue brief provides an overview of the new “fast track” enrollment options, including how they have been implemented, their impacts, and key lessons learned. It is based on a series of interviews with state officials in Arkansas, Illinois, Oregon and West Virginia conducted by Manatt Health Solutions and the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured in October 2013.

New Data Spotlight Tracks Rising Enrollment in Medicare Advantage Plan

A new brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation documents the continuing climb in Medicare Advantage plan enrollment, even at a time when payments to such plans are being reduced under the Affordable Care Act. Despite spending reductions enacted in the ACA to reduce historical overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans, from…

Explaining the 2015 Open Enrollment Period

The brief provides an overview of what consumers can expect during the second annual Open Enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which runs from November 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015. It is the second opportunity for uninsured individuals to enroll in private insurance coverage, premium tax credits and cost sharing subsidies and the first time that people newly insured in 2014 can renew their health plan coverage and subsidies. It also overlaps with the start of the tax filing season, during which subsidized individuals will undergo tax reconciliation of their 2014 financial assistance and the individual responsibility provisions of the ACA will be enforced.

Health Insurance Explained: The YouToons Have it Covered

In this five-minute animated video, the YouToons help consumers understand their health insurance through fun, easy-to-understand explanations and scenarios. This cartoon serves as a tutorial for consumers and organizations. The YouToons previously appeared in the 2010 animated movie, “Health Reform Hits Main Street” and the 2013, “The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare: Health Insurance Changes Coming Your Way Under the Affordable Care Act.”

JAMA Forum: Why Health Insurance Literacy Matters

Larry Levitt’s November 2014 post looks at the challenges with people not understanding basic health insurance concepts as millions of them evaluate and choose health plans during open enrollment season for insurance in 2015.

California’s Previously Uninsured After The ACA’s Second Open Enrollment Period

The Kaiser Family Foundation California Longitudinal Panel Survey is a series of surveys that, over time, tracks the experiences and views of a representative, randomly selected sample of Californians who were uninsured prior to the major coverage expansions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The initial baseline survey was conducted with a representative sample of 2,001 nonelderly uninsured Californian adults in summer 2013, prior to the ACA’s initial open enrollment period. The second survey in the series followed up with the same group of previously uninsured Californians who participated in the baseline (a longitudinal panel survey). The third in the series, and the focus of this report, followed up with them again after the second open enrollment period in spring 2015 to find out whether more have gained coverage, lost coverage, or remained uninsured, what barriers to coverage remain, how those who now have insurance view their coverage, and to assess the impacts that gaining health insurance may have had on financial security and access to care.

2016 Survey of Health Insurance Marketplace Assister Programs and Brokers

In its third year, the survey tracks the experiences of assistance programs signing people up for Affordable Care Act coverage during open enrollment and, for consumers who qualify, during special enrollment periods. This year, for the second time, the survey includes health insurance brokers who helped people apply for non-group coverage in an ACA marketplace.

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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.