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Medicaid and Racial Health Equity

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated longstanding racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care. In the past year, the federal government and many states have identified advancing health equity as a key priority for the Medicaid program, which is a major source of health coverage for people of color. This issue brief provides greater insight into the role Medicaid can play in advancing racial health equity.

The Impact of the COVID-19 Recession on Medicaid Coverage and Spending

Unlike previous recessions in modern history, this past recession was spurred by the spread of a virus (COVID-19), which created a public health crisis with unique health implications. This brief describes the broader impacts of this most recent recession – which lasted from February 2020 to April 2020 — and also explores how trends in Medicaid spending and enrollment differed from past recessions and what that might mean for state Medicaid programs moving forward.

People With HIV in Non-Medicaid Expansion States: Who Could Gain Coverage Eligibility Through Build Back Better or Future Expansion?

In this analysis, we explore the implications of the Build Back Better Act’s current coverage provisions for people with HIV in select non-expansion states. We estimate the size of the population that could gain eligibility as well as their socio-demographic characteristics, examine their affordability barriers and assess the potential impact on the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. We also explore what Medicaid expansion could mean in these non-expansion states for people with HIV.

What to Watch in Medicaid Section 1115 Waivers One Year into the Biden Administration

Section 1115 demonstration waivers provide states an avenue to test new approaches in Medicaid and generally reflect changing priorities from one presidential administration to another. This issue brief summarizes waiver priorities and actions under the Biden Administration as well as pending waiver themes and other issues to watch. If the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) fails to pass or is narrowed significantly, Medicaid waivers and other administrative actions may be a key tool for the Biden Administration to advance policy priorities absent legislation.

Medicaid: What to Watch in 2022

As 2022 kicks off, a number of issues are at play that could affect coverage and financing under Medicaid. This issue brief examines key issues to watch in Medicaid in the year ahead.

State Policies Connecting Justice-Involved Populations to Medicaid Coverage and Care

The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified pre-existing health disparities for justice-involved populations, with coronavirus infection rates among incarcerated populations higher than overall infection rates in nearly all states. Justice-involved individuals are disproportionately low-income and often have complex and/or chronic conditions, including behavioral health needs. Although the statutory inmate exclusion policy prohibits Medicaid from covering services provided during incarceration (except for inpatient services), states may take other steps to leverage Medicaid to improve continuity of care for justice-involved individuals.

State Policies Expanding Access to Behavioral Health Care in Medicaid

On KFF’s 21st annual Medicaid budget survey, all responding states reported at least one initiative to expand behavioral health care in Medicaid, including crisis service and other benefit expansions, initiatives to expand telehealth and address equity, and managed care changes.

Build Back Better Would Reduce Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) Payments and Limit Uncompensated Care (UCC) Pools in Non-Expansion States

The Build Back Better (BBB) Act proposes reducing disproportionate share hospital (DSH) allotments by 12.5% starting in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2023 and places limits on Medicaid uncompensated care (UCC) pools for non-expansion states. This policy watch explains what these payments are, what changes have been tied to the ACA, and examines potential implications of changes included in the BBB.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
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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.