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Kaiser Health Policy Tracking Poll: December 2014

With many of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) major provisions taking effect this past year, the December Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that many Americans are aware of the main parts of the law and, with the exception of the individual mandate, at least 6 in 10 feel favorably towards them. The poll finds the vast majority of the uninsured don’t know the deadline to enroll, most expect to get health insurance in the next few months, and nearly two-thirds say they don’t think they’ll have to pay a fine, or don’t know if they will, for not having coverage this year.

Kaiser Health Policy News Index: December 2014

Other than the big stories of Ferguson, Ebola and ISIS, the only other news which captured a majority of the public’s attention this month was President Obama’s executive order on immigration. Smaller, yet substantial, shares report closely following many health policy news stories this month. Over four in ten say they closely followed the lawsuit filed by House Republicans against President Obama over the implementation of the health care law and about a third say they followed a change in the official estimate for the number of people that enrolled in health insurance during the ACA’s first open enrollment period and the ACA’s second open enrollment period. The least closely followed health policy story of those asked about this month, was coverage of comments about the ACA made by MIT health economist, Jonathan Gruber

Web Briefing: Early Impacts of the Medicaid Expansion for the Homeless Population

The Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion provides a significant opportunity to increase health coverage and improve access to care for individuals experiencing homelessness, who historically have had high uninsured rates and often have multiple, complex physical and mental health needs. On Monday, December 15, 2014, the Kaiser Family Foundation hosted a…

New Spanish-Language Cartoon and Calculator to Help Consumers Understand Health Insurance

The Kaiser Family Foundation today released two new Spanish-language tools to help consumers better understand health insurance as they shop for plans during open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces and in other venues. El seguro de salud, explicado: ¡los YouToons lo tienen cubierto!, is a Spanish version of…

El seguro de salud, explicado: ¡los YouToons lo tienen cubierto!

En Español El seguro de salud, explicado: ¡los YouToons lo tienen cubierto! desglosa conceptos de seguros como primas, deducibles y redes de proveedores.  Explica cómo las personas pagan por su cobertura y cómo obtener cuidado médico y medicamentos recetados con distintos tipos de seguros de salud, incluyendo HMOs y PPOs.…

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.

Estimating Federal Payments and Eligibility for Basic Health Programs: An Illustrative Example

In some states, policymakers and stakeholders are considering adoption of the Basic Health Program (BHP) option permitted under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Federal regulations allow BHP implementation beginning in 2015. Through BHP, consumers with incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) who would otherwise qualify for subsidized qualified health plans (QHPs) offered in health insurance marketplaces instead are offered state-contracting standard health plans that provide coverage no less generous and affordable than what have been provided in the marketplace. To operate BHPs, states receive federal funding equal to 95 percent of the premium tax credits (PTCs) and cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) that BHP enrollees would have received if they had been covered through QHPs. This paper seeks to inform state-level analysts about the characteristics of BHP-eligible people in their state and how to use that information to estimate the approximate federal BHP payment amount per average BHP-eligible resident.

The ACA’s Basic Health Program Option: Federal Requirements and State Trade-Offs

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) gives states the option to implement a Basic Health Program (BHP) that covers low-income residents through state-contracting plans outside the health insurance marketplace, rather than qualified health plans (QHPs). In March 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued final regulations on the requirements for a BHP and the methodology for calculating federal payments to states. States can choose to implement BHP beginning in 2015. This report summarizes these federal policies, including the requirements for BHP as well as the methodology for determining federal BHP payments. It then analyzes the key trade-offs facing states as they decide whether and, if so, how to implement BHP, with a particular focus on the impact of BHP on state budgets and the size, stability, and risk level of state marketplaces.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | 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 Menlo Park, California.