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Filling the Coverage Gap: Policy Options and Considerations

This issue brief examines some of the other options policymakers may consider to extend coverage to people in the gap, including increased fiscal incentives for states, a narrower public option, and making people with incomes below the poverty level eligible for enhanced ACA premium subsidies.

Declines in Uncompensated Care Costs for The Uninsured under the ACA and Implications of Recent Growth in the Uninsured Rate

The increase in the uninsured rate in recent years, as well as loss of coverage during the pandemic, has led to attention on the consequences of being uninsured. The need for medical care to test, treat, or prevent COVID-19 has also highlighted the potential consequences of uncompensated care for uninsured people. Uncompensated care costs occur because, although people who are uninsured use less care than people with coverage, most who are uninsured have limited income or resources and cannot afford the high cost of medical care, if and when they do need or use health care.

Sources of Payment for Uncompensated Care for the Uninsured

This brief estimates the level of public funding that was paid to help offset providers’ uncompensated care costs for the uninsured in 2017. To conduct the analysis, we rely on several secondary data sources including government budget appropriations and expenditure data for major public programs that provided funds to cover the cost of care for the uninsured, as well as analyses of secondary data sources completed by others.

New Incentive for States to Adopt the ACA Medicaid Expansion: Implications for State Spending

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 encourages non-expansion states to take up the expansion by providing an additional temporary fiscal incentive for states to newly implement the ACA Medicaid expansion. This brief provides illustrative estimates of the net fiscal benefit to states from these incentives relative to state costs under the expansion.

Two New Analyses: House COVID-19 Relief Plan Would Temporarily Lower Marketplace Premiums for Millions and More than Offset Short-Term State Costs to Expand Their Medicaid Programs

The House COVID-19 relief proposal would temporarily lower what millions of Marketplace enrollees and uninsured potential enrollees would pay toward premiums and would provide states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs a financial boost that would more than offset their costs initially, two new KFF analyses find. The analyses…

The Coverage Gap: Uninsured Poor Adults in States that Do Not Expand Medicaid

In states that do not implement the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many adults will fall into a “coverage gap” of earning too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for Marketplace premium tax credits. Nationwide, 2.2 million poor uninsured adults are in this situation. This brief presents estimates of the number of people in non-expansion states who could have been reached by Medicaid but instead fall into the coverage gap and discusses the implications of them being left out of ACA coverage expansions.

The Language of Health Care Reform

Published in the Jan. 19 edition of JAMA, this article from KFF Executive Vice President for Health Policy Larry Levitt lays out the major health policy challenges that will confront President-elect Biden and potential approaches to major reform. While a big reform debate may not be likely this year, one…

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