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Women’s Health Policy

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Abortion Policy and Politics

This issue update reviews abortion since the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade legalized it in 1973. Every state has laws regulating some aspect of the provision of abortion, and many have passed restrictions that are now in effect, such as parental consent or notification requirements; mandated counseling…

Access to Care and Use of Health Services by Low-Income Women

This article, by Ruth Almeida and Lisa Dubay of the Urban Institute and Grace Ko of Brown University, examines the effect of insurance on low-income women’s access to care and use of health services. Using the 1997 National Survey of America’s Families, it examines access to health care for three…

Access to Care for Low-Income Women: The Impact of Medicaid

Health coverage is of critical importance to low-income women. This study was undertaken to assess how low-income women with Medicaid, private insurance, or no insurance vary with regard to personal characteristics, health status, and health utilization. Data are from a telephone interview survey of a representative cross-sectional sample of 5,200…

Putting Men’s Health Care Disparities On The Map: Examining Racial and Ethnic Disparities at the State Level

This report documents the persistence of disparities between white men and men of color — and among different groups within men of color — on 22 indicators of health and well-being, including rates of diseases such as AIDS, cancer, heart disease and diabetes, as well as insurance coverage and health screenings. It also catalogues disparities in factors that influence health and access to care such as income and education, and other social determinants of health.

Coverage for Abortion Services and the ACA

This issue brief, Coverage of Abortion Services and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), summarizes the major coverage provisions of the ACA that are relevant for women of reproductive age, reviews current federal and state policies on Medicaid and insurance coverage of abortion services as they relate to the ACA, and presents national and state estimates on the availability of abortion coverage for women who are newly eligible for Medicaid or private coverage through the Marketplaces as a result of the ACA.

A Guide to the Supreme Court’s Review of the Contraceptive Coverage Requirement

This issue brief dissects the issues raised by the legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that private insurance plans include contraception as part of their coverage of preventive services for women. Over 40 for-profit corporations and over 40 nonprofit corporations have filed lawsuits claiming that the requirement to provide their employees with contraceptives violates their religious rights. On November 26, 2013, the Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases filed by for-profit corporations, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, that claim that this requirement violates their religious rights. At the crux of these cases is a question that the Supreme Court has not previously addressed: Do for-profit corporations have religious protections under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment? The brief provides background on how the ACA’s contraceptive requirement works, summarizes some of the legal challenges brought by for-profit and non-profit organizations and discusses the implications of potential rulings by the Supreme Court.

Webinar for Journalists: Women’s Health Under the Affordable Care Act

The Kaiser Family Foundation hosted an interactive webinar for journalists through its Media Fellowships Program: “Women’s Health Under the Affordable Care Act,” which took place on Thursday, February 6 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. Now that the ACA’s coverage expansions are in effect, the Foundation’s latest webinar looked at…

Examining Racial and Ethnic Disparities Among Women at the State Level

A decade after U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher called for the elimination of racial disparities in health, women of color in every state continue to fare worse than white women on a variety of measures of health and health care access. The Foundation has created a package of resources, including…

Ensuring the Health Care Needs of Women: A Checklist for Health Exchanges

To inform the development of the state health insurance Exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, this checklist identifies key coverage, affordability and access issues that are important for women. Based on lessons learned from women’s health research and the Massachusetts experience, the checklist considers essential health benefits, implementation of no-cost preventive services including contraception, provider networks and affordability, outreach and enrollment efforts, and the importance of including gender and other demographic characteristics in data collection and reporting standards.

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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.