April 14, 2016

Medicaid Expansion Drives Improvements in Oregon’s Health Care System

By now the benefits of Medicaid expansion are well known. In addition to providing health coverage to millions of Americans, it has helped create new health care jobs, decrease hospitals’ spending on uncompensated care, and generate budget savings for states. But another benefit is often overlooked: Medicaid expansion can help improve the quality of health care and reduce costs throughout a state’s entire health care system, not just in Medicaid.

April 14, 2016

CMS Updates: Coverage Gap Special Enrollment Periods, Hardship Exemptions, and More

Earlier this week, CMS offered welcome clarification on special enrollment periods (SEP) for people in the coverage gap. It also issued updates about eligibility determination notices and hardship exemptions. We explain the updates below.

On Wednesday, CMS clarified the procedure for the special enrollment period (SEP) for consumers who move out of the “coverage gap.” People who are in the coverage gap live in states that have not expanded Medicaid.

April 12, 2016

Top Five Blogs So Far in 2016

We know you have a lot going on, and there isn’t always time to read everything. That’s why we’ve rounded up five of our most popular blogs published between January and March of this year.

March 30, 2016

How Health Insurance Companies and Policymakers Can Make Care More Affordable

Lydia Mitts

Former Associate Director of Affordability Initiatives

The Affordable Care Act has helped expand access to affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. But consumers’ out-of-pocket costs are sometimes still too high, preventing them from getting the care they need.

In a new study released last month, NPR, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard found that a quarter of Americans still report experiencing serious financial problems due to medical expenses.

March 23, 2016

New Enrollment Data: March Health Equity Update

Welcome to the new Health Equity Highlights monthly blog! Our Health Equity Connection newsletter has been promoted: Every month, you will now be able to find the latest health equity updates, top resources from Families USA and our partners, and important upcoming events here.  

Read on to learn about new marketplace enrollment data, progress in covering immigrant children, upcoming health equity events, and more.

March 10, 2016

Changes to Special Enrollment Period Process Could Hurt Consumers

At the end of February, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced significant changes to the federal marketplace process for consumers to enroll in health insurance through special enrollment periods (SEPs). While the new SEP process has not been entirely laid out yet, we have significant concerns that these changes will negatively affect consumers, especially low-income consumers and immigrants. Here we describe some principles the new process should follow to meet the needs of consumers.

March 8, 2016

Why States Should Suspend Medicaid for People During Incarceration

With a majority of states expanding Medicaid, many more people stand to gain health coverage, including those recently released from jail or prison. States are re-evaluating their policies regarding Medicaid for incarcerated residents.

We’ve taken a closer look at what states have accomplished so far to get a better idea of how this has played out across states. We found that 34 states and the District of Columbia now have some form of policy to suspend Medicaid for people in prison or jail. Here, we explain why more states should adopt this policy.

February 18, 2016

Uninsured in Virginia: Lori’s Story

In late 2015, Lori was in desperate need of cardiology care for her heart condition. Lori was out of money and uninsured. And she lived in Virginia, which has refused to expand Medicaid. Her story illustrates the plight of uninsured people who fall into the coverage gap--ineligible for regular Medicaid but can't afford private insurance.

July 4, 2016

ACA Assisters Can Help Consumers Register to Vote

In addition to enrolling consumers in marketplace insurance, assisters can serve another valuable role: helping consumers register to vote. Applications for health coverage, whether through HealthCare.gov and state-based marketplaces, provide clients with access to voter registration, which makes it easy for assisters to help people register to vote. Here’s what assisters should know about voter registration and how they can help consumers navigate this process.

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