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  • A Guide for Understanding Out-of-Pocket Spending
    October 15, 2014
    Putting Patients First was launched by the National Health Council to connect people living with chronic diseases and disabilities to resources and organizations focused on their particular needs.
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  • New Study: Low-Income Adults Support Medicaid Expansion, View Program Favorably
    October 9, 2014
    A new study of low-income adults in three states that are taking different approaches to the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion shows overwhelming majorities favor expanding eligibility for the program and view its coverage as equal to, or better than, private health insurance.
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  • Taking Stock and Taking Steps
    October 3, 2014
    The Kaiser Family and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations convened a national Roundtable on consumer assistance in June of 2014. The purpose was to engage practitioners and other experts in a conversation about the establishment of new consumer assistance capacity. This report summarizes the Roundtables’ discussions and highlights the challenges ahead, including some promising ideas and concrete next steps that might be taken to strengthen consumer assistance.
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  • Survey: Uninsured Rates Fall Sharply for Young and Low-Income Latinos
    October 1, 2014
    A new Commonwealth Fund survey shows that the Affordable Care Act is having a significant impact for many Latinos, a group that for decades has had among the highest uninsured rates in the United States.
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  • Year-to-Year Variation in Small-Group Health Insurance Premiums: Double-Digit Annual Increases Have Been Common Over the Past Decade
    October 1, 2014
    In anticipation of next year's premium announcements and given some information already made public, concerns have surfaced about the potential for double-digit percent increases in nongroup and small-group health insurance premiums. This Urban Institute analysis shows that, although average annual increases in small-group premiums over the past 13 years averaged roughly 5.5 percent, double-digit average premium increases are common for states and large metropolitan areas.
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  • Op-Ed from Connecticut Health Foundation, Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, and the Foundation for Community Health
    September 22, 2014
    This op-ed in Hartford Courant describes the upcoming ACA open enrollment period from the view of three leaders of Connecticut's independent health foundations, who provided grant funding to Access Health CT last year.
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  • Jewish Healthcare Foundation Provides Grants Connecting Uninsured Pennsylvanians to Health Coverage
    September 12, 2014
    In advance of the first health insurance enrollment period from October of 2013 to March of 2014, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) had partnered with the Heinz Endowments, Highmark Foundation, Pittsburgh Foundation, and Staunton Farm Foundation to award mini-grants to 17 community organizations for education and outreach efforts. In continuation of this work, JHF will provide funding to the United Way of Allegheny County (UWAC) and the Consumer Health Coalition (CHC) during the second enrollment period (November 2014 to February 2015) for key services that will be shared throughout the region.
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  • New Fact Sheet: Providing Coverage for the Remaining Uninsured
    September 9, 2014
    Developed with support from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), this National Academy for State Health Policy fact sheet describes a number of examples of public and private initiatives at the state and local levels developed to provide care to the uninsured.
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  • HHS Announces $60 Million Awarded to Help Consumers Navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace
    September 8, 2014
    The US Department of Health and Human Services has announced $60 million in Navigator grant awards to 90 organizations in states with federally-facilitated and state partnership Marketplaces. These awards support preparation and outreach activities in year two of Marketplace enrollment and build on lessons learned from last year.
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  • Recommendations for Using Surveys to Measure Health Coverage Post-Reform: Lessons from Massachusetts
    September 3, 2014
    This brief, prepared by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, summarizes research and outlines recommendations for measuring health insurance coverage following the introduction of marketplace plans.
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  • Boosting Enrollment: Lessons Learned from 2013-2014
    September 2, 2014
    This State Health Reform Assistance Network issue brief, prepared by Wakely Consulting Group, analyzes observations drawn from Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Rhode Island, and Washington to offer recommendations intended to maximize enrollment in the Affordable Care Act. The State Health Reform Assistance Network is a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
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  • Addressing the Financial Impact of Renewals: Why Many Enrollees Could Benefit from Shopping
    August 13, 2014
    As the 2015 open enrollment period approaches, one of the most significant challenges faced by marketplaces stems from the complicated nature of premium subsidy calculations, which may lead to potentially large swings in consumers’ after-subsidy premiums and tax liability implications.
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  • Access to Primary and Preventive Health Care Across States Prior to the Coverage Expansions of the ACA
    August 5, 2014
    Both health insurance and income have long been linked with access to primary and preventive care in the United States. In a new Commonwealth Fund issue brief, researchers show just how big a role these two factors played in each state prior to the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansions—and how those reforms are likely to help people, regardless of income level, get the care they need to stay healthy.
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  • Missouri Foundation for Health Awards $4.5 Million in Grants
    August 5, 2014
    The Missouri Foundation for Health has announced grants totaling $4.5 million to organizations that will assist consumers signing up for health insurance through the Missouri Marketplace during the fall enrollment period. Awarded through the foundation's Cover Missouri Coalition, the grants will enable organizations to provide in-person support for consumers looking to enroll in the state-run marketplace or the Small Business Health Options Program.
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  • Special Collection on State Marketplace Enrollment Reports
    August 5, 2014
    The National Academy for State Health Policy's State Refor(u)m has compiled a collection of state marketplace enrollment reports (such as press releases and in-depth reports) that explore health insurance enrollment in states. One may also share enrollment resources from their state in the online library.
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  • Health Care Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act—A Progress Report
    July 14, 2014
    In a New England Journal of Medicine “Health Policy Report,” The Commonwealth Fund’s David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P., and Sara R. Collins, Ph.D., assess the ACA’s record to date and discuss enrollment not only through the marketplaces but also through the other critical vehicles used by the law to extend coverage.
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  • Health Care Innovation Awards
    July 14, 2014
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced new prospective awardees to test innovative care models, bringing the total amount of funding to as much as $360 million for 39 recipients spanning 27 states and the District of Columbia. These models are designed to deliver better health care and lower costs under the Health Care Innovation Awards program.
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  • Increase in Medicaid under the ACA Reduces Uninsurance
    July 14, 2014
    Early research indicates the drop in the number of uninsured Americans is largely due to increased enrollment in Medicaid. According to the Health Reform Monitoring Survey (HRMS), between September 2013 and early March 2014, the number of uninsured people fell by an estimated 5.4 million, while the number of adults covered by Medicaid grew by approximately 3.6 million. The HRMS is conducted quarterly by Urban Institute researchers, with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Ford Foundation.
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  • Measuring Medicaid/CHIP Enrollment Progress Under the ACA
    July 14, 2014
    A new brief by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute assesses how reported changes in enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP during this period compare with changes in Medicaid/CHIP enrollment projected by the end of 2016 by the Urban Institute’s Health Insurance Policy Simulation Model (HIPSM).
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  • The California Wellness Foundation, More than $4 Million in Grants Approved
    June 17, 2014
    The Board of Directors of The California Wellness Foundation approved 43 grants for funding at its June 2014 meeting, totaling more than $4 million.
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  • Connecting Consumers to Coverage: Mobilizing for Enrollment
    June 13, 2014
    A new report from Community Catalyst, Connecting Consumers to Coverage: Mobilizing for Enrollment, showcases the many successful strategies employed throughout the country by consumer health advocates and their partners in the first open enrollment period of the ACA.
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  • Cover Missouri Enrollment Numbers
    June 13, 2014
    The United States Department of Health and Human Services has released new data indicating 152,335 people have enrolled in Missouri Health Insurance Marketplace plans, capping off a highly successful seven-month education and enrollment push by Cover Missouri, a 450 member coalition created by the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH). The coalition includes health systems, providers, social service organizations, universities, safety net clinics, and insurance brokers and agents. A Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Report issued in September 2013 projected enrollment for Missouri would be 118,000, but numbers far exceeded expectations. Only 13 states, including state and federal run exchanges, enrolled more people than Missouri.
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  • Infographic Breaks Down Arizona Coverage Growth
    June 13, 2014
    St. Luke’s Health Initiatives has produced an infographic to describe current ACA enrollment numbers. Four times the population of Flagstaff – officially, 265,876 people – gained health insurance coverage during the open enrollment period, either through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace, or via the restoration and expansion of AHCCCS (Arizona Medicaid). Nearly 22% of Arizona’s Marketplace-eligible population gained coverage. Arizona met, and slightly beat, projections for Marketplace enrollment.
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  • New Study: Before ACA, Premiums for Individual Health Plans Rose 10 Percent or More Each Year
    June 13, 2014
    Health insurance premiums for people buying coverage on their own grew an average of 10 percent or more a year during the three years before the Affordable Care Act was enacted, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report.
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  • Special Enrollment Period and Medicaid/CHIP Screener Tool
    June 13, 2014
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released a new Special Enrollment Period and Medicaid/CHIP screener tool for consumers who are trying to determine whether or not they qualify for insurance outside of open enrollment.
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  • Who are the Newly Insured?
    June 13, 2014
    A new issue brief provides insight on who gained health insurance over the last year. The data show an overwhelming majority of the newly insured are eligible for financial assistance or public coverage, and a majority are young and in good health. The brief uses data from the Urban Institute's Health Reform Monitoring Survey, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Ford Foundation and Urban Institute.
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  • Blog: Inside Philanthropy
    April 28, 2014
    Medicaid expansion is a highly politicized issue, and it's no wonder that you don't see a lot of a big grants that explicitly push for expansion in the opt-out states. But make no mistake: plenty of foundation-backed groups are working this front every day.
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  • In Their Own Words: Consumers' and Enrollment Counselors' Experiences with Covered California
    April 28, 2014
    More than 2 million Californians have signed up for health insurance or applied for Medi-Cal through Covered California, the state insurance marketplace established to expand coverage opportunities under the federal Affordable Care Act. This report provides the first in-depth analysis of early consumer enrollment experiences. The researchers, PerryUndem Research & Communication, conducted interviews and focus groups with a diverse group of users. Participants applied on-line, by telephone, or in person. The study captures consumers' motivations for applying for insurance, their experience of the enrollment process, and whether they have begun to use their coverage. The goal of the research is to identify areas for improvement in the application process.
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  • NACCHO Launches Health Reform Web Site for Local Health Departments
    April 28, 2014
    The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has launched a new health reform Web site for local health departments (LHDs). The site helps LHD leaders and staff better understand exactly how changes resulting from the Affordable Care Act will impact them and their work. It contains education, information, peer support, and resources.
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  • New Database Offers State-by-State Comparison of Marketplace Implementation
    April 28, 2014
    The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has analyzed 23 marketplaces across a number of design questions as well as best practices. They have summarized the findings in a new database that states can use as they work to ensure that their marketplaces meet adequate competition, affordability, accessibility, and customer satisfaction requirements.
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  • New Report from Families USA: 10 Key Steps to Increase Enrollment in November and Beyond
    April 8, 2014
    As the first enrollment period, Families USA has released a new report, “Accelerating the Affordable Care Act’s Enrollment Momentum: 10 Recommendations for Future Enrollment Periods” which lays out 10 key steps that would significantly increase the number of people who can enroll in health insurance during the next open enrollment period in November.
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  • State Marketplaces Vary Greatly in Enrollment Success
    April 8, 2014
    Even prior to the recent surge in enrollment, about 60 percent of those expected to enroll in marketplace coverage in 2014 had already completed the process.
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  • Deciphering the Data: Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Rates by Type of Exchange
    March 26, 2014
    This brief examines a number of choices related to the establishment and running of the new health insurance marketplaces, and their potential impact on enrollment rates to date
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  • New Study: 32 Million Underinsured in 2012
    March 26, 2014
    The report is the first to examine the underinsured phenomenon at the state leve.
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  • Update: Philanthropy and Health Reform on the Fourth Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act
    March 25, 2014
    Faith Mitchell, GIH President and CEO, reflects upon the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and GIH’s ongoing work to ensure that foundations have the information and the connections they need to help inform health reform.
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  • ACA Not "One Size Fits All"
    March 20, 2014
    The impact of the Affordable Care Act on the numbers of people who gain coverage, state finances, and competition in insurance markets will vary greatly across states, according to a new series of analyses released today.
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  • Implementing the Affordable Care Act: State Action to Establish SHOP Marketplaces
    March 20, 2014
    The Affordable Care Act seeks to help small employers offer coverage by reforming the small-group market and establishing Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) marketplaces.
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  • Survey: Half of Uninsured Looking Into Marketplaces
    March 20, 2014
    As of December 2013, half of uninsured adults have looked, or plan to look, into their options in the insurance marketplaces, according to a new brief.
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  • Successfully Navigating the CHIP State-Federal Relationship and Challenges to State Implementation
    March 19, 2014
    This brief examines state and federal relationships in the context of CHIP implementation, with a particular focus on Virginia and Texas, which overcame initial resistance and delivered significant coverage gains for children.
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  • All But 5 States Taking Action to Implement ACA Insurance Reforms
    February 27, 2014
    The study was prepared by Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms.
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  • MeHAF Awards $668,000 to Support Advocacy Promoting Implementation of the Affordable Care Act
    February 27, 2014
    The organizations will focus their advocacy on key areas of the ACA, particularly the expansion of Medicaid (MaineCare) to provide access to health care for over 70,000 low-income Maine people.
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  • New Evidence On The Affordable Care Act: Coverage Impacts Of Early Medicaid Expansions
    February 27, 2014
    The study was prepared by Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms.
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  • RWJF and Consumer Reports' “HealthTaxCreditTool.org” Explains New Financial Help Available to Pay for Health Insurance Costs
    February 27, 2014
    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Consumer Reports have created a free, easy-to-use tool that helps people learn how to lower the cost of health insurance plans offered through the new state marketplaces with the health premium tax credit.
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  • Survey Shows Many Uninsured Adults are Not Aware of Subsidies, Medicaid Expansion
    February 27, 2014
    Only one in four uninsured people believe their health care costs will improve from 2013 to 2014, according to data from the Health Reform Monitoring Survey.
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  • Will Those With Cancelled Insurance Policies Be Better Off in ACA Marketplaces?
    February 27, 2014
    In this new issue brief, authored by the Urban Institute and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, conclude that it would be difficult for the majority of individuals, particularly those qualifying for subsidies, to obtain coverage for a lower premium than those available in the Marketplaces today.
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  • New Survey Findings Highlight Significant Gaps in Understanding Among Racial and Ethnic Minorities
    February 26, 2014
    The majority of white, non-Hispanic adults feel confident they understand key health insurance terms like ‘premium,’ ‘copayment’ and ‘deductible,’ but less than one in four Hispanics say the same, according to a new brief detailing results from the Urban Institute’s Health Reform Monitoring Survey (HRMS).
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  • California Wellness Foundation Awards Nearly $8 Million in Grants
    January 23, 2014
    Grants announced by the foundation include $2 million to address health care access issues for those who remain uninsured despite passage of the Affordable Care Act.
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  • RWJF Funding Opportunity
    January 23, 2014
    State Health Access Reform Evaluation (SHARE) is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation national program that supports rigorous research on issues surrounding state health reform.
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  • The Health Reform Monitoring Survey: Addressing Data Gaps To Provide Timely Insights Into The Affordable Care Act
    January 23, 2014
    The Health Reform Monitoring Survey (HRMS) was launched in 2013 as a mechanism to obtain timely information on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during the period before federal government survey data for 2013 and 2014 will be available.
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  • New Issue Brief: Using SNAP to Enroll Adults in Medicaid
    December 19, 2013
    One way to speed up the enrollment process (and to make it easier for states) is to use data from SNAP to determine whether people meet the income guidelines for Medicaid. Families USA's newest issue brief, Using SNAP to Enroll Adults in Medicaid, explains this new option and why states should adopt it.
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  • How States Stand to Gain or Lose Federal Funds by Opting In or Out of the Medicaid Expansion
    December 5, 2013
    A new study by The Commonwealth Fund finds that the 20 states choosing not to expand their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act are forgoing billions of dollars in federal funds, even while their residents are contributing to the cost of the expansions in other states.
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  • Special ACA Edition of "Grantee" Magazine Available Now
    December 5, 2013
    This special magazine edition is devoted to efforts of TCWF grantees working to help more people become insured through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
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  • New Web Portal Explains The Affordable Care Act For People With HIV
    December 4, 2013
    The Kaiser Family Foundation has produced a new consumer web portal to help people living with HIV navigate the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
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  • New NHPF Background Paper Describes Medicaid HCBS Programs Enacted by the ACA
    December 2, 2013
    Medicaid Home- and Community-Based Services Programs Enacted by the ACA: Expanding Opportunities One Step at a Time
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  • Two New Resources Focus on States' Medicaid Eligibility and Enrollment Policies
    December 2, 2013
    Two new resources from the Kaiser Family Foundation's Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured provide detailed new information on Medicaid eligibility levels and enrollment policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia taking effect in January 2014 as part of implementation of the Affordable Care Act. These new standards, including simplified enrollment procedures and new, uniform rules for counting income when determining Medicaid eligibility, will play a key role in improving coverage as enrollment through state Medicaid programs will remain an essential pathway to connect eligible people to Medicaid coverage.
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  • States Work to Stabilize Premiums
    November 19, 2013
    A new report written for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation by researchers at the Urban Institute and Georgetown University finds that several states are working to stabilize consumers’ insurance premiums and protect the long-term stability of the Affordable Care Act’s reforms.
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  • New Kaiser Resource Tracks Enrollment Through State and Federal Health Marketplaces
    November 18, 2013
    The Kaiser Family Foundation today launched an expanded marketplace resource to track enrollment reports for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
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  • Job-based Health Coverage Lagging for New Workers
    November 7, 2013
    UCLA Center for Health Policy Research's new fact sheet finds a continued need for health insurance coverage among many workers newly employed since the recession. Many of the jobs that are returning to the state since the Great Recession seem to lack insurance benefits, depriving employees of a major source of coverage.
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  • 17 Million People Eligible for Premium Subsidies, Study Finds
    November 6, 2013
    Seventeen million people who are now uninsured or who buy their own health insurance will be eligible for tax credits next year to help purchase coverage on the health law’s online marketplaces, according to an analysis released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
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  • New Brief: CHIP Offers Lessons for ACA Implementation
    November 5, 2013
    A new brief by Gene Lewit, Consulting Professor of Health Research and Policy at Stanford University, looks back at how CHIP went from startup to success story. His analysis offers practical lessons from CHIP’s early years to inform the Affordable Care Act’s implementation.
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  • New NASHP Report: Aligning Federal and State Efforts on Payment Reform
    November 5, 2013
    The federal government and states are exploring new strategies for rewarding value in order to achieve better health outcomes at a lower cost.
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  • New Policy Brief Series Will Track Progress of Insurance Marketplaces
    November 5, 2013
    In partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Breakaway Policy Strategies is reviewing insurance plans being offered based on early data from select states.
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  • Navigators and Assisters
    November 4, 2013
    The Affordable Care Act became law more than three years ago, but polls find that the majority of Americans still do not understand the law and how it will affect them.
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  • Report: 5.2 Million Adults Will Fall Into ACA Coverage Gap Next Year
    October 16, 2013
    A new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation provides state-level data showing how many impoverished uninsured adults fall into the Affordable Care Act's "coverage gap" -- those who will be ineligible to enroll in Medicaid and also will not qualify for financial assistance to buy private health insurance in the new marketplaces in states that are not expanding Medicaid under the law.
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  • Real Stories, Real Reforms
    October 3, 2013
    Having affordable, adequate health insurance coverage is essential to the health and financial vitatlity of American families. Yet today, approximately 48 million non-elderly Americans are uninsured. Prepared by researchers at Georgetown University's Center on Health Insurance Reforms, and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this report documents eight families' efforts to navigate the health insurance system.
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  • New Interactive Map Shows Who Will Gain Coverage Under Health Reform in New York State
    October 1, 2013
    On the eve of open enrollment in the online health insurance marketplaces established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) has produced a data visualization of currently uninsured New Yorkers estimated to gain coverage as health reform is implemented. The interactive map, at www.CoverNYS.org, provides a snapshot of those who are expected to gain coverage in New York State as a result of the ACA, through either New York's public insurance programs or private plans.
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  • New Toolkit: Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Helpers - What You Need to Know
    October 1, 2013
    A new Alliance for Health Reform Toolkit on Marketplace Enrollment Helpers is now available. Beginning October 1, insurance marketplaces open for enrollment, and millions of people will be eligible to purchase plans. To guide them in the application process, the federal government has invested in programs to train community organizations and hired staff.
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  • Survey: As Open Enrollment Begins, Insurance Marketplaces Are Mystery to Many
    October 1, 2013
    As the key components of the Affordable Care Act roll out this week, more than three-quarters of U.S. adults are aware of the law’s requirement that everyone have health coverage, but only four of 10 are aware of the new insurance marketplaces set to open on October 1, or the financial assistance available to defray the cost of insurance premiums, a new Commonwealth Fund survey finds.
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  • The Commonwealth Fund Offers Interactive Navigator for Consumers Learning about Health Insurance Marketplaces
    September 27, 2013
    A new interactive tool was recently released from The Commonwealth Fund, for consumers to learn how the Affordable Care Act's state health insurance marketplaces work.
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  • Updated Health Reform Calculator Now Provides ZIP Code-Specific Premium and Tax Subsidy Results As Open Enrollment Approaches
    September 25, 2013
    The Kaiser Family Foundation has updated its health reform subsidy calculator to provide ZIP code-specific estimates of the insurance premiums and tax subsidies available for people who buy coverage for 2014 through the new state health insurance marketplaces.
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  • What the Affordable Care Act Means if You Are...
    September 23, 2013
    A new infographic from TIME, What the Affordable Care Act Means if You Are..., offers simple explanations on what the law means to consumers, explains the rules of the mandate, and describes how the law will unfold through 2014.
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  • An Early Look at Premiums and Insurer Participation in Health Insurance Marketplaces, 2014
    September 8, 2013
    With open enrollment in new insurance marketplaces set to begin Oct. 1, this analysis provides an early look at insurance premiums in 17 states and DC that have publicly released comprehensive data about their rates and the impact of tax credits that will offset part of the costs for low- and moderate-income families.
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  • Covering Young Adults Under the Affordable Care Act: The Importance of Outreach and Medicaid Expansion
    September 8, 2013
    A new report by The Commonwealth Fund, Covering Young Adults Under the Affordable Care Act: The Importance of Outreach and Medicaid Expansion, dispels the notion that young adults do not believe they need health insurance.
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  • Mapping the Impacts of the ACA
    September 8, 2013
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has launched an interactive map that provides state-by-state data on the number of residents who are expected to benefit from the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion and marketplace subsidies.
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  • New Report: 42 Percent of Uninsured in States Not Expanding Medicaid May Have No Coverage Options in 2014
    September 8, 2013
    If the states that have so far not chosen to expand Medicaid eligibility don’t eventually do so, as many as two of five recently uninsured adults in those states will likely have no new affordable health insurance options next year, according to a new Commonwealth Fund study.
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  • Obamacare's Hidden Battle: Insurance Agents Push State Regulation of Guides to New Marketplaces
    August 27, 2013
    From the Center for Public Integrity, Affordable Care Act funds 'navigators' to aid consumers, but advocates say new state laws could hamper their effectiveness.
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  • Specialty Care Safety Net Initiative: Integrating Telehealth in the Primary Care Setting
    August 16, 2013
    The Affordable Care Act will expand comprehensive insurance coverage for millions of California residents in the coming years. Additionally, access to primary care services will also be greatly expanded during this period as a result of increased funding for Federally Qualified Health Centers, expanded training opportunities for primary care physicians and increased reimbursements under Medicaid for primary care services.
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  • The Cost of Not Expanding Medicaid
    August 2, 2013
    As states make decisions about whether to implement the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Holahan, Buettgens, and Dorn analyze the implications of these decisions for coverage, state finances, and providers. The results show that the decision not to adopt the Medicaid expansion by as many as 27 states will leave 6.4 million people who could have been eligible for Medicaid uninsured.
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  • New Health Policy Brief: Premium Tax Credits
    August 1, 2013
    Later this year, millions of uninsured Americans will begin enrolling in coverage through new health insurance exchanges--or marketplaces--in every state. A substantial portion of that group will be eligible for a government subsidy to help them pay their premiums--and many still don't know it.
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  • New Medicaid Expansion Map to Check Your State's Status and Potential Impact on the Uninsured
    August 1, 2013
    To track Medicaid decisions at the state level, The Commonwealth Fund has developed a new interactive map showing which states are expanding, pursuing a customized expansion, or not expanding, and which states haven't yet decided whether to expand.
    Learn More >

  • Health Insurance Exchanges and State Decisions
    July 18, 2013
    Health insurance marketplaces, also known as “exchanges,” must be ready to begin enrolling people by October 2013. A new health policy brief from Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation addresses how states are preparing.
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  • New Animation Explains Changes Coming for Americans Under Obamacare
    July 18, 2013
    With major parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) going into effect in 2014, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a new animated video to help people understand the health care system changes on the horizon.
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  • Report: Exchange Enrollees' Health Not Likely to Cause Sustained High Premiums
    July 18, 2013
    A new report, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and prepared by the Urban Institute, looks at health characteristics of likely exchange enrollees compared to those with employer coverage. The authors say that people who are likely to obtain insurance through exchanges will not necessarily be sicker than other populations, and will therefore not cause sustained high premiums in the new insurance exchanges.
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  • New Report: "Networks in New York and the Affordable Care Act"
    July 8, 2013
    A new United Hospital Fund report, supported by NYSHealth, examines the extent of public and private health insurance plans' provider networks and current State standards and processes for determining the adequacy of these networks. As the New York Health Benefit Exchange readies itself for open enrollment beginning October 1st, it is important that the Exchange's health plans have the necessary provider networks in place to meet the health care needs of enrollees.
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  • The Massachusetts Health Care Delivery System Map
    July 8, 2013
    This online interactive website, developed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, using data from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Massachusetts Health Quality Partners, provides easy access to information about the state's acute care hospitals, hospital systems, medical groups, physician networks, and community health centers.
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  • HHS awards $32 million in Grants to Sign Up Children for Health Coverage
    July 2, 2013
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced nearly $32 million in grants for efforts to identify and enroll children eligible for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Connecting Kids to Coverage Outreach and Enrollment Grants were awarded to 41 state agencies, community health centers, school-based organizations and non-profit groups in 22 states; two grantees are multistate organizations.
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  • The California Endowment, Department of Health Care Services Commit $26.5 Million to Outreach and Enrollment
    July 2, 2013
    The California Endowment and the California Department of Health Care Services have announced commitments totaling $26.5 million in support of Medi-Cal outreach and enrollment services.
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  • What Health Reform Can Learn from Medicare Part D
    June 21, 2013
    Medicare Part D—the once-controversial prescription drug benefit offered to seniors—had many pundits anticipating serious problems in its initial rollout in 2005. Now it serves 35 million enrollees and enjoys broad bipartisan support among consumers and policy-makers. In a new report, researchers draw on experiences from Medicare Part D’s launch to inform the early implementation of health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act. (ACA).
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  • Analysis Finds States that Expand Medicaid will See Budget Gains and Greater Employment
    June 14, 2013
    Within the next few months, state leaders must make a decision about whether or not to expand Medicaid to residents who earn 138 percent of the federal poverty level. A new report, written by Urban Institute researchers and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that in each state where relatively comprehensive analyses of costs and fiscal gains were conducted, the net result showed that, on balance, Medicaid expansion would yield state fiscal advantages.
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  • Health Reform and You: A Guide to Understanding Primary Care from The Commonwealth Fund
    June 14, 2013
    The Commonwealth Fund has developed a series of short, jargon-free publications about some of the key health system transformations taking place over the next few years. The first in the series, Primary Care: Our First Line of Defense, is available now.
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  • Key Lessons from Medicaid and CHIP for Outreach and Enrollment Under the Affordable Care Act
    June 7, 2013
    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will increase coverage options through an expansion in Medicaid and new health insurance exchange marketplaces, but effective outreach and enrollment efforts will be key for translating these new opportunities into increases in coverage. A new issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation's Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured identifies five key lessons for such efforts based on a review of existing research on previous outreach and enrollment experience in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.
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  • "Covering The ACA May Be Almost As Hard As Implementing It," The Latest Pulling It Together, From Drew Altman
    June 6, 2013
    The latest Pulling It Together from Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman, "Covering The ACA May Be Almost As Hard As Implementing It," was adapted from a column published earlier this week in Politico, with a new introduction added.
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  • New York State's Health Benefit
    June 6, 2013
    With support from the New York State Health Foundation, the new June issue of the journal Health Affairs examines New York State's Health Benefit Exchange as it prepares to launch enrollment.
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  • Study: California Law Protects Low-Income Uninsured from Hefty Hospital Bills
    June 6, 2013
    Millions of uninsured Americans rely on hospital emergency departments in times of crisis, and end up with bills that are significantly higher than the negotiated rates that private insurers and the federal government pay for the same care.
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  • Researchers Look at How States’ Medicaid Managed Care Programs Will Fare Under Expansion
    May 29, 2013
    Millions of Americans who enroll in their state’s expanded Medicaid program next year will receive care through a managed care plan. A new Urban Institute study looks at how managed care plans in eight states are preparing for more enrollees, and whether they are ready to accommodate the largest influx of Medicaid beneficiaries in 50 years.
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  • The Massachusetts Health Care Delivery System Map
    May 17, 2013
    As the Massachusetts health care delivery system works to implement national and state reforms, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation has released a new online resource that brings greater transparency to the rapidly evolving delivery system – the Massachusetts Health Care Delivery System Map.
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  • New Consumer-Tested Materials Help People Understand New Tax Credits
    May 16, 2013
    Starting in 2014, many Americans will be eligible for significant, Affordable Care Act-mandated tax credits to help pay for their health insurance premiums. But today, consumers are largely unaware of whether they are eligible for a tax credit and how the new incentive will work. New consumer-tested materials clearly explain what Americans need to know about the new premium tax credit program, and can help raise awareness.
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  • Updated Calculator Shows Subsidies Available in 2014
    May 16, 2013
    With open enrollment for health insurance exchanges less than six months away, the Kaiser Family Foundation has updated its health reform subsidy calculator to illustrate how government subsidies, designed to help with the cost of insurance premiums, will work under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
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  • Biennial Health Insurance Survey Finds 75 Million People Struggled with Medical Debt and 80 Million Were Unable to Afford the Health Care They Need
    May 8, 2013
    Eighty-four million people?nearly half of all working-age U.S. adults?went without health insurance for a time last year or had out-of-pocket costs that were so high relative to their income they were considered underinsured, according to the Commonwealth Fund 2012 Biennial Health Insurance Survey.
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  • California Endowment, Partners to Provide Low-Cost Loans to Community Health Centers
    May 8, 2013
    The California Endowment, in partnership with Community Health Center Capital Fund and NCB Capital Impact, has announced program-related investments totaling more than $11.1 million in support of community health centers in California.
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  • Recent Results of The Colorado Trust's Health Access Survey
    May 8, 2013
    According to a new report from The Colorado Trust's Colorado Health Access Survey, young adults aged 18-29 have the highest uninsured rate among any age group in Colorado.
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  • Consumer Information and Assistance Efforts Gear Up as Public Remains Confused about The Affordable Care Act
    May 1, 2013
    As government officials, community organizations and advocates gear up the consumer information and assistance efforts that will surround this fall’s open enrollment for the health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act(ACA), much of the public remains confused about the status of the health law, according to the April Kaiser Health Tracking Poll.
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  • HHS Announces $54M For 'Navigators' To Help Consumers Use Insurance Exchanges
    April 11, 2013
    The Health and Human Services (HHS) Department has opened the application process for $54 million in grants to help people navigate the new insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act.
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  • Ensuring Health Exchanges Address Children’s Needs
    April 4, 2013
    A joint brief issued by First Focus and partners identifies critical areas that will need to be considered, as they relate to children, when implementing health insurance exchanges, or the newly-created health insurance plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
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  • California Health Plans and Insurers: A Shifting Landscape
    April 3, 2013
    As described in a new publication by the California HealthCare Foundation, the insurance market in California is set to undergo enormous changes when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) takes full effect in 2014 and millions of residents become eligible for public insurance or subsidies for private insurance.
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  • Financial Burden of Medical Spending by State and the Implications of the 2014 Medicaid Expansions
    April 3, 2013
    A new state-by-state analysis, conducted by the Urban Institute and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, shows the amount of income individuals devote to medical spending varies by state, and the states where Medicaid expansion could have the most impact on reducing the financial burden of medical costs.
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  • Uninsured Veterans and Family Members
    March 26, 2013
    There are 1.3 million uninsured veterans in the United States and about 645,000 uninsured spouses of veterans. A new analysis prepared for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation by Urban Institute researchers estimates that as many as 40 percent of the nation’s 1.3 million uninsured veterans and their spouses could qualify for Medicaid under provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
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  • The California Endowment Announces $90 Million Investment in Strategies to Increase California's Health Care Workforce
    March 20, 2013
    The California Endowment has announced a $90 million, multi-year plan to increase the capacity of the state’s existing health care delivery system to accommodate newly enrolled Californians under the Affordable Care Act.
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  • Designing Consumer Assistance Programs: Resources from the Field
    March 19, 2013
    A new National Academy for State Health Policy brief, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health Reform Assistance Network, outlines major state decisions regarding consumer assistance strategies across four domains—outreach and engagement through marketing and advertising; enrollment assistance through navigators and in person assisters; engagement of insurance producers; and support through call centers and other communications. The brief provides examples of state decisions and lists valuable tools that state officials can use when determining how to meet the needs of new and existing consumers.
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  • Key Issues for Women in ACA Insurance Exchanges
    March 7, 2013
    Ensuring the Health Care Needs of Women: A Checklist for Health Exchanges is jointly authored by policy experts at the Kaiser Family Foundation, The Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health at The George Washington University.
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  • Research Shows Impact of ACA’s ‘Age Rating Bands’ on Young People May Be Overstated
    March 7, 2013
    A new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report, prepared by researchers at the Urban Institute, explores the impact of a much-discussed Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision that aims to limit variation in the amount of health care premiums charged to older adults compared to younger ones.
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  • Research Shows Impact of ACA’s ‘Age Rating Bands’ on Young People May Be Overstated
    March 7, 2013
    A new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report, prepared by researchers at the Urban Institute, explores the impact of a much-discussed Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision that aims to limit variation in the amount of health care premiums charged to older adults compared to younger ones.
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  • The CO-OP Health Insurance Program
    March 7, 2013
    Starting in October 2013, people without access to coverage through an employer, Medicaid, or the Children's Health Insurance Program will be able to purchase health plans through health insurance exchanges for coverage taking effect in 2014. This Health Affairs brief addresses these new marketplaces, which are one of the Affordable Care Act's mechanisms for expanding affordable coverage.
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  • Why Premiums Will Change for People Who Now Have Nongroup Insurance
    March 7, 2013
    A new Kaiser Family Foundation report addresses the speculation about the health insurance products and premiums in 2014 will compare to premiums in the nongroup market.
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  • Reversing the Trend? Understanding the Recent Increase in Health Insurance Coverage Among the Nonelderly Population
    March 1, 2013
    A brief released by the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured examines why the number of nonelderly uninsured people in the U.S. declined by 1.2 million in 2011, the latest year for which Census data are available.
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  • JAMA Forum: Great Expectations and the Affordable Care Act
    February 28, 2013
    In a new article on the JAMA Forum (Journal of the American Medical Association), Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation encourages reasonable expectations for the early days of new health insurance exchanges: “History suggests that enrollment in exchanges is likely to start out low and grow over time and that some technical glitches are inevitable at first. Different people may come to different conclusions about how effective the ACA is and whether and how it should be modified. But we should judge its success or failure based on reasonable expectations and not solely on what happens in the first few months of next year.”
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  • National Health Service Corps expands the primary care workforce
    February 11, 2013
    The National Health Service Corps has awarded more than $10 million in funding for loan repayment to 87 medical students in 29 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, who will serve as primary care doctors and help strengthen the health care workforce. As created by the Affordable Care Act, the National Health Service Corps’ Students to Service Loan Repayment Program provides financial support to fourth year primary care medical students in exchange for their service in the communities that need them most.
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  • New Study: 'Activated' Patients Incur Lower Costs
    February 5, 2013
    As health care delivery systems take greater responsibility for the costs and quality of care they provide, they should be aware that a patient's ability and willingness to manage their health care is crucial to maximizing outcomes and minimizing costs.
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  • Updated Brief: Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, and Exchanges
    February 5, 2013
    Sara Rosenbaum, Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, has updated her previously published brief for HealthReformGPS to review the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) new Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM).
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  • Study: Most States Have Yet to Take Action on Health Insurance Market Reforms
    February 1, 2013
    Only 11 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws or issued regulations to implement the Affordable Care Act’s major health insurance market reforms that go into effect in 2014, according to a new Commonwealth Fund study.
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  • California Endowment Commits $225 Million to Help Implement Affordable Care Act
    January 18, 2013
    The California Endowment has announced a four-year, $225 million commitment to help support implementation of the Affordable Care Act in California. The endowment will support efforts by the state to jumpstart community outreach and enrollment in Medi-Cal and other insurance plans in preparation for when the major provisions of the law take effect in January 2014.
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  • New Funding Opportunity: Connecting Kids to Coverage Outreach and Enrollment Grants
    January 16, 2013
    CMS has announced that they are soliciting proposals for Connecting Kids to Coverage Outreach and Enrollment Grants.
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  • HHS Releases Proposed Rule on Medicaid, CHIP and Health Insurance Marketplaces
    January 15, 2013
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a proposed rule implementing key Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions relating to Medicaid and the Exchanges.
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  • New Brief Examines Proposed Regulations for Private Health Plans
    January 8, 2013
    With the effective date for major changes in the private insurance market under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) less than a year away, a new Kaiser Family Foundation brief looks at three new proposed federal regulations that detail how the ACA’s rules will operate in the following areas: private insurance market reforms; essential health benefits and actuarial value; and wellness programs offered or required by employers under group health plans.
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  • Updated Brief Examines State Decisions About Health Insurance Exchanges
    November 29, 2012
    The Kaiser Family Foundation has released an updated brief on state decisions and efforts to establish health insurance exchanges.
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  • Administration Issues Proposed Rules for ACA Implementation
    November 20, 2012
    To implement provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued proposed rules.
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  • Progress in Implementing Selected Medicaid Provisions of the Affordable Care Act: A 10-State Analysis
    November 20, 2012
    A report funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, finds that although all 10 are working on many different fronts to prepare for the 2014 expansions, only two are expected to fully expand Medicaid before 2014.
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  • New Video: Improving Care for Vulnerable Populations
    October 25, 2012
    In the United States, vulnerable populations, including low-income people, the uninsured, and racial and ethnic minorities, have greater difficulty accessing health care, receive worse care overall, and experience poorer health outcomes than other groups.
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  • Successful Advocacy Strategies
    October 19, 2012
    Community Catalyst has launched a new section of their website, “Stories from the States: the Impact of the ACA Implementation Fund.”
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  • ACA and the National Health Service Corps
    October 12, 2012
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary has announced that $229.4 million was invested in the National Health Service Corps in 2012 to support more doctors and nurses and increase access to primary care.
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  • Filling in Gaps in Coverage for Children Denied Health Insurance
    October 11, 2012
    The Affordable Care Act prohibits health insurers from denying or limiting coverage for children under 19, a policy that went into effect in September 2010.
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  • Summarizing the Massachusetts Cost Containment Law
    October 9, 2012
    Six years after the passage of the landmark Massachusetts health care coverage reform law, the state has enacted a law with the ambitious goal of bringing health care spending growth in line with growth in the state’s overall economy.
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  • New Publications: Medicaid Expansion
    October 1, 2012
    The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of most of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while simultaneously cutting requirements that states must expand their Medicaid programs.
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  • Empowerment and Engagement Among Low-Income Californians: Enhancing Patient-Centered Care
    September 12, 2012
    Empowerment and engagement are central aims of patient-centered care, the paradigm that seeks both more efficient care models, and improved health outcomes, in large part through a focus on the patient as an active participant in his or her care.
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  • Essential Health Benefits for Children
    August 29, 2012
    The American Academy of Pediatrics has released a new report on essential health benefits for children.
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  • Resources Examine Legal and Implementation Issues in the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid Expansion
    August 28, 2012
    New publications from the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured examine the recent Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion.
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  • Center for Health Insurance Reforms Blog
    August 27, 2012
    The Center for Health Insurance Reforms (CHIR) at Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute has established a new blog—CHIRblog—funded through the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and focused on coverage, insurance markets, and the effects of reform.
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  • New Toolkit Available: Addressing the Nursing Shortage and Scope of Practice
    August 27, 2012
    Estimates state that a quarter of a million more nurses will be needed by 2025, to care for the growing population, the increase in the number insured, and the rising number of people with chronic care needs.
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  • Choosing Health Plans in State Health Insurance Exchanges
    August 24, 2012
    In the health insurance exchanges that will come online in 2014, consumers will be able to compare health plans with respect to actuarial value, or the percentage of health care costs that a plan would pay for a standard population.
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  • New York's Private and Public Insurance Markets and the Affordable Care Act
    August 24, 2012
    This NYSHealth-funded United Hospital Fund report, "The Big Picture IV," provides an analysis of key findings and trends in New York State's private health insurance markets and public health insurance programs.
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  • Implementing the Affordable Care Act’s Insurance Reforms: Consumer Recommendations for Regulators and Lawmakers
    August 20, 2012
    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has announced the release of a new resource for policymakers and stakeholders working to implement the sweeping new insurance reforms required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
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  • Physician Workforce Toolkit
    August 20, 2012
    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) could expand health insurance coverage to as many as 30 million previously uninsured persons over the next few years.
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  • Including Safety-Net Providers in Integrated Delivery Systems: Issues and Options for Policymakers
    August 14, 2012
    A new issue brief from The Commonwealth Fund and the National Academy for State Health Policy discusses key design considerations for including safety-net providers in integrated delivery systems, which are able to provide a coordinated continuum of health services for their patients while holding themselves accountable for the outcomes and costs of that care.
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  • Analysis Highlights Adults Who Could Gain Coverage Under ACA’s Medicaid Expansion
    August 10, 2012
    A new state-specific analysis finds that the approximately 15 million uninsured adults who could gain coverage under the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion are a diverse group in terms of age, race, and ethnicity.
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  • Focus on the Medicaid Expansion
    August 7, 2012
    The August issue of Health Affairs includes two articles funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which focus on the expanded coverage of Medicaid.
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  • Strained Local and State Government Finances Among Current Realities That Threaten Public Hospitals' Profitability
    August 7, 2012
    Safety-net hospitals play a vital role in serving uninsured and low-income populations, especially in large urban communities, but little is known about the factors that influence their financial viability.
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  • Issue Brief Provides States with Best Practices for Connecting Consumers with Coverage Programs
    July 31, 2012
    A new issue brief released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provides recommendations on how states can connect consumers with health coverage programs like Medicaid and health insurance exchanges.
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  • Announcing New State Innovation Models Initiative
    July 23, 2012
    The Department of Health and Human Services today announced a new initiative for States to design and test improvements to their health care systems that would bolster health care quality and decrease costs.
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  • Nine Grantees’ Research will Guide States as They Implement Health Reform Coverage Provisions
    July 23, 2012
    The State Health Access Reform Evaluation (SHARE), a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), announced nine research grants to help states plan and implement health reform strategies. The research will offer timely insights into issues states face as they work to improve health coverage and access under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
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  • HHS Announces 89 New Accountable Care Organizations
    July 10, 2012
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced that as of July 1, 89 new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) began serving 1.2 million people with Medicare in 40 states and Washington, DC.
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  • New Brief Examines Medicaid Coverage of Preventive Services for Women
    June 25, 2012
    A new policy brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation reviews Medicaid’s role in covering preventive care for women and discusses implications for women on Medicaid following implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014. Federal rules require that Medicaid cover many important preventive screening services, and a new survey by the foundation’s Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured shows that state policy choices mean that Medicaid coverage of such services for adults varies considerably from state to state. State policy choices will affect millions more women who would be newly eligible for Medicaid under the health reform law.
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  • Supreme Court Scenarios and Implications for the Affordable Care Act
    June 22, 2012

    A new brief produced by the Urban Institute summarizes the likely key effects of alternative Supreme Court decisions regarding the Affordable Care Act. The authors consider scenarios in which the law is upheld, and alternatively that the individual mandate, the individual mandate plus the insurance reforms, and the entire law are overturned. They highlight the potential effects on the uninsured, spending, implementation, effects on states and other factors. 


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  • Bringing Enrollment into the 21st Century
    June 19, 2012
    Most Americans apply for health coverage the same way they did 30 years ago: completing a paper form and waiting to be notified of their eligibility by mail. This is a significant drain on government resources, families, and businesses.
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  • Managing and Learning from Payment and Delivery System Reform
    June 19, 2012
    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) quality/equality team has released a new call for proposals, the purpose of which is to identify one or more organizations that can assist RWJF with its payment and delivery system reform work.
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  • Preparing for 2014
    June 8, 2012
    In 2014, millions of Americans will be eligible to enroll in Medicaid for the first time. To help states develop effective strategies and messages to promote enrollment when the program expands, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as part of its State Health Reform Assistance Network initiative, conducted in-depth qualitative and quantitative research with people who will be newly eligible in Alabama, Maryland, and Michigan.
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  • Foundations Partner to Advance Interprofessional Health Education
    June 6, 2012
    The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation; Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation; Robert Wood Johnson; and The John A. Hartford Foundation have announced that they will support the creation of a new national Center for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice, committing a total of $8.6 million over five years.
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  • Analysis Examines Geographic Variation in Enrollment of People Dually Eligible for Both Medicaid and Medicare
    May 24, 2012
    A new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured finds that there is significant geographic variation across states in the degree to which Medicaid enrollment includes people dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare.
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  • Study: Enrollees in Individual Health Plans to Gain Better Coverage Under Health Reform
    May 24, 2012
    More than half of Americans with individual health insurance coverage in 2010 were enrolled in plans providing less coverage than the least comprehensive plan that will be allowed under the health reform law, according to new research supported by The Commonwealth Fund.
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  • Massachusetts Health Care Reform: Six Years Later
    May 21, 2012
    In 2006, Massachusetts embarked on an ambitious health reform plan designed to provide near-universal health insurance coverage for state residents.
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  • New Poll Measures Americans’ Views on Costs and Quality of Medical Care
    May 21, 2012
    Many Americans who have experienced a serious illness or injury within the past 12 months are concerned about the financial costs of medical care, and struggle to ensure that their care is appropriate, according to a new poll by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NPR and Harvard School of Public Health.
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  • HHS Launches New Web-Based Tool to Track Performance of Nation’s Health Care System
    May 16, 2012
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched a new web-based tool to monitor and measure the performance of the nation’s health care system. The tool, known as the Health System Measurement Project, will allow policymakers, providers, and the public to develop consistent data-driven views of changes in critical U.S. health system indicators.
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  • CMS Innovation Center Announces 26 Projects to be Funded Under Health Care Innovation Awards
    May 9, 2012
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced the first round of Health Care Innovation awardees. These awards support 26 innovative projects nationwide that will save money, deliver high quality medical care and enhance the health care workforce, made possible by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
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  • Policy Brief Explores Essential Health Benefits
    April 26, 2012
    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates that, beginning in 2014, health insurance plans sold to small businesses and individuals provide “essential health benefits”—coverage of services in 10 categories, including hospitalization, prescription drug coverage, ambulatory care, and maternity and newborn care. A new policy brief from Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation explores the background of the requirement and policy implications surrounding it. The brief explains that the requirement is intended to provide a benefit package that will be both affordable and provide meaningful coverage to uninsured or underinsured Americans. The brief also points out that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will allow each state to choose from a set of plans to serve as a benchmark for the state. While some like the flexibility this proposed approach offers, others feel a national standard would reduce variation in benefits from state to state. The authors say that the focus will now shift to the states—as insurers, providers, and consumer advocates attempt to influence the benchmark plans.
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  • Gaps in Health Coverage Faced by One-Quarter of Working-Age Americans
    April 20, 2012
    One of four working-age U.S. adults experienced a gap in health insurance coverage during 2011, often because they lost or changed jobs, according to a new Commonwealth Fund study. The report, based on national survey findings, also shows how difficult it is for people to regain health insurance after losing employer-sponsored coverage. According to the authors, the major provisions of the health reform law that go into effect in 2014 are expected to help bridge coverage gaps and make insurance more affordable. These include an expansion in eligibility for Medicaid, subsidies for purchasing private plans through new health insurance exchanges, and rules preventing insurers from denying coverage or charging more based on gender or a preexisting condition.
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  • New Analysis: Mandate Would Affect Few Americans Directly
    March 28, 2012
    As the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), two new studies examine the effect of the individual mandate—the requirement that individuals either have health insurance or pay a fine.
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  • Toolkits Offer Insight from Massachusetts’ Health Connector Exchange
    March 13, 2012
    A toolkit series funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides an in-depth look at Massachusetts’ experience implementing state-based health reform and provides timely insight for others nationwide. The toolkits, produced by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, are designed to share experiences, materials, templates, and lessons learned from the state’s planning and creation of its exchange with other states as they begin implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The five-part series includes toolkits on: building an effective exchange website, implementing a public education campaign, determining health benefit designs to be offered, mitigating risk, and outreach and enrollment to those newly eligible.The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation has released the fifth and final in the series, “Effective Education, Outreach, and Enrollment Approaches for Populations Newly Eligible for Health Coverage.”
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  • New AHRQ release: Early Evidence on the Patient-Centered Medical Home
    February 29, 2012
    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released a new publication, Early Evidence on the Patient-Centered Medical Home, prepared in collaboration with Mathematica Policy Research. This white paper summarizes findings from early evaluations of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) and offers suggestions for improving the evidence base about the PCMH through more rigorous evaluations. The American Journal of Managed Care recently published a concise version of the paper; an expanded version of the white paper that provides extensive methodological details will be released in late spring 2012.
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  • Guiding Transformation: How Medical Practices Can Become Patient-Centered Medical Homes
    February 28, 2012
    A new publication from The Commonwealth Fund outlines and describes the changes that most medical practices would need to make to become patient-centered medical homes. Although the major primary care professional associations have advanced principles to guide the transformation to a medical home, the new report details specific practice modifications that likely are essential to the change process. This study is part of The Commonwealth Fund’s Safety Net Medical Home Initiative, which is helping primary care safety-net clinics in five states become high-performing patient-centered medical homes.
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  • HHS Announces New Assistance to States
    February 22, 2012
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced additional resources available to states as they implement the new provisions of the Affordable Care Act by: promoting transparency and meaningful public input into the Medicaid demonstration process; streamlining the federal-state consideration process as states test new models of care; and supporting innovation and implement health care solutions tailored for each state. HHS will also be providing a new round of Affordable Insurance Exchange Establishment Grants, totaling $229 million to 10 states, to help states build new health insurance marketplaces, also known as exchanges. These awards bring to 34 (including the District of Columbia) the number of states that are making significant progress in creating Affordable Insurance Exchanges. States receiving the most recent funding include: Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.
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  • New Reports Estimate 86 million People Benefited from ACA Prevention Benefits Last Year
    February 17, 2012
    One report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found that an estimated 32.5 million — almost three out of four — Medicare beneficiaries took advantage of the law's coverage of prevention with no cost sharing last year. These include 6 million mammography screenings, 2.8 million bone mass measurements and 1.2 million pap tests — all of which were previously subject to deductibles or co-payments.
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  • New Commonwealth Study Finds Income Divide in Health Care; Reform Law Can Help
    February 14, 2012
    As reported in the new issue brief, “The Income Divide in Health Care: How the Affordable Care Act Will Help Restore Fairness to the U.S. Health System,” 57 percent of adults in low-income families were uninsured for some time in the past year, as were 36 percent of those in moderate-income families. The authors say the Affordable Care Act is already helping to narrow the profound income inequities in the U.S. health care system—for example, by expanding health coverage for 2.5 million 19-to-25-year-olds and requiring insurers to cover preventive care without copayments. But the greatest impact will be felt in 2014, when the law greatly expands eligibility for Medicaid coverage, makes many more affordable, subsidized coverage options available through the new insurance exchanges, and prevents insurers from denying coverage or charging more based on gender or preexisting conditions. This study is the first in The Commonwealth Fund’s new Tracking Trends in Health System Performance series, which will examine how health reform is affecting people’s health coverage and care over time.
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  • New York State Health Foundation Report: Integrating Care for Dual Eligible Population
    February 14, 2012
    "Integrating Care for Dual Eligibles in New York: Issues and Options," a new NYSHealth report, developed by Mathematica Policy Research, provides a comprehensive profile of: dual eligible characteristics, care needs, costs, and service delivery options; aspects of New York's Medicaid program that present opportunities and challenges for integrated care programs for dual eligibles; and integrated care program design options based on a review of programs in other states, the characteristics and care needs of dual eligibles in New York State, and feasible options based on State capabilities and potential for Federal approval. The report provides specific recommendations for New York State as it works to improve the coordination and integration of care dual eligibles receive through Medicare and Medicaid.
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  • Bridging the Gap: Exploring the Basic Health Insurance Option for New York
    January 27, 2012
    A new report, supported by the New York State Health Foundation, outlines the coverage benefits for individuals and the cost savings for the state of establishing a state-run Basic Health Plan (BHP). One provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows states to establish a BHP, an option that can provide affordable, comprehensive coverage for low-income people. In addition to providing more affordable coverage to nearly half a million New Yorkers, a BHP could also help some 100,000 uninsured residents gain access to insurance. The report examines the implications of offering a BHP in New York. Specifically, it describes the amount of federal funding that would be available; the take-up rate by various eligible population groups; the cost of offering a comprehensive public look-alike product; the types of plan options the state could potentially offer; and the impact the establishment of a BHP would have on New York's Exchange and the rates of the uninsured upon the full implementation of the ACA in 2014.
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  • State Progress Toward Health Reform Implementation
    January 26, 2012
    An issue brief funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as part of its Quick Strike Series examines whether there is a correlation between the progress that states have made toward establishing the health insurance exchanges called for under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the expected benefits for state residents. The Urban Institute authors conclude that, under the ACA, the percentage of the population that is uninsured will decrease in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. However, the 15 states that have made the least progress toward ACA implementation have a higher baseline uninsurance rate on average, and would be likely to see the largest declines (that is, most improvement) in their uninsurance rates and receive the most benefits.
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  • SHARE Call for Proposals
    January 25, 2012
    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), through the State Health Access Reform Evaluation (SHARE) National Program, has issued a call for proposals to support research on health reform issues, especially as related to state-level implementation of the Affordable Care Act, with a focus on provisions that are designed to increase access and coverage. Studies funded through this call for proposals will support RWJF's objective to expand stable and affordable health care coverage by assisting states in their efforts to plan and implement coverage policies based on effective research and policy analysis. SHARE is located at and receives technical support from the State Health Access Data Assistance Center, an RWJF-funded research center at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health in the Division of Health Policy and Management.
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  • Building Medical Homes: Lessons from Eight States with Emerging Programs
    January 3, 2012
    A new publication by the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) profiles states' progress in developing and implementing medical home programs, strategies to encourage primary care providers' adoption, and states' ability to convene stakeholders, help improve and evaluate performance, and address antitrust concerns. There have been numerous efforts by payers and providers to improve patient access to high-functioning medical homes; with the support of The Commonwealth Fund, NASHP has fostered these efforts. Drawing on the combined experiences of the states they have worked in, NASHP developed a framework that other states could follow to implement medical home programs. Support for this research and this publication was provided by The Commonwealth Fund.
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  • Health Care Professionals Selected for the CMS Innovation Advisors Program
    January 3, 2012
    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the selection of 73 individuals from 27 states and the District of Columbia for its Innovation Advisors program. The initiative, launched by the CMS Innovation Center in October 2011, is intended to help health professionals deepen skills that will drive improvements to patient care and reduce costs. After an initial orientation phase, Innovation Advisors will work with the CMS Innovation Center to test new models of care delivery in their own organizations and communities. They will also create partnerships to find new ideas that work and share them regionally and across the United States. Funding for this initiative was made possible by the Affordable Care Act.
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  • New Affordable Care Act Demonstration to Provide Care at Home for Medicare Patients
    December 21, 2011
    Up to 10,000 Medicare patients with chronic conditions will now be able to get most of the care they need at home under a new demonstration announced today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Created by the Affordable Care Act, the new Independence at Home Demonstration greatly expands the scope of in-home services Medicare beneficiaries can receive. CMS will join with medical practices to test the effectiveness of delivering primary care services in a home setting on improving care for Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions. Medical practices led by physicians or nurse practitioners will provide primary care home visits tailored to the needs of beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions and functional limitations.
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  • Brief Summarizes States' Proposed Models to Integrate Medicare and Medicaid Benefits for Dual Eligibles
    August 12, 2011
    A new policy brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation summarizes 15 states' preliminary proposals to better coordinate care for people who are in both the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The design contracts, funded by the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), are an outgrowth of new efforts under the health reform law to develop service delivery and payment models that integrate care for the nation's nearly 9 million “dual eligibles,” whose medical needs and health care costs typically exceed those of other Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.
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  • ACA and State Government Spending
    August 12, 2011
    A new Urban Institute report finds that state governments are likely to spend $92-129 billion less from 2014 to 2019 with implementation of the Affordable Care Act, thanks to provisions reducing the uninsured population and increasing federal support for health care previously financed by states. The authors find that, overall, the federal government would spend $704 to $743 billion more under reform from 2014 to 2019. Even after 2019, when the federal government's share of Medicaid costs declines to its permanent level, states will still come out ahead, realizing net savings in 2020 alone of $12 to $19 billion.
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  • HHS Awards Affordable Care Act Funds to Expand Access to Health Care
    August 10, 2011
    The Department of Health and Human Services Secretary has announced awards of $28.8 million to 67 community health center programs across the country. These funds, made available by the Affordable Care Act, will help to establish new health service delivery sites to care for an additional 286,000 patients. Community health centers work to improve the health of the nation's underserved communities and vulnerable populations by ensuring access to comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary health care services.
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  • Health Care Recommendations from Previous Bipartisan Deficit-Reduction Groups
    August 3, 2011
    The debt-ceiling agreement that President Barack Obama signed into law calls for a bipartisan "super committee" – 12 members of Congress, selected by the leadership – to come up with $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion in cuts to the federal budget deficit over 10 years. This is not the first effort to find a bipartisan agreement on reducing the federal deficit; over the past year, there have been four bipartisan proposals, none of which were enacted. Kaiser Health News has prepared a guide to their recommendations about health care, drawn from the proposals’ summaries and final reports.
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  • Eight Models of Risk-Sharing in Health Care Delivery
    August 2, 2011
    The new Medicare Shared Savings Program is designed to accelerate the creation of accountable care organizations, payer–provider alliances for delivering high-quality health care at lower cost through new payment models that reward efficiency. A new Commonwealth Fund study prepared by Catalyst for Payment Reform, in partnership with Booz Allen Hamilton, reports on the implementation of eight private accountable care organizations that use, or are planning to deploy, a shared payer–provider risk payment model. Still in an early developmental phase, these payment models vary not only in their design but in how they define shared risk.
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  • Department of Health and Human Services Awards $71.3 million to Strengthen Nursing Workforce
    August 1, 2011
    HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced $71.3 million in grants to expand nursing education, training and diversity. Nursing workforce development programs, reauthorized by the Affordable Care Act and administered by HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration, are the primary source of federal funding for nursing education and workforce development. These programs bolster nursing education at all levels, from entry-level preparation through the development of advanced practice nurses. They also prepare faculty to teach the nation's future nursing workforce.
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  • Framework for Tracking the Impacts of the Affordable Care Act in California
    August 1, 2011
    "A Framework for Tracking the Impacts of the Affordable Care Act in California" was published in June by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center, funded by the California HealthCare Foundation. The document recommends measures for monitoring the impact of healthcare reform on insurance coverage, affordability and comprehensiveness of coverage, and access to care; the best data source for each measure; gaps in existing data; and issues for data presentation.
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  • $300,000 Grant to Prepare Urban Teens for Health Care Career
    August 1, 2011
    The Aetna Foundation has awarded a $300,000 grant to the National Academy Foundation (NAF) in New York to build a "pipeline" of health care professionals from underrepresented minority populations. The nonprofit organization is a leader in the urban high school reform movement and brings together small learning communities, business involvement, and work-based learning experiences to prepare at-risk students for the global economy. The Aetna Foundation's grant will help create a new NAF career academy theme, the Academy of Health Services, to help high school students prepare for the health care services profession while addressing the achievement gap in science, technology and mathematics, particularly among underserved populations. NAF expects to have in place 65 academies, serving 26,000 students, around the country by 2015. Earlier this year, the Aetna Foundation awarded nearly $650,000 in grants aimed at diversifying the next generation of doctors and other health care professionals.
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