Kip Piper's Health Care Blog
Medicare, Medicaid, Health Reform

States that expand Medicaid and establish Health Insurance Exchanges - both part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) - should start planning early, should take advantage of time-limited federal funding to improve enrollment systems, and should emphasize online enrollment methods, says a brief from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Maximizing...
The rise of uninsurance in the South and West over the past decade means those regions have the most to gain from the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) coverage expansions, says a brief by the Urban Institute sponsored the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  However, new taxpayer-financed health insurance coverage in the ACA...
States deciding whether to create a Basic Health Program (BHP) are worried it could undercut their health insurance exchanges, create a new entitlement program, and could carry financial risks if federal funds don’t cover the costs, according to a series of briefings on state progress in implementing the Affordable...
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute continue their series of reports on how states are implementing policies of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The latest reports look at Minnesota, New Mexico, and Virginia. The sections below include a few points of comparison from the briefs about how...
Based on data from Germany’s experience with wellness programs, a recent report cautions that wellness incentives under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could lead to higher insurance premiums for low-income and chronically ill people. The Commonwealth Fund’s brief found that one quarter of the publicly insured population participated in...
Medicaid directors have been pushed to find cost savings in their programs in the midst of recent budget shortfalls, often using blunt instruments such as cuts in benefits, provider rates, and eligibility. But Medicaid directors are also evaluating and implementing more sustainable reforms to ensure Medicaid continues to provide...
In deciding whether to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), governors and state legislatures face a complex, politically and fiscally challenging choice.  The decision on Medicaid eligibility expansion is already a hot topic in state capitals and state election campaigns.  Expect the politics and policy of...
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will prohibit health insurers from denying coverage and from excluding coverage of pre-existing coverage.  It will also limit how much more in premiums insurers can charge to high-cost groups compared to low-cost groups.  For example, a consumer's health status and sex may not be used to set premiums, even...
The requirement for everyone to purchase health insurance, also called the individual mandate, is one of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) most significant and controversial provisions. Anyone who doesn't buy insurance for themselves and their minor children and isn't exempt from the mandate will pay a penalty: either $695 in 2016,...
Two thirds of people who become newly insured on state health insurance exchanges (HIX) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will not have had coverage. More than one third of them will have had no usual health care provider and no recent checkup. Such estimates suggest the people who...

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