Elizabeth Lukanen, State Health Access Data Assistance Center
While millions of Americans have newly gained health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there is evidence that coverage alone does not necessarily translate into access to health care. This memo, prepared by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC), provides background information on health insurance literacy, summarizes the research around current consumer knowledge, and offers recommendations for marketplaces on how to build on it.
Additionally, the State Network has compiled a library of health insurance literacy materials developed by four marketplaces (below). These resources are intended as examples of what marketplaces can provide to consumers and to groups working on improving health insurance literacy and boosting enrollment.
As federal health reform legislation has stalled, health policy attention turns to the states, which have many tools to reform their health care systems. While 1115 waivers rightly get a lot of attention, because of their ability to reshape state Medicaid programs, the Affordable Care Act’s Section 1332 waivers continue to be a promising avenue for states.
Where people live, work and play -- and the experiences they have, especially growing up -- matters. These social determinants of health (SDOH) include a broad array of social and environmental risk factors such as poverty, housing stability, early childhood education, access to primary care, access to healthy food, incarceration and discrimination. State policy makers are increasingly focused on SDOH because of their important influence on health care outcomes and Medicaid spending.
A major element of the federal legislative proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is a change to the financing structure for Medicaid. Understanding the effect this funding change will have on Medicaid programs is a critical priority for states. The State Health and Value Strategies program is working to analyze the financing changes from a state perspective.