Survey Of High-Risk Pool Enrollees Suggests That Targeted Transition Education And Outreach Should Begin Soon

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Several provisions of the Affordable Care Act make state and federal high-risk pools unnecessary beginning in January 2014. As a result, thousands of enrollees in those pools will be transferred to Medicaid and the new state and federal insurance exchanges.

This study analyzed new survey data collected from enrollees in the country’s oldest and largest state-based high-risk pool, the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association. The authors estimate that approximately half of the enrollees in that pool will qualify for Medicaid or premium subsidies in the exchange. More than 60 percent of the enrollees reported being somewhat or very unfamiliar with health care reform and the resulting changes to their current coverage.

Their concerns about the expected impact of health reform varied by income, geography, and level of deductible. Targeting education and outreach information to address these concerns will be critical for this population’s smooth transition to new coverage.

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The State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) focuses on increasing policymakers' use, understanding and collection of state and national health care data by: (1) providing technical assistance to policymakers in their use of state, local and federal data; (2) monitoring data on the number and characteristics of the uninsured; and (3) evaluating health policy reforms. The project's deliverables include reports and briefs, intensive technical assistance, convening activities, and development of the program's website as a resource for policy-makers, analysts and the media.

The State Health Access Reform Evaluation (SHARE) program operates out of SHADAC, and supports rigorous research on health reform issues, especially as they relate to the state implementation of the ACA.

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