While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will lead to a historic health insurance coverage expansion beginning in 2014, approximately 20 million individuals will remain uninsured. As policymakers and health systems prepare for ACA implementation, it is important that they consider who will remain uninsured and how that population can access coverage and care.

In The Implications of Health Reform for U.S. Charity Care Programs: Policy Considerations, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) and AcademyHealth examine U.S. charity care programs, which provide no- and low-cost coverage to many of the nation’s uninsured. Funded by the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy, this brief describes:

  • Current charity care program models;
  • What is known and unknown about the remaining uninsured and who among them will seek charity care;
  • How Medicaid and health plans might engage charity care programs in effectively serving the newly eligible; and
  • Considerations for preserving the viability of charity care programs, which will remain critical to the broader health care safety net in 2014 and beyond.

In a corresponding report, The Future of U.S. Charity Care Programs: Implications of Health Reform, CHCS provides:

  • An in-depth analysis of the study’s findings;
  • Discussion of the potential impact of ACA on charity care programs and the uninsured population; and
  • Case studies of the eight charity care programs included in the study.