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Expand chart
Data: KFF; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Most uninsured Americans are already eligible for Medicaid or subsidized Affordable Care Act coverage.

Why it matters: One path to universal health coverage would involve signing millions of Americans up for insurance that's already available to them, and some states are pursuing that goal.

By the numbers: After Congress temporarily expanded eligibility for ACA subsidies earlier this year, 63% of uninsured Americans are now eligible for free or subsidized plans, per a KFF analysis.

  • A quarter are eligible for Medicaid or other public plans, and 38% are eligible for ACA tax credits.
  • But there's wide variation by state, with far fewer people eligible for coverage in states that haven't expanded Medicaid.

Driving the news: Maryland, Colorado and Virginia have passed "easy enrollment" laws, which let residents opt into sharing their tax information with their state's exchange. The exchange can then determine whether they're eligible for free or low-cost coverage.

  • “The core intuition is that tax filing is really the best possible moment to find the eligible uninsured and enroll them into coverage," said Stan Dorn, director of the National Center for Coverage Innovation at Families USA.

Between the lines: "Easy enrollment" moves a step closer to some advocates' ultimate goal — automatically enrolling people who are eligible for free coverage.

  • “If you had automatic enrollment for everybody who has free coverage offered to them, then you could cover half of the uninsured," Dorn said, citing a recent KFF analysis.

What we're watching: "Even without auto-enrollment, I think timing open enrollment to tax season could go a very long way toward reducing the number of uninsured," said KFF's Cynthia Cox.

  • "H&R Block and Turbo Tax systems could be easily programmed to alert uninsured tax filers that they are likely eligible for free or reduced-cost health plans and show them where to go to sign up," she added.

Go deeper

Jan. 6 committee subpoenas Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell

Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot released its latest round of subpoenas on Tuesday evening, this time focusing on several of former President Trump's lawyers, including Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, and former adviser Boris Epshteyn.

Why it matters: The panel said the four individuals subpoenaed were involved in efforts publicly promote Trump's unfounded claims of election fraud as well as efforts to "disrupt or delay" the certification of the election's results.

3 hours ago - World

U.S. warns Russia may attack Ukraine from Belarus

Belarus dictator AlexPhoto: Mikhail Klimentyev\TASS via Getty Images

The U.S. believes that Russia may use joint military exercises inside Belarus as cover for an invasion of Ukraine from the north, according to a senior State Department official.

Why it matters: New deployments to the Belarus-Ukraine border in the coming weeks — in addition to the 100,000 Russian troops already encircling Ukraine from the north, east and south — could allow Russia to open up a new front less than 100 miles from the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

6 hours ago - Health

Government website for free COVID tests launches early

COVID-19 rapid at-home test kits. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The website where Americans can request free, at-home rapid COVID-19 tests from the government launched Tuesday and is now accepting orders.

Driving the news: The website went live in its beta phase and is operating at a limited capacity a day before its official launch. Every home in the U.S. is eligible for up to four COVID tests, according to the website.