Kara Nester

Kara Nester

Pronouns she/her/hers

Kara Nester’s work focuses on Medicaid and state health policy. She has expertise in Medicaid and health insurance marketplaces as well as in health costs and analytics.

Nester supports California’s Office of Health Care Affordability in developing a health care spending target with a focus on potential equity and quality adjustments. She also supports Vermont’s development of a potential global budget payment model for the state’s hospitals. Previously, Nester assisted the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and states as they prepared to unwind eligibility and enrollment flexibilities implemented during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Before joining Mathematica, Nester worked at the Washington Health Benefit Exchange—Washington State’s health insurance marketplace. There, she was a subject matter expert on eligibility and enrollment and led research to examine market dynamics, including using the Washington All-Payer Claims Database to analyze the exchange’s costs and utilization. Nester also worked for Families USA, providing states with technical assistance on implementing the Affordable Care Act. She holds an M.P.H. in health policy and management from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

  • Medicaid eligibility and enrollment
  • Health insurance marketplaces
  • Health costs and analytics
  • Health care policy analysis
Focus Area Topics
  • State Health Policy
  • Health
  • Medicaid and CHIP

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