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Medical Debt Among Insured Consumers: The Role of Cost Sharing, Transparency, and Consumer Assistance

This policy insight examines medical debt among insured consumers, exploring how high cost sharing in health insurance plans can contribute, and explaining how greater transparency could help consumers avoid some financial pitfalls. It also provides an update on provisions of the Affordable Care Act meant to increase health plan transparency and bolster consumer assistance.

Measuring the Impact of Ebola: Will it Reach 1.4 Million?

This Policy Insight take a deeper look at several key measures of the impact of the current Ebola epidemic in West Africa, including estimates of current cases, prevalence and death rates, as well as a consideration of the future projections of Ebola’s burden in the months to come.

How Much (More) Will Seniors Pay for a Doc Fix?

In this Policy Insight, the Foundation’s Cristina Boccuti and Tricia Neuman examine how Congress’ effort to permanently stave off scheduled cuts in Medicare’s physician payments could affect what Medicare beneficiaries pay for their care — both in premiums and in other potential changes — to offset the cost of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) “doc fix.”

One Year into Duals Demo Enrollment: Early Expectations Meet Reality

One year into initial enrollment in the Medicare-Medicaid financial alignment demonstrations for dual eligible beneficiaries, some initial insights are beginning to emerge. This policy insight highlights key challenges and trends emerging in states’ demonstrations.

Ebola in West Africa: Four Questions for the U.S. Response Going Forward

As of August 14, 2014, the Ebola virus has infected an estimated 1,975 individuals across four countries in West Africa, leading to 1,069 deaths (including three Americans). The official reported numbers, frightening as they are, likely vastly underestimate the true magnitude of the outbreak. Ebola has severely impacted the daily…

The Potential Side Effects of Halbig

The Halbig case, if it prevails, would have far-reaching side effects on the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate and the functioning of the individual insurance market.

Reading the Tea Leaves on U.S. Global Health Policy

In this Policy Insight, Jen Kates and Josh Michaud look at the prospects for the future of U.S. global health policy, examining whether long-term bipartisan support may be tested during a time of political transition, and identifying key areas of consensus among policymakers and the public.

Zika Virus: The Challenge for Women

In the latest post in the Policy Insights series, Jen Kates, Josh Michaud, and Allison Valentine examine how rapid emergence of Zika virus in the Americas, and its association with a severe birth defect, impact women as some health officials are calling for women to avoid pregnancy even though they have limited reproductive health access in some of the affected countries. They also examine the role of the U.S. government in addressing Zika and its impact on women in Latin America and the Caribbean.

How Have Insurers Fared Under the Affordable Care Act?

This analysis tracks the financial performance of insurers in the individual market by evaluating trends in the medical loss ratio (MLR) in the pre-ACA landscape from 2010 to 2013 and estimates the MLR for the first full year of Affordable Care Act implementation in 2014. Findings suggest that although performance varied among insurers, insurers overall had roughly comparable financial performance in 2014 as in recent prior years.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.