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Health Insurance Transparency under the Affordable Care Act

In February, a final rule was issued implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that all health plans provide a uniform summary of coverage for all enrollees and applicants. The idea of providing easy-to-understand summaries of coverage is, in fact, the most popular provision in the ACA, according to a recent Kaiser…

Small Area Variations and the ACA’s Coverage Expansions

A new Kaiser analysis sheds light on how the country might react to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) when it is implemented.  It looks at how the benefits of the ACA’s coverage expansions will vary around the country by census areas (technically, Public Use Microdata Areas, or PUMAs).  PUMAs are…

Private Insurance Benefits and Cost-Sharing Under the ACA

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released guidance on the two key components that determine the level of protection that private insurance plans will provide to consumers under health reform. The first involves the services that insurance plans must cover, and the second involves how much patients…

Insurance Coverage of Contraceptives

In this post, we answer some of the key questions about the new contraceptive coverage policy generally, and more specifically, how it will be applied to religious organizations.

January 2012 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: The ACA and the Supreme Court

As the Supreme Court prepares to hear legal challenges to the health reform law in March, the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll shows that most Americans (59 percent) expect the Justices to base their ruling on their own ideological views rather than their interpretation of the law (28 percent). As for…

Betting on Private Insurers

Just-released estimates of national health spending in 2010 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) show that 45% of our health care spending is financed by the federal and state governments, primarily through the Medicare and Medicaid programs. This share has grown temporarily in recent years because of the…

Pulling it Together: 2012: The ACA, and More

What is remarkable about 2012 (and the current era in health policy) is how many big health policy issues and marketplace changes will be in play at the same time: HEALTH REFORM: There is the implementation of a historic but fragile health reform law, with a Supreme Court decision pending…