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Grandfathering Explained

The Republican leadership in the House of Representatives recently indicated that it will be seeking to repeal regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that govern the “grandfathered” status of health plans. As this aspect of the health reform law gets more scrutiny, it may be useful to review some of…

August Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: The Uninsured and the Health Reform Law

The August Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that even though 32 million uninsured Americans will gain health insurance under the ACA, only about half of non-elderly Americans currently without coverage say they are familiar with the chief components in the law designed to achieve this goal. Fifty-two percent of the uninsured…

Pulling It Together: Uninsured But Not Yet Informed

If there is one thing there is general agreement on when it comes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) it’s that it will help the uninsured.  The estimates are that 32 million people will gain coverage under the law through an expansion of Medicaid and tax credits, which will help…

Measuring the Affordability of Employer Health Coverage

A recent draft regulation issued by the Treasury Department describes who is eligible for premium tax credits to help them afford coverage offered through health insurance exchanges beginning in 2014. Tax credits will be available to people with incomes between 100 and 400 percent of the poverty level who are…

The Budget Trigger and Health Reform

No doubt it will take some time to sort out how elements of the debt deal (formally “The Budget Control Act of 2011”) will all work. Delving into the details of how it affects subsidies in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to make insurance more affordable helps to illustrate how…

Pulling It Together: Are We Headed for a Government Takeover of Health Care?

Remember the “government takeover of the health care system” argument that critics of the health reform law have used?  Well, last week the Office of the Actuary in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published the latest projections of health spending in the journal Health Affairs.  Attention focused mainly…

Remember the People Outside of the Exchanges

There has been a substantial amount of focus on the recently released draft regulations governing state-based health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). And that’s appropriate, since the exchanges have the important roles under reform of providing consumers with easier access to insurance and facilitating tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies…

Pulling It Together: Writing Regulations

Not since Geraldo Rivera revealed the secret contents of Al Capone’s vault on national TV in the mid-80s, or more recently, sports fans awaited the LeBron James “decision” about where he would play next, have we so anxiously awaited anything as much as the draft health exchange regulations just published…

What is a Mini-Med Plan?

One of the early insurance market changes in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) phases out caps that some insurance plans impose on the annual dollar amount of benefits they will cover. Plans issued or renewed after September 23, 2010 cannot have annual limits of less than $750,000, and the threshold…