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Is ACA Coverage Affordable for Low-Income People? Perspectives from Individuals in Six Cities

This brief presents findings from focus groups with low-income Medicaid and Marketplace enrollees in six cities: Baltimore, MD; Columbus, OH; Oakland, CA; Richmond, VA; St. Louis, MO; and Tampa, FL. It explores their experiences signing up for coverage; their perceptions of whether the costs they pay for their coverage are affordable; their experiences accessing care; and the impact of out-of-pocket costs on their ability to get needed care. It provides insights into the ongoing financial struggles facing low-income individuals and the problems they confront affording health coverage.

Payments for Cost Sharing Increasing Rapidly Over Time

This Kaiser Family Foundation analysis finds that for workers covered by their employer’s health plans, out-of-pocket costs including deductibles and coinsurance have been increasing significantly faster than costs paid by insurers, reflecting a decade-long trend toward slightly less generous coverage.

Visualizing Health Policy: Recent Trends in Prescription Drug Costs

This Visualizing Health Policy infographic spotlights national spending on prescription drugs and the public’s views on pharmaceutical prices. Prescription drug spending rose sharply in 2014, driven by growth in expenditures on specialty drugs, including medications to treat cancer and hepatitis C. Medicare’s spending on prescription pharmaceuticals also has risen, largely…

Surprise Medical Bills

This brief explores the problem of “surprise medical bills” — charges arising when an insured individual inadvertently receives care from an out-of-network provider. It reviews studies on the extent of the issue, including Kaiser Family Foundation polling data, and outlines state and federal policy responses, including rules and proposed rules for Medicare and plans in Affordable Care Act marketplaces.

JAMA Forum: Surprise, Surprise

Larry Levitt’s February 2016 post explains how “surprise medical bills” — unanticipated charges for out-of-network care – can happen. It describes some government approaches to the issue and outlines the challenges to protecting consumers. The post is now available at The JAMA Forum.

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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.