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The Future of Medicare Advantage: Are We on the Right Path?

This June 10 briefing looked at Medicare Advantage and changes affecting it, including revised calculations of payments from CMS, and the Affordable Care Act’s reduced payments to Medicare Advantage plans. Speakers discussed how Medicare Advantage plans are expected to respond to payment changes; if quality bonus payments created significant changes in patient care or plan choices; and what implications could these decisions have on beneficiaries with regard to premiums, benefits and more.

Medicaid: A Primer – Key Information on the Nation’s Health Coverage Program for Low-Income People

This primer provides an overview of Medicaid, the nation’s largest health coverage program, which covers more than 62 million low-income individuals, including children and families, people with disabilities and seniors who are also covered by Medicare. Medicaid also is the dominant source of the country’s long-term care financing. The program will expand significantly under the Affordable Care Act in 2014.

Implementing New Private Health Insurance Market Rules

With the Jan. 1, 2014 effective date for implementing major changes in the private insurance market under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) approaching, this brief looks at three proposed federal regulations released in late November 2012 that detail how the ACA’s rules will operate in the following areas: private insurance…

Quick Take: Essential Health Benefits: What Have States Decided for Their Benchmark?

Beginning on January 1, 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that all non-grandfathered individual and small group health insurance plans sold in a state, including those offered through an Exchange, cover certain essential health benefits (EHBs). As it stands today, many plans offered in the individual and small group…

Analysis of Medicare Prescription Drug Plans In 2012 And Key Trends Since 2006

This report presents findings from an analysis of the Medicare Part D marketplace in 2012 and changes in drug coverage and costs since 2006. It presents key findings related to Medicare drug plan plan availability, premiums, cost-sharing, the coverage gap and availability for low-income beneficiaries, the coverage gap, benefit design…

Transparency and Complexity

This fall a new rule takes effect requiring all private health plans to offer a uniform, simple to read, summary of benefits and coverage (SBC).  The SBC will provide consumers with standardized information about how plans cover essential health benefits and what coverage limits and cost sharing applies. The SBC…

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.

Essential Health Benefits: Balancing Affordability and Adequacy

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), insurance plans offered through state insurance exchanges as well as non-grandfathered plans offered in the individual and small group markets – will be required to cover a set of health benefits and services called the “essential health benefits” package. Guidance issued…

Medicaid Enrollment and Expenditures by Federal Core Requirements and State Options

To receive federal Medicaid matching funds, states that participate in Medicaid must meet federal requirements, which include covering specified “federal core” enrollee groups and mandatory health benefits. States also may choose to cover additional “state expansion” enrollees and optional benefits with federal Medicaid matching funds. The federal core eligibility standards…