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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…

Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlight: Formularies

This Medicare Part D data spotlight examines the formularies (list of covered drugs) of Medicare stand-alone prescription drug plans in 2008, changes since 2006, and differences in how plans cover brand-name and generic drugs. This is one in a series analyzing key aspects of the 2008 Medicare Part D prescription…

Federal Core Requirements And State Options In Medicaid: Current Policies And Key Issues

Medicaid is a jointly financed partnership between the federal government and states. The federal-state financing and administrative structure of Medicaid provides a framework of federal core requirements along with broad state options for program design and administration. This issue brief presents an overview of the current Medicaid program framework, with…

Restructuring Medicare’s Benefit Design: Implications for Beneficiaries and Spending

Several deficit-reduction plans have proposed combining Medicare’s separate deductibles for hospital and physician services, standardizing cost sharing across types of benefits, and establishing a new limit on annual out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries. A new Kaiser Family Foundation study examines the potential implications of proposals to revamp Medicare’s cost-sharing requirements as…

Workplace Wellness Programs, Healthy Behaviors and Health Reform

Many large employers offer financial incentives to their employees to exercise regularly, improve their diets, lose weight and quit smoking. Health reform proposals would write some of these incentives into law. But some patient advocates say that, depending on how the incentives are structured, they can make coverage more expensive…

Boomers Come of Age: Covering Early Retirees and Other 50-64 Year-Olds

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contains provisions that can help workers age 50-64 if they lose their jobs and their employer-sponsored health benefits, such as incentives for employers to maintain retiree benefits. This briefing, cosponsored by the Alliance for Health Reform and AARP, answered many questions about provisions…

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans in 2009 and Key Changes Since 2006: Summary of Findings

Since 2006, Medicare beneficiaries have had access to prescription drug coverage offered by private plans, either stand-alone prescription drug plans (PDPs) or Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans (MA-PD plans). Today, more than 26 million Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare drug plans, including 17.5 million in stand-alone prescription drug plans…

Uniform Coverage Summaries for Consumers

This brief explains the proposed federal rule that requires private health plans to provide a short, easy-to-read uniform summary of benefits and coverage to all health insurance applicants and enrollees. The rule, which implements a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is intended to make it simpler for consumers…

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.