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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: 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.

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…

Questions About Essential Health Benefits

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently issued its long-awaited report on defining the essential health benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As expected, the committee preparing the IOM report did not recommend which specific services should be covered, but rather discussed what the process should be for defining the essential benefits,…

An Employer Health Benefits Balance Sheet

There seems to be growing interest in the question of how many employers will keep offering coverage to their full-time employees once the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is fully implemented in 2014, or instead will choose to stop offering coverage and pay a penalty. While there is some good analysis…

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…

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.

Medicaid Expansion through Premium Assistance: Key Issues for Beneficiaries in Arkansas’ Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver Proposal

This issue brief provides background about Medicaid premium assistance in the individual health insurance market, summarizes major components of Arkansas’ Section 1115 demonstration waiver application to implement the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion through premium assistance, and considers key issues affecting beneficiaries.

An Analysis of the Share of Medicare Beneficiaries Who Would Benefit from an Annual Out-of-Pocket Maximum under Traditional Medicare Over Multiple Years

This analysis examines the share of Medicare beneficiaries who would be helped over time if the program were to add a limit on out-of-pocket spending to traditional Medicare. This analysis was conducted jointly with the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) in response to a request made during a Feb. 26, 2013 hearing of the House Ways and Means’ Subcommittee on Health.