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Who Will be the H&R Block and TurboTax for Health Insurance?

There’s been quite a bit of focus lately insofar as these issues go, anyway on health insurance agents and brokers (sometimes known in the industry as “producers”). They are pushing legislation that has been introduced in Congress and is now being studied by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that…

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…

A Consumer Guide to Handling Disputes with Your Employer or Private Health Plan

Most people get their health care through some form of managed care plan – a health maintenance organization, preferred provider organization, or point-of-service option. Most of the time, people receive the care they need, but the potential exists for disagreements over the services that will be provided or paid for…

Navigator and In-Person Assistance Programs: A Snapshot of State Programs

With the open enrollment period for health insurance exchanges less than six months away, consumers are already asking questions about their new health care options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Even in the age of digital information, hands-on consumer assistance could play a key role in helping people understand…

Consumer Assistance in Health Reform

With the open enrollment period for health insurance exchanges less than six months away, consumers are already asking questions about their new health care options under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Even in the age of digital information, hands-on consumer assistance could play a key role in helping people understand…

Health Insurance Market Reforms: Portability

Most Americans have access to health insurance through an employer-sponsored health plan, a fact that has made changing or losing a job a complex issue for the purposes of maintaining health insurance. Moving to a new job can be hard if the employer does not offer health insurance, or if…

Explaining Health Care Reform: What is Health Insurance?

A key element in any comprehensive health reform plan is defining what health insurance is and the amount of insurance coverage people will have. There are two components to that coverage: the types of services covered (e.g., physician care, hospitalization, prescription drugs, etc.), and the cost sharing required of enrollees…

Health Reform: Lessons From Massachusetts

As Congress debates comprehensive national health reform, the Kaiser Family Foundation has two reports and an updated fact sheet that examine state-level health reform in Massachusetts and the lessons it offers for policymakers in Washington. Consumers’ Experience in Massachusetts: Lessons For National Health Reform and In Pursuit of Affordable Health…

Explaining Douglas v. Independent Living Center: Questions About the Upcoming United States Supreme Court Case Regarding Medicaid Beneficiaries’ and Providers’ Ability to Enforce the Medicaid Act

On October 3, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral argument in a group of three cases, Douglas v. Independent Living Center of Southern California, Douglas v. California Pharmacists Association, and Douglas v. Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. All three cases raise the same issue: whether Medicaid beneficiaries…