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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…

Peering Into the Black Box of Insurance Rating

Recently, the New York Times reported that private health insurers continue to seek large premium increases despite seeing lower than expected use of medical care and booking record profits. The story highlights a significant problem for health policy: the lack of good, public information about how health insurers manage health…

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…

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…

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…