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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…

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…

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…

Update on Individual Health Insurance

This report provides information about the individual health insurance market using data from the largest vendor of this type of insurance, eHealthInsurance. The report includes who is buying individual insurance, what they are actually paying for the insurance, and buying patterns. It is the first in an up-coming series of…

Webcast: New CMS Estimates of State-by-State Health Expenditures

The Kaiser Family Foundation held a live interactive webcast on December 7, 2011, to discuss trends in state health care expenditures and the implications for national and state efforts to constrain health care costs. The webcast examines new state-by-state estimates of public and private health spending from the Centers for…

Managed Care Consumer Protections Offered by Medium and Large Employers

A fact sheet summarizing data from a survey conducted between January and March of 1998 with 1,583 firms with 200 or more workers. The survey, which is conducted annually, focuses on the characteristics of the health benefit plans sponsored by employers.The supplemental questions discussed in this brief were developed jointly…

Consumer Protection Issues in Medicare + Choice

This report describes and analyzes key Medicare+Choice provisions in the Balanced Budget Act and the accompanying regulations related to consumer protections. It explains how the BBA makes significant improvements for beneficiaries in the areas of access, appeals, and quality. It also explores areas that could be strengthened to better serve…

Managed Care Consumer Protections Offered by Medium and Large Employers – Fact Sheet

Managed Care Consumer Protections Offered by Medium and Large EmployersNovember 1998BackgroundDuring the past year, Congress and the states considered a number of proposals that would have provided additional protections to consumers in health insurance plans, particularly managed care plans. Among the key issues raised in these debates was how much…

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.