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How Private Health Coverage Works: A Primer – 2008 Update

How Private Health Coverage Works: A Primer— 2008 UpdateThis primer explains the role and operations of private health coverage in the United States. Private health coverage is provided under a variety of different arrangements, including health insuring organizations regulated under state law and health plans sponsored by employers and employee organizations…

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…

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…

Testimony: Wellness Programs and Nondiscrimination Under Employer-Sponsored Group Health Plans

This testimony by the Foundation’s Karen Pollitz before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission included background on wellness programs, wellness incentives and nondiscrimination since 1996, and questions and issues related to proposed regulations governing the design and application of wellness programs offered in conjunction with employer-sponsored group health plans.

How Will Consumers Navigate New Health Care Options? Briefing and Panel Discussion

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 Affairs Article: Impact of State Tort Reforms on Physician Malpractice Payments

A study in the March/April 2007 issue of Health Affairs analyzes the impact of state tort reforms on physician malpractice claims. The study finds that the tort law changes have had a measurable but limited impact on physician malpractice claims, depending on the type and strength of the tort reform. Commissioned by…