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External Review of Health Plan Decisions in the States and Medicare – Report

External Review of Health Plan Decisions:An Overview of Key Program Features in the States and MedicareExternal Review of Health Plan Decisions:An Overview of Key Program Features in the States and MedicarePrepared for the Kaiser Family Foundation by:Karen Pollitz, M.P.P., Geraldine Dallek, M.P.H., and Nicole Tapay, J.D.Institute for Health Care Research…

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…

Primers on Key Health Care Topics and Programs

The Kaiser Family Foundation maintains a number of primers providing overviews of key health care programs and issues. Written by Foundation staff, each primer provides key data and information that helps illustrate the topic and its relevance for the nation's health care system.Medicaid: A PrimerMedicare: A PrimerThe Uninsured: A PrimerHealth…

Cost Sharing for Health Care: France, Germany, and Switzerland

As policymakers in the United States weigh options for reform to the nation’s health care system, the level of cost sharing that consumers face when they receive services covered by their health plans is a major consideration, especially for those with serious health conditions. This background brief authored by Kaiser…

The COBRA Subsidy and Health Insurance for the Unemployed

With the nation’s unemployment rate rising to its highest levels in decades as a result of the recession, many families have lost their employer-sponsored health coverage or are at risk of doing so. In an effort to help people maintain coverage after a layoff, the stimulus legislation known as the…

Consumers’ Experience in Massachusetts: Lessons For National Health Reform

This report examines the impact of state health reform efforts on the lives of ordinary people in Massachusetts, including a look at coverage provided by both public programs and private sources. It focuses specifically on people’s ability to afford and obtain needed care. Report (.pdf)

Inside Deficit Reduction: What Now?

The Budget Control Act of 2011 tasked members of a “Super Committee” to find at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade. Members did not reach an agreement by the November 23 deadline and as a result automatic spending cuts to defense and entitlement programs are set…

Health Insurance Market Reforms: Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions

Insurers pursue multiple strategies to reduce the cost of covering enrollees with pre-existing conditions, or medical conditions and health problems that existed before the individual enrolled in a health plan. One strategy, the pre-existing condition exclusion, allows insurers to refuse to cover any costs associated with care for a pre-existing…