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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…

Medical Errors: Practicing Physician and Public Views – Toplines/Surveys

Medical Errors: Practicing Physician and Public Views This study by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Kaiser Family Foundation documents the attitudes of doctors and the public about medical errors and their or their families’ experiences with medical errors in the course of receiving medical care. The surveys…

Spending To Survive: Cancer Patients Confront Holes in the Health Insurance System

This report highlights the severe challenges cancer patient may face in paying for life-saving care even when they have private health insurance. Jointly authored by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the American Cancer Society, the report profiles 20 patients and illustrates the potential difficulties people diagnosed with cancer or other…

Explaining Health Care Reform: What Is An Employer “Pay-or-Play” Requirement?

To broaden coverage, some health reform proposals would require employers to offer coverage or pay to help finance subsidies for those without access to affordable coverage. These types of reforms are often referred to as “pay-or-play” policies. The brief explains the concept and policy implications of employer pay-or-play proposals, which…

Uniform Coverage Summaries for Consumers

This brief explains the proposed federal rule that requires private health plans to provide a short, easy-to-read uniform summary of benefits and coverage to all health insurance applicants and enrollees. The rule, which implements a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is intended to make it simpler for consumers…

Health Insurance Market Reforms: Guaranteed Issue

Guaranteed issue laws require insurance companies to issue a health plan to any applicant – an individual or a group – regardless of the applicant’s health status or other factors. Currently, in most states, insurance companies can deny nongroup coverage to people based on their health status or their medical…

Quantifying the Effects of Health Insurance Rate Review

This report from the Kaiser Family Foundation analyzes the effect of government efforts to ensure that insurance premium increases are justifiable and provide value to consumers and small businesses. Rate review programs require insurers in the small group and individual markets to submit proposed rate increase requests to state or…