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Explaining Health Care Reform: What is Health Insurance?

A key element in any comprehensive health reform plan is defining what health insurance is and the amount of insurance coverage people will have. There are two components to that coverage: the types of services covered (e.g., physician care, hospitalization, prescription drugs, etc.), and the cost sharing required of enrollees…

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…

The Cost of Cancer

This Kaiser Family Foundation documentary explores the financial consequences faced by three people, all privately insured, after being diagnosed with cancer. It was released in conjunction with a joint Kaiser/American Cancer Society report, “Spending To Survive: Cancer Patients Confront Holes in the Health Insurance System.” To download the video, right-click…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Nursing Home Reform: Then and Now

To mark the 20th anniversary of the passage of landmark federal legislation to improve the quality of nursing home care, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (known as OBRA 87), this video examines the history surrounding the law. The video includes a look at the state of nursing home…

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…

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…