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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

What the Actuarial Values in the Affordable Care Act Mean

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) establishes four levels of coverage based on the concept of “actuarial value,” which represents the share of health care expenses the plan covers for a typical group of enrollees. As plans increase in actuarial value – bronze, silver, gold, and platinum –…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Federal Core Requirements And State Options In Medicaid: Current Policies And Key Issues

Medicaid is a jointly financed partnership between the federal government and states. The federal-state financing and administrative structure of Medicaid provides a framework of federal core requirements along with broad state options for program design and administration. This issue brief presents an overview of the current Medicaid program framework, with…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Restructuring Medicare’s Benefit Design: Implications for Beneficiaries and Spending

Several deficit-reduction plans have proposed combining Medicare’s separate deductibles for hospital and physician services, standardizing cost sharing across types of benefits, and establishing a new limit on annual out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries. A new Kaiser Family Foundation study examines the potential implications of proposals to revamp Medicare’s cost-sharing requirements as…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicare Part D 2011 Data Spotlight: The Coverage Gap

This data spotlight examines the availability of gap coverage in the private Medicare Part D drug plans offered to beneficiaries in 2011, the first year of the phase-out of the gap, as required under the 2010 health reform law. The changes for 2011 include a 50 percent discount on brand-name…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Performing Under Pressure: Annual Findings of a 50-State Survey of Eligibility, Enrollment, Renewal, and Cost-Sharing Policies in Medicaid and CHIP, 2011-2012

The annual 50-state survey of Medicaid and CHIP eligibility rules, enrollment and renewal procedures and cost-sharing practices, conducted by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured with the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, found that, despite continued fiscal pressures on states, eligibility policies remained stable in nearly…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Questions About Essential Health Benefits

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently issued its long-awaited report on defining the essential health benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As expected, the committee preparing the IOM report did not recommend which specific services should be covered, but rather discussed what the process should be for defining the essential benefits,…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

The Budget Trigger and Health Reform

No doubt it will take some time to sort out how elements of the debt deal (formally “The Budget Control Act of 2011”) will all work. Delving into the details of how it affects subsidies in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to make insurance more affordable helps to illustrate how…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

July Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Public Still Divided on ACA, Few Believe the Law Will Improve Consumer Protections

Overall public opinion on the health reform law remains unchanged this month, with 42 percent of Americans holding a favorable view and 43 percent an unfavorable view. Even though previous Health Tracking polls have consistently shown that consumer protections were one of the least controversial and most widely supported provisions…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Private Insurance Benefits and Cost-Sharing Under the ACA

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released guidance on the two key components that determine the level of protection that private insurance plans will provide to consumers under health reform. The first involves the services that insurance plans must cover, and the second involves how much patients…

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policy-insights-01192012_privateinsurance_notes3

Betting on Private Insurers

Just-released estimates of national health spending in 2010 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) show that 45% of our health care spending is financed by the federal and state governments, primarily through the Medicare and Medicaid programs. This share has grown temporarily in recent years because of the…

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