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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

Health Care Costs: A Primer

This primer on health care spending in the United States reviews the growth in health care spending since 1970 and the impact of health care costs on families and employers. The share of the economy devoted to health care increased from 7.2 percent in 1970 to 17.9 percent in 2009…

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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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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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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Managing Medicaid Pharmacy Benefits: Current Issues and Options

This report examines reimbursement, benefit management and cost sharing issues in Medicaid pharmacy programs. The analysis, conducted by researchers from the Foundation’s Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and Health Management Associates, focuses on the potential of several measures recently highlighted by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius…

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The Future of Medicare Advantage: Are We on the Right Path?

This June 10 briefing looked at Medicare Advantage and changes affecting it, including revised calculations of payments from CMS, and the Affordable Care Act’s reduced payments to Medicare Advantage plans. Speakers discussed how Medicare Advantage plans are expected to respond to payment changes; if quality bonus payments created significant changes in patient care or plan choices; and what implications could these decisions have on beneficiaries with regard to premiums, benefits and more.

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