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Covering the Low-Income Uninsured: The Case For Expanding Public Programs

An article in the January/February 2001 issue of Health Affairs by Judith Feder, Larry Levitt, Ellen O’Brien, and Diane Rowland assesses how best to expand health insurance coverage for the low-income uninsured. The article concludes that despite flaws in existing public programs, which can and should be remedied, strengthening programs like Medicaid…

Comparison of Medicaid Provisions in Deficit-Reduction Proposals

In response to mounting concern about the nation’s rising debt and deficit, and increasing apprehension about the federal budget, prominent leaders and various commissions have come forward with recommendations to strengthen the economy and bolster the nation’s fiscal health. These proposals include both tax increases and spending reductions in discretionary…

Federal Funding Under the Affordable Care Act

This fact sheet provides highlights from an analysis tracking the flow of federal Affordable Care Act funds to states as reporter in the Department of Health and Human Services grant database as well as periodic reports from HHS and the Internal Revenue Service. The analysis distinguishes between funds awarded to…

Health Affairs Article: Comparing the Assets of Uninsured Households to Cost Sharing Under High Deductible Health Plans

Health Affairs Article: Comparing the Assets of Uninsured Households to Cost Sharing Under High Deductible Health Plans Relatively few uninsured households have enough financial assets to cover the cost-sharing in consumer-driven health plans tied to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), according to this study by Kaiser Family Foundation researchers published as a Health…

Health Affairs Article: Health Care in New Orleans Before and After Hurricane Katrina

On the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall, a paper authored by Foundation staff, released as a web exclusive by the journal Health Affairs, examines the impact of the storm on New Orleans, the current state of health care in the city, and lessons learned about the city’s health care delivery…

Understanding The Effects of The Medicare Part D Coverage Gap in 2008 and 2009

This Kaiser Family Foundation study examines how the coverage gap in Medicare’s drug benefit known as the “doughnut hole” affects Medicare beneficiaries and their prescribing patterns. Based on actual claims data from 2008 and 2009, before the 2010 health reform law began to close the gap, the study finds that…

Measuring Changes in Insurance Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act

This data note discusses the details and timing of some of the private and federal surveys that will be used to look at how coverage has changed due to the Affordable Care Act. Different surveys offer different information and insight into coverage under the ACA, and we discuss the contributions and challenges in each type of effort.

How are Seniors Choosing and Changing Health Insurance Plans?

This report summarizes first-hand accounts of seniors’ Medicare private plan decision making strategies, based on focus groups conducted in four cities. Seniors found the initial plan selection process overwhelming due to the volume of information they received and their inability to organize it. Few used the government’s online comparison tool, and those that did cite several shortcomings. Many relied on advice from sources they trust, including insurance agents, plan representatives, friends, family members, doctor’s offices and pharmacists. After they enroll in a plan, many seniors did not revisit their initial decision or review plan options without the strong provocation of a substantial increase in cost, change in coverage, or shift in personal health care needs. Moreover, they feared that a change in plans may disrupt their care, or lead to an unforeseen increase in out-of-pocket costs, and require them to learn new rules and requirements. They are doubtful they would end up in a plan that is appreciatively different or better for them. Overall, seniors preferred to have numerous choices in plans but would like personalized help and advice from experts to ease the process.