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Assessing Americans’ Familiarity With Health Insurance Terms and Concepts

With the approaching launch of the second open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health insurance marketplaces and at a time when open enrollment is also happening for many job-based plans, the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a nationally representative survey of 1,292 U.S. adults to shed light on Americans’ understanding of basic health insurance terms and concepts, and to identify gaps in awareness that could lead to difficulties for some individuals as they choose new plans or use their health plans.

The ACA’s Basic Health Program Option: Federal Requirements and State Trade-Offs

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) gives states the option to implement a Basic Health Program (BHP) that covers low-income residents through state-contracting plans outside the health insurance marketplace, rather than qualified health plans (QHPs). In March 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued final regulations on the requirements for a BHP and the methodology for calculating federal payments to states. States can choose to implement BHP beginning in 2015. This report summarizes these federal policies, including the requirements for BHP as well as the methodology for determining federal BHP payments. It then analyzes the key trade-offs facing states as they decide whether and, if so, how to implement BHP, with a particular focus on the impact of BHP on state budgets and the size, stability, and risk level of state marketplaces.

Health Insurance Explained: The YouToons Have it Covered

In this five-minute animated video, the YouToons help consumers understand their health insurance through fun, easy-to-understand explanations and scenarios. This cartoon serves as a tutorial for consumers and organizations. The YouToons previously appeared in the 2010 animated movie, “Health Reform Hits Main Street” and the 2013, “The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare: Health Insurance Changes Coming Your Way Under the Affordable Care Act.”

Estimating Federal Payments and Eligibility for Basic Health Programs: An Illustrative Example

In some states, policymakers and stakeholders are considering adoption of the Basic Health Program (BHP) option permitted under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Federal regulations allow BHP implementation beginning in 2015. Through BHP, consumers with incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) who would otherwise qualify for subsidized qualified health plans (QHPs) offered in health insurance marketplaces instead are offered state-contracting standard health plans that provide coverage no less generous and affordable than what have been provided in the marketplace. To operate BHPs, states receive federal funding equal to 95 percent of the premium tax credits (PTCs) and cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) that BHP enrollees would have received if they had been covered through QHPs. This paper seeks to inform state-level analysts about the characteristics of BHP-eligible people in their state and how to use that information to estimate the approximate federal BHP payment amount per average BHP-eligible resident.

Web Briefing for Journalists: How ACA’s Employer Requirements and Related Provisions Affect Businesses and Workers

A major piece of the Affordable Care Act will first take effect January 1 when larger employers will be required to offer coverage to their workers or face penalties. How do the penalties work and how are they being phased in? To help reporters understand and cover these issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation held a web briefing exclusively for journalists.

Health Insurance Coverage for People with HIV Under the Affordable Care Act: Experiences in Five States

To provide greater insight into how Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation has affected people with HIV during the first year of major insurance expansions, this issue brief examines the experiences of people with HIV based on focus groups conducted in five states: California, Florida, Georgia, New York, and Texas. It is a part of KFF’s larger ACA sentinel sites project.

Web Briefing: Early Impacts of the Medicaid Expansion for the Homeless Population

The Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion provides a significant opportunity to increase health coverage and improve access to care for individuals experiencing homelessness, who historically have had high uninsured rates and often have multiple, complex physical and mental health needs. On Monday, December 15, 2014, the Kaiser Family Foundation hosted a…

What’s In and What’s Out? Medicare Advantage Market Entries and Exits for 2015

This Data Note examines the availability of plans nationwide and by state in 2015, and changes in plan availability since 2011. It documents the number and share of Medicare Advantage enrollees affected by plan withdrawals each year, the characteristics of plans that will be entering the market and characteristics of those exiting the market in 2015.

As Medicare’s Open Enrollment Nears, New Analyses Highlight Key Changes in Medicare Advantage and Part D Plans for 2015

With Medicare’s 2015 open enrollment set to begin Oct. 15, two new analyses from the Kaiser Family Foundation find modest change in the total number of private Medicare Advantage plans available for 2015, and the fewest Part D prescription drug plans nationwide since the start of the drug benefit in 2006. As in previous years, changes in Medicare Advantage and Part D plan availability, premiums, cost-sharing and benefits could require some beneficiaries to find alternative coverage and lead others to pay more if they continue with their existing coverage.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.