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Tax Subsidies for Private Health Insurance

This brief describes the different forms of tax assistance for private health insurance, including subsidies offered through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces and benefits for people who are self-employed or who have employer-based coverage. The brief also provides examples of how the subsidies work and how the amounts may differ by income and type of coverage.

ACA 101: What You Need To Know

On Friday, March 6, 2014, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Alliance for Health Reform hosted an ACA 101 briefing on the Affordable Care Act. The briefing took place just as the second marketplace enrollment period ended, and the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case challenging the ACA’s subsidies (King v Burwell).

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: July 2014

The July Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that over half the public has an unfavorable view of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in July, up eight percentage points since last month, while the share viewing the law favorably held steady at just under four in ten. This month’s poll also explored the public’s reaction to the Supreme Court decision upholding craft store chain Hobby Lobby’s ability to deny workers coverage of certain contraceptives based on the company’s owners’ religious beliefs. The public overall is evenly split between those who approve and disapprove of the Court’s decision, with only a small difference in opinion between women and men, but deep divisions by party identification, ideology, and religious affiliation.

Kaiser Health Policy News Index: July 2014

The July Kaiser Health Policy News Index finds the most closely followed news stories this month were discussions about how to deal with large numbers of unaccompanied minors arriving in the U.S. from Central America, military and political conflict between Israel and Hamas, and ongoing problems related to Veterans Affairs (or V.A.) medical facilities. Six in ten report closely following the Supreme Court’s decision in a case about whether for-profit companies should be required to cover birth control for women in their workers’ health plans (the Hobby Lobby case), and about half of the public is able to correctly identify the Court’s decision.

Share of Americans With An Unfavorable View of the Affordable Care Act Rises in July; Majority Continues To Want Congress To Improve, Not Repeal, The Law

A Quarter Incorrectly Believes Newly Insured Under ACA Were Enrolled in a Single Government Plan Majority of the Public Believes the Hobby Lobby Decision Will Trigger New Efforts to Deny Health Coverage On Religious Grounds After remaining steady for several months, the share of Americans expressing an unfavorable view of…

Harvard and Growth in Health Care Cost Sharing

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman explains why recent discussion of Harvard University’s introduction of new health insurance cost sharing measures amounted to “making a mountain out of a mole hill”.

Boomers Come of Age: Covering Early Retirees and Other 50-64 Year-Olds

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contains provisions that can help workers age 50-64 if they lose their jobs and their employer-sponsored health benefits, such as incentives for employers to maintain retiree benefits. This briefing, cosponsored by the Alliance for Health Reform and AARP, answered many questions about provisions…

Consumer Assets and Patient Cost Sharing

Higher cost sharing in private insurance has been credited with helping to slow the growth of health care costs in recent years. For families with low incomes or moderate incomes, however, high deductibles, out-of-pocket limits and other cost sharing can be a potential barrier to care and may lead these families to significant financial difficulties. This issue brief uses information from the Federal Reserve Board’s 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances to look at how household resources match up against potential cost-sharing requirements for plans offered by employers or available in the individual market, including in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces.

Health-Care Deductibles Climbing Out of Reach 

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman explores the trend of higher deductibles in health plans and discusses a new analysis showing that many people with insurance don’t have sufficient financial resources to pay a mid- or high-range deductible. All previous columns by Drew…