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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”.

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.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: September 2015

As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services prepares to finalize a plan to pay physicians for discussing end-of-life treatment options with Medicare patients, this month’s Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that about 8 in 10 of the public favors Medicare and private insurance covering such discussions and about 9 in 10 say doctors should have these discussions with their patients. However, relatively few (17 percent) say they’ve had such discussions with a doctor or other health care provider, while half of the public says they would want to have such a discussion. Overall, opinion of the health care law has remained divided with similar shares reporting favorable views (41 percent) and unfavorable views (45 percent), with opinion starkly divided by party. The Kaiser Health Policy News Index also finds that the 2016 presidential election is the most widely followed news story included in this month’s Index, placing far ahead of health policy news stories.

2014 Employer Health Benefits Survey

This annual Employer Health Benefits Survey (EHBS) provides a detailed look at trends in employer-sponsored health coverage, including premiums, employee contributions, cost-sharing provisions, and other relevant information. The 2014 EHBS survey finds average family health premiums rose 3 percent in 2014, relatively modest growth by historical standards.

How Does Where You Work Affect Your Contraceptive Coverage?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most private health insurance plans to provide coverage for a broad range of preventive services including FDA approved prescription contraceptives and services for women. Legal challenges and recently issued rules have affected contraceptive coverage for many women.

Employer-Sponsored Family Health Premiums Rise 3 Percent in 2014

Average Annual Family Premiums Stand at $16,834, With Workers Contributing $4,823 Workers Now Face Deductibles Averaging $1,217, Up 47 Percent Since 2009 Menlo Park, Calif. – Average annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached $16,834 this year, up 3 percent from last year, continuing a recent trend of modest increases,…

In Employer Health Insurance Costs, Stability Is the New Normal

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman looks at the sharply slower growth in premiums for employer health benefits and what it might mean for the future of employer-sponsored coverage.

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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.