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Pulling it Together: Business and Health Care Costs

Hidden away on page 218 of our annual Employer Health Benefits Survey is a table that shows what employers think of the main strategies they have to control health care costs.  More specifically, the table shows what the person in the firm responsible for its health benefits thinks, which is…

Uniform Coverage Summaries for Consumers

This brief explains the proposed federal rule that requires private health plans to provide a short, easy-to-read uniform summary of benefits and coverage to all health insurance applicants and enrollees. The rule, which implements a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is intended to make it simpler for consumers…

Average Annual Premiums for Family Health Benefits Top $15,000 in 2011, Up 9 Percent, Substantially More than the Growth in Worker’s Wages, Benchmark Employer Survey Finds

NEWS RELEASE September 27, 2011 Average Annual Premiums for Family Health Benefits Top $15,000 in 2011, Up 9 Percent, Substantially More than the Growth in Worker’s Wages, Benchmark Employer Survey Finds About 2.3 Million Young Adults Added to Parents’ Plan As a Result of Health Reform At Small Firms, One…

Grandfathering Explained

The Republican leadership in the House of Representatives recently indicated that it will be seeking to repeal regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that govern the “grandfathered” status of health plans. As this aspect of the health reform law gets more scrutiny, it may be useful to review some of…

Measuring the Affordability of Employer Health Coverage

A recent draft regulation issued by the Treasury Department describes who is eligible for premium tax credits to help them afford coverage offered through health insurance exchanges beginning in 2014. Tax credits will be available to people with incomes between 100 and 400 percent of the poverty level who are…

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll — August 2011

The August tracking poll examines the views of Americans without health insurance, with a particular focus on how they think the health reform law will affect them. Findings from the poll include: Although estimates are that 32 million uninsured Americans will gain coverage under the ACA, only about half of…

An Employer Health Benefits Balance Sheet

There seems to be growing interest in the question of how many employers will keep offering coverage to their full-time employees once the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is fully implemented in 2014, or instead will choose to stop offering coverage and pay a penalty. While there is some good analysis…

Health Coverage for the Unemployed

This policy brief outlines the challenges facing the unemployed as they seek to remain insured after losing jobs and employer-sponsored health coverage. In May 2011, 13.9 million people in the U.S. were unemployed. Of these, 6.2 million had been unemployed for six months or more and faced limited options to…

Pulling It Together: Predictions

I usually don’t make predictions, unless they are backed up by the kind of statistical modeling we often produce.  But here are three predictions I am confident about that form the basis of this latest column. GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS WILL CONTINUE TO RISE AT HISTORICALLY MODERATE LEVELS, AT LEAST…

Pulling It Together: What Conservatives Won In Health Reform (And Don’t Seem to Know It)

Conservatives obviously don’t like what they call “Obamacare” because they think it expands the role of government too much and spends too much money.  But ironically, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) actually promotes — though not explicitly — something that has been a fundamental objective of conservatives in health care…