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Data Note: Effect of State Decisions on State Risk Scores

To gauge whether individual market risk pools are healthier in states that have expanded Medicaid and did not allow transitional plans, this data note compares average state risk scores using data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Summary Report on Risk Adjustment for the 2015 benefit year. The analysis finds that states that expanded Medicaid and did not allow transitional plans had lower average risk scores, suggesting the risk pools in those state’s markets are healthier than in non-expansion states and in states that allowed transitional plans.

The ACA Marketplace Problems in Context (and Why They Don’t Mean Obamacare Is ‘Failing’)

In this Wall Street Journal Think Tank column, Drew Altman discusses the latest challenges faced by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces and why they should be kept in perspective: “If Obamacare had bipartisan support, they would be treated much more like mundane implementation issues to be addressed by Congress than glaring headlines about Obamacare failure.”

Explaining Health Care Reform: Risk Adjustment, Reinsurance, and Risk Corridors

This brief explains three provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – risk adjustment, reinsurance, and risk corridors – that were intended to promote insurer competition on the basis of quality and value and promote insurance market stability, particularly in the early years of reform as the ACA marketplaces, also known as exchanges, were established.

How ACA Marketplace Premiums Measure Up to Expectations

Premium increases in the health insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will likely be higher in 2017 than in recent years; however, the actual average benchmark premium in the ACA marketplaces in 2016 is below what the Congressional Budget Office projected for 2016 before the health law was passed. How actual marketplace premiums compare to what CBO expected in doing those budget projections is an important factor in determining whether the ACA continues to be on track to reducing the deficit.

2016 Survey of Health Insurance Marketplace Assister Programs and Brokers

In its third year, the survey tracks the experiences of assistance programs signing people up for Affordable Care Act coverage during open enrollment and, for consumers who qualify, during special enrollment periods. This year, for the second time, the survey includes health insurance brokers who helped people apply for non-group coverage in an ACA marketplace.

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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.