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Explaining Health Care Reform: What is Health Insurance?

A key element in any comprehensive health reform plan is defining what health insurance is and the amount of insurance coverage people will have. There are two components to that coverage: the types of services covered (e.g., physician care, hospitalization, prescription drugs, etc.), and the cost sharing required of enrollees…

Changes in Health Insurance Status over a Two-Year Period

The ability to maintain health insurance in the face of rising costs and an uncertain economy is a key concern for families and featured prominently in the health reform debate. While the percentage of the population without coverage at any one time changes by only a relatively small amount over…

Survey of People Who Purchase Their Own Insurance

While most people in the U.S. get health insurance through their employer, about 14 million people under age 65 have coverage through the non-group or individual market, which has faced scrutiny recently in news reports about some insurers’ steep rate increases and in the market reforms in the new health…

Private Long-Term Care Insurance:  Who Should Buy It and What Should They Buy?

Private Long-Term Care Insurance: Who Should Buy It and What Should They Buy?Despite the growing interest in private long-term care insurance (LTCI), there has been little independent examination of how much protection LTCI policies provide consumers or whether LTCI policies are a worthwhile purchase for people of average means. This…

Privatization of Public Hospitals

This report examines the trends in the closure of public hospitals and their conversion to private ownership. It also provides case studies of communities where major privatizations have occurred. Report (.pdf) Summary of Findings (.pdf)

Establishing Health Insurance Marketplaces: An Overview of State Efforts

Figure 1: State Decisions for Creating Health Insurance Marketplaces State-based health insurance marketplaces, or exchanges, are a key component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the places where individuals and small businesses will be able to shop for coverage. States can build a fully state-based…

Congressional Testimony on Expanding Health Care Coverage

On May 5, 2009, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance held a roundtable discussion on health-care coverage issues as part of its health reform efforts. Diane Rowland, the Foundation’s Executive Vice President and Executive Director of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, and Gary Claxton, Foundation Vice President…

Health Insurance Market Reforms: Rate Restrictions

Rate restrictions limit how much insurance companies can vary premiums charged to individuals and businesses based on factors such as health status, age, tobacco use and gender. Currently, federal law does not place any limits on the ways that insurance companies set their premium rates. However, beginning January 1, 2014,…

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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.