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Protection For Consumers In Managed Care Plans: A Comparison Of Medicare, Medicaid and the Private Insurance Market

This policy paper describes key requirements of consumer protection regulation under Medicare, Medicaid and federal and state laws as they apply to private health insurance. These include choice and availability of plans, disclosure of information, marketing, access, quality, and the grievance and appeals process. The discussion highlights differences and similarities…

New Survey on Consumer Experiences with Health Plans

Survey on Consumer Experiences with Health PlansA Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health survey found that more than six in ten privately insured American adults under age 65 give their health plans a grade of A or B, but nearly half report having some type of problem with their…

Tax Subsidies for Health Insurance

Today almost 160 million people in the United States obtain health insurance through an employer in large part because the tax system subsidizes the purchase of employer-sponsored coverage. The current subsidy costs the U.S. Treasury more than $200 billion in lost revenue since premiums for employer-provided health coverage are excluded…

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…

Health Care Costs Survey

This comprehensive survey from USA Today, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Harvard School of Public Health examines how Americans are being affected by health care costs. The survey includes information on the barriers health care costs pose to obtaining medical care and the alternative measures people take to lower…

Peering Into the Black Box of Insurance Rating

Recently, the New York Times reported that private health insurers continue to seek large premium increases despite seeing lower than expected use of medical care and booking record profits. The story highlights a significant problem for health policy: the lack of good, public information about how health insurers manage health…