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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…

Health Insurance Market Reforms: Guaranteed Issue

Guaranteed issue laws require insurance companies to issue a health plan to any applicant – an individual or a group – regardless of the applicant’s health status or other factors. Currently, in most states, insurance companies can deny nongroup coverage to people based on their health status or their medical…

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…

How Competitive Are State Health Insurance Markets?

Beginning in 2014, state-based health insurance exchanges will be created to facilitate coverage and choice, with the hope that enhanced competition among insurers will help to moderate premiums for individuals and small groups. This analysis by the Foundation assesses the competitiveness of state insurance markets for individuals and small businesses…

Webcast: New CMS Estimates of State-by-State Health Expenditures

The Kaiser Family Foundation held a live interactive webcast on December 7, 2011, to discuss trends in state health care expenditures and the implications for national and state efforts to constrain health care costs. The webcast examines new state-by-state estimates of public and private health spending from the Centers for…

Issues for Structuring Interim High-Risk Pools

One of the first provisions that would be implemented under federal health reform bills in the House and the Senate would establish a national high-risk pool program to offer coverage to otherwise uninsurable individuals during the interim period between enactment and implementation of broader health care reforms. High-risk pools provide…

Statement of Gary Claxton to NAIC Exchanges (B) Subgroup

Kaiser Family Foundation Vice President Gary Claxton, who directs the Foundation’s Marketplace Policy Project, testified July 22, 2010, at a public hearing before the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Exchanges (B) Subgroup established by the health reform law.  Testimony (.pdf)

Mapping Premium Variation in the Individual Market

This analysis examines how premiums for individual health insurance differ around the nation, finding that premiums can vary substantially from state to state. The average per-person premium in 2010 ranged in cost from approximately $136 per month in Alabama to more than $400 per month in Vermont and Massachusetts. The…

Insurer Rebates under the Medical Loss Ratio: 2012 Estimates

Beginning in 2011, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires insurance plans to pay out a minimum percentage of premium dollars towards health care expenses and quality improvement activities, limiting the amount spent on administrative and marketing costs and profit. Under the law, large group plans are required to spend at…