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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Who Will be the H&R Block and TurboTax for Health Insurance?

There’s been quite a bit of focus lately insofar as these issues go, anyway on health insurance agents and brokers (sometimes known in the industry as “producers”). They are pushing legislation that has been introduced in Congress and is now being studied by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

The Budget Trigger and Health Reform

No doubt it will take some time to sort out how elements of the debt deal (formally “The Budget Control Act of 2011”) will all work. Delving into the details of how it affects subsidies in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to make insurance more affordable helps to illustrate how…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Insurance Brokers and the Medical Loss Ratio

In a close vote, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recently adopted a resolution urging Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to exempt insurance broker and agent compensation from medical loss ratio (MLR) requirements or otherwise adjust the requirements to ease their effect. HHS last…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

July Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Public Still Divided on ACA, Few Believe the Law Will Improve Consumer Protections

Overall public opinion on the health reform law remains unchanged this month, with 42 percent of Americans holding a favorable view and 43 percent an unfavorable view. Even though previous Health Tracking polls have consistently shown that consumer protections were one of the least controversial and most widely supported provisions…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

What is a Mini-Med Plan?

One of the early insurance market changes in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) phases out caps that some insurance plans impose on the annual dollar amount of benefits they will cover. Plans issued or renewed after September 23, 2010 cannot have annual limits of less than $750,000, and the threshold…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

The Economy and Medical Care

Various market watchers have reported that the use of health care services has not been growing recently as it had in the past, resulting in lower than expected health care claims for people with private insurance and higher than expected earnings for insurers. A look at physician office visits by…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

KFF Survey Finds that a Majority of Individuals Who Buy Their Own Insurance Report Facing a Premium Increase

People who buy their own insurance report that their insurers most recently requested premium increases averaging 20 percent, according to a new Kaiser survey examining the experiences and views of people who buy health coverage in the non-group or individual market. Overall roughly three in four people (77 percent) with…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Public Opinion on Gender Rating

With the Republican presidential primaries wrapping up, a barrage of new television commercials, radio ads, and fundraising emails has marked the start of the general election campaign. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to be a mainstay election topic for candidates from both major parties. While Republicans focus on advocating…

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