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Betting on Private Insurers

Just-released estimates of national health spending in 2010 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) show that 45% of our health care spending is financed by the federal and state governments, primarily through the Medicare and Medicaid programs. This share has grown temporarily in recent years because of the…

Kaiser Survey Probes Health Insurance Brokers’ Views on Insurance Trends, ACA

A new nationally representative survey of 500 health insurance agents and brokers working in the individual and small group markets by the Kaiser Family Foundation explores their outlook on market trends and views on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The survey finds that many agents are seeing steep increases in premiums…

2012 Employer Health Benefits Survey

This annual survey of employers provides a detailed look at trends in employer-sponsored health coverage, including premiums, employee contributions, cost-sharing provisions, and other relevant information. The survey continues to document employer’s implementation of health reform with question on the percent of firms with grandfathered health plans and enrollment of adult children due to the new health reform law. The 2012 survey included 3,326 randomly selected public and private firms with three or more employees (2,121 of which responded to the full survey and 1,205 of which responded to an additional question about offering coverage).

Grandfathering Explained

The Republican leadership in the House of Representatives recently indicated that it will be seeking to repeal regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that govern the “grandfathered” status of health plans. As this aspect of the health reform law gets more scrutiny, it may be useful to review some of…

Health Reform and the Art of Federalism

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced significant changes to the premiums charged in the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), aka the “high risk pool” created by the Affordable Care Act. Premiums will now be up to 40% lower depending on the state (in some states…

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…

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…

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…

Affordability and Health Reform: If We Mandate, Will They (and Can They) Pay?

The Alliance for Health Reform and The Commonwealth Fund co-sponsored this briefing to explore the health reform proposals being considered which may impose responsibilities on both individuals and employers to have and help pay for coverage and whether they will be able to pay the amounts above the subsidies. Questions…