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Visualizing Health Policy: Premium Subsidy Scenarios Under Obamacare

This month’s Visualizing Health Policy infographic shows 3 scenarios that illustrate the cost of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act for families in different circumstances, both before and after premium subsidies (in the form of a tax credit).

The Future of Medicare Advantage: Are We on the Right Path?

This June 10 briefing looked at Medicare Advantage and changes affecting it, including revised calculations of payments from CMS, and the Affordable Care Act’s reduced payments to Medicare Advantage plans. Speakers discussed how Medicare Advantage plans are expected to respond to payment changes; if quality bonus payments created significant changes in patient care or plan choices; and what implications could these decisions have on beneficiaries with regard to premiums, benefits and more.

Medigap: Spotlight on Enrollment, Premiums and Recent Trends

Medicare supplemental insurance, also known as “Medigap,” is an important source of supplemental coverage for nearly one in four people on Medicare. Traditional Medicare has cost-sharing requirements and significant gaps in coverage; Medigap helps make health care costs more predictable and stable for beneficiaries by covering some or all Medicare…

The Flip Side of Higher Premiums: Better Coverage

Time Magazine’s recent cover story on health care – “Bitter Pill” by Steven Brill – has focused attention on hospital prices, especially for people paying out of their own pockets. This is not a new issue, but certainly one that deserves attention. However, what has been lost in the ensuing…

Premiums and Cost-Sharing in Medicaid: A Review of Research Findings

Medicaid covers nearly 60 million Americans. Because the population covered by the program is low-income, federal law limits the extent to which states can charge premiums and cost-sharing amounts, particularly for pregnant women, children and adults with incomes below poverty. Yet there is renewed interest in the use of premiums…

Why Premiums Will Change for People Who Now Have Nongroup Insurance

The federal government recently released draft regulations that address the benefits, market rules, and rating practices for nongroup coverage. Before reform, the nongroup market was widely acknowledged to be broken, with restricted access, limited benefits, high administrative costs, and frequent and large premium increases subject to inadequate oversight. Recent requests for…

Implementing New Private Health Insurance Market Rules

With the Jan. 1, 2014 effective date for implementing major changes in the private insurance market under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) approaching, this brief looks at three proposed federal regulations released in late November 2012 that detail how the ACA’s rules will operate in the following areas: private insurance…

Medicare Part D: A First Look at Part D Plan Offerings in 2013

This data spotlight examines the stand-alone Part D drug plan options available to Medicare beneficiaries in 2013 during the open enrollment period, which runs from October 15 to December 7, 2012. The analysis is the first in a series of planned reports examining the private plan choices available to Medicare…

What Do They Mean When They Talk About Pre-Existing Health Conditions?

One health care issue about which the presidential candidates acknowledge they have differences is how the health care system should treat people with pre-existing health conditions. People who have a health condition (such as an illness or pregnancy) or who are at higher than average risk of needing health care…