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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…

Reconciliation of Advance Payments for Health Insurance Subsidies

Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will make available federal subsidies to eligible individuals for the purchase of health insurance through newly created health insurance Exchanges. These subsidies are a centerpiece of the law and are designed to provide financial assistance to millions of Americans who cannot afford…

Raising Medicare Premiums for Higher-Income Beneficiaries: Assessing the Implications

As policymakers consider ways to slow the growth in Medicare spending as part of broader efforts to reduce the federal debt or offset the cost of other spending priorities, some have proposed to increase beneficiary contributions through higher Medicare premiums. This issue brief explains provisions of current law that impose income-related premiums under Medicare Part B and Part D, describes recent proposals to modify these requirements, and analyzes the potential implications for the Medicare population.

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…

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…