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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…

Pulling It Together: Predictions

I usually don’t make predictions, unless they are backed up by the kind of statistical modeling we often produce.  But here are three predictions I am confident about that form the basis of this latest column. GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS WILL CONTINUE TO RISE AT HISTORICALLY MODERATE LEVELS, AT LEAST…

Pulling It Together: What Conservatives Won In Health Reform (And Don’t Seem to Know It)

Conservatives obviously don’t like what they call “Obamacare” because they think it expands the role of government too much and spends too much money.  But ironically, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) actually promotes — though not explicitly — something that has been a fundamental objective of conservatives in health care…

What the Actuarial Values in the Affordable Care Act Mean

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) establishes four levels of coverage based on the concept of “actuarial value,” which represents the share of health care expenses the plan covers for a typical group of enrollees. As plans increase in actuarial value – bronze, silver, gold, and platinum –…

A Profile of Health Insurance Exchange Enrollees

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act calls for the creation of Health Insurance Exchanges in all states by January 1, 2014. The exchanges are a critical element of the health reform law, aimed at helping individuals and families shop for and purchase health insurance on their own with additional…

Determining Income for Adults Applying for Medicaid and Exchange Coverage Subsidies: How Income Measured With a Prior Tax Return Compares to Current Income at Enrollment

A major goal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to significantly expand coverage and reduce the number of uninsured. Beginning in 2014, the ACA will establish a new continuum of coverage that will provide assistance to individuals with incomes up to 400% of poverty through a…

Coordinating Coverage and Care in Medicaid and Health Insurance Exchanges

The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured convened a roundtable discussion on August 31, 2010 with a group of national and state experts to discuss key issues related to coordinating coverage and care in Medicaid and the new Health Insurance Exchanges under health reform. The Patient Protection and Affordable…

The COBRA Subsidy and Health Insurance for the Unemployed

With the nation’s unemployment rate rising to its highest levels in decades as a result of the recession, many families have lost their employer-sponsored health coverage or are at risk of doing so. In an effort to help people maintain coverage after a layoff, the stimulus legislation known as the…