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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…

Key Issues to Consider for Outreach and Enrollment Efforts under Health Reform

The Affordable Care Act will significantly expand health coverage opportunities through an expansion in Medicaid and the creation of new health insurance exchanges in 2014. Effective outreach and enrollment efforts will be vital for assuring the expansions translate into increased coverage. Based on a discussion with federal and state officials…

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…

The Health Reform Law’s Medicaid Expansion: A Guide to the Supreme Court Arguments

One significant element of the pending U.S. Supreme Court case challenging the Affordable Care Act is the constitutionality of the law’s Medicaid expansion. This provision of the law requires states that choose to participate in the Medicaid program to cover nearly all adults under age 65 with household incomes at…

The Part D Experience: What are the Lessons for Broader Medicare Reform?

Launched in 2006, Medicare added a prescription drug benefit that relies entirely on private plans, while, for other benefits, beneficiaries have a choice between private health plans and traditional fee-for-service Medicare. As policymakers consider changes to Medicare that would give an even greater role to private health plans in caring…

A Guide to the Supreme Court’s Affordable Care Act Decision

This policy brief describes the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act and looks ahead to the implementation of health reform now that questions about the constitutionality of the law have been resolved. Brief (.pdf)

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 –…

An Employer Health Benefits Balance Sheet

There seems to be growing interest in the question of how many employers will keep offering coverage to their full-time employees once the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is fully implemented in 2014, or instead will choose to stop offering coverage and pay a penalty. While there is some good analysis…

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…