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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 –…

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…

August Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: The Uninsured and the Health Reform Law

The August Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that even though 32 million uninsured Americans will gain health insurance under the ACA, only about half of non-elderly Americans currently without coverage say they are familiar with the chief components in the law designed to achieve this goal. Fifty-two percent of the uninsured…

The Budget Trigger and Health Reform

No doubt it will take some time to sort out how elements of the debt deal (formally “The Budget Control Act of 2011”) will all work. Delving into the details of how it affects subsidies in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to make insurance more affordable helps to illustrate how…