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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)

Explaining Health Care Reform: Questions About Health Insurance Subsidies

This brief describes health insurance subsidies available through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces, including premium subsidies that would be provided in the form of tax credits, as well as other subsidies that would lower cost-sharing to eligible Americans. It provides details on who is eligible for the assistance, the maximum repayment limits for the credits, and out-of-pocket spending limits.

Summary of Coverage Provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

This short summary describes the health coverage provisions contained in the final version of the Affordable Care Act signed into law in March 2010, including the individual mandate requirements, expansion of public programs, health insurance exchanges, changes to private insurance and employer requirements.

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…

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…