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Health Care Costs: A Primer

This primer on health care spending in the United States reviews the growth in health care spending since 1970 and the impact of health care costs on families and employers.

Employer-Sponsored Family Health Premiums Rise a Modest 4 Percent in 2013, National Benchmark Employer Survey Finds

Annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached $16,351 this year, up 4 percent from last year, with workers on average paying $4,565 toward the cost of their coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) 2013 Employer Health Benefits Survey. This year’s rise in premiums remains moderate by historical standards. The 15th annual Kaiser/HRET survey of more than 2,000 small and large employers provides a detailed picture of the status and trends in employer-sponsored health insurance costs and coverage.

Health Cost Growth Is Down, Or Not. It Depends Who You Ask.

In this Policy Insight, Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman explores the disconnect between experts, national studies and the public about whether health care costs are slowing or accelerating—it’s a matter of perspective.

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…

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…

Uninsured Are Less Satisfied

Given that people without health insurance have no protection from health care costs, it is not surprising that they are much less likely to say they are satisfied with costs than those with insurance (31 percent vs. 68 percent Majorities of both the uninsured and insured report being satisfied with…

The Economy and Medical Care

Various market watchers have reported that the use of health care services has not been growing recently as it had in the past, resulting in lower than expected health care claims for people with private insurance and higher than expected earnings for insurers. A look at physician office visits by…