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Web Briefing for Media: 2015 Kaiser/HRET Employer Health Benefits Survey

The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) hosts an annual reporters-only web briefing to release the 2015 Kaiser/HRET Employer Health Benefits Survey. The 17th annual Kaiser/HRET survey provides a detailed look at the current state of employer-based coverage and trends in private health insurance, including premiums, worker and employer contributions, firm offer rates, plan deductibles, and other cost-sharing requirements, with breakouts for small and large firms.

Measuring the Quality of Healthcare in the U.S.

The quality of the U.S. health system is improving in many areas, but comparable countries continue to outperform the United States on key measures. In this brief on the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker, analysts from the Kaiser Family Foundation compile an overall picture of health care quality in the United States, using the best available data from numerous sources on health outcomes, quality of care, and access to services.

Why Higher Drug Costs Are Consumers’ Biggest Cost Worry

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman discusses why public concern over drug prices is the “tip of the iceberg” representing broader concerns about out-of-pocket health care costs. All previous columns by Drew Altman are available online.

Why Higher Drug Costs Are Consumers’ Biggest Cost Worry

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman discusses why public concern over drug prices is the “tip of the iceberg” representing broader concerns about out-of-pocket health care costs.

How Many Employers Could be Affected by the Cadillac Plan Tax?

As fall approaches, we can expect to hear more about how employers are adapting their health plans for 2016 open enrollments. One topic likely to garner a good deal of attention is how the Affordable Care Act’s high cost plan tax (HCPT), sometimes called the “Cadillac plan” tax or “Cadillac tax,” is affecting employer decisions about their health benefits. The tax takes effect in 2018.

The potential of facing an HCPT assessment as soon as 2018 is encouraging employers to assess their current health benefits and consider cost reductions to avoid triggering the tax. Some employers announced that they made changes in 2014 in anticipation of the HCPT, and more are likely to do so as the implementation date gets closer.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: August 2015

With renewed discussion of the high cost of prescription drugs recently, the August Kaiser Health Tracking poll finds that most Americans feel that drug costs are unreasonable and that drug companies put profits before people. At the same time, the public largely values the role prescription drug companies play, with most saying that prescription drugs developed in the past two decades have made the lives of people in the U.S. better, including about 4 in 10 who say a lot better. When it comes to their views of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) this month, the American public remains divided in their opinion of the law. Those who favor repeal are divided on whether the law should be replaced with a Republican-sponsored alternative or if it should be repealed and not replaced