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Five Key Questions And Answers About Section 1115 Medicaid Waivers

This issue brief provides an overview of what Section 1115 Medicaid waivers are, how they are approved and financed, how states have used them, and how they are impacted by health reform. For many years, Section 1115 waivers have been used by states to test new coverage approaches not otherwise…

June Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Americans Still Divided on Health Reform Law

In the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, the public remains divided in their overall assessments of the ACA, with 42 percent holding a favorable view of the law and 46 percent an unfavorable one. This month’s poll finds Americans are somewhat more likely to think their own families, seniors as…

Pulling It Together: Changing the HIV Testing Message

In 2006 the CDC began recommending routine HIV testing in health care settings for everyone between the ages of 13 and 64. Annual  testing is recommended for people at highest risk. Our 2011 survey of Americans and HIV released last week — our eighth comprehensive survey of its kind — …

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…

Preventing Chronic Disease: The New Public Health

There is a groundswell of activity in local communities to support healthier lifestyles and help people make long-lasting and sustainable changes that can reduce their risk for chronic diseases. A number of provisions in the health reform law are aimed directly at improving population health by addressing conditions where Americans…

Pulling It Together: Medicare, Medicaid, and The Multiplier Effect

We are witnessing a battle in Washington right now about the future of health care’s two big public programs, Medicare and Medicaid. It’s a budget battle, it’s an ideological battle, it’s a partisan political battle, and while it might not always be obvious following the debate, it’s a high stakes…

Health Reform and the Art of Federalism

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced significant changes to the premiums charged in the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), aka the “high risk pool” created by the Affordable Care Act. Premiums will now be up to 40% lower depending on the state (in some states…

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…

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…

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll — June 2011

The June Kaiser Health Tracking Poll examines the opinions of seniors and the public about Medicare and the federal budget deficit, a topic of heightened interest these days as policymakers in Washington focus on ways to bring down Medicare spending as part of efforts to reduce the deficit. The poll…