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Pulling it Together: 2012: The ACA, and More

What is remarkable about 2012 (and the current era in health policy) is how many big health policy issues and marketplace changes will be in play at the same time: HEALTH REFORM: There is the implementation of a historic but fragile health reform law, with a Supreme Court decision pending…

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll — January 2012

As the Supreme Court prepares to hear legal challenges to the health reform law in March, most Americans expect the Justices to base their ruling on their own ideological views rather than their interpretation of the law, according to the January Health Tracking Poll. Other key findings include: The public…

Health Affairs Article: Medicaid Expansion Under Health Reform May Increase Service Use and Improve Access For Low-Income Adults With Diabetes

This analysis finds that Medicaid’s role in financing diabetes care will grow when many low-income uninsured people with diabetes become eligible for Medicaid as the program expansions under the Affordable Care Act in 2014. Adult Medicaid beneficiaries with diabetes had annual per person health expenditures more than three times higher…

The Requirement to Buy Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act

Along with changes to the health insurance system that guarantee access to coverage to everyone regardless of pre-existing health conditions, the Affordable Care Act includes a requirement that many people be insured or pay a penalty. This simple flowchart illustrates how that requirement (sometimes known as an “individual mandate”) works.…

Insurance Brokers and the Medical Loss Ratio

In a close vote, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recently adopted a resolution urging Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to exempt insurance broker and agent compensation from medical loss ratio (MLR) requirements or otherwise adjust the requirements to ease their effect. HHS last…

Inside Deficit Reduction: What Now?

The Budget Control Act of 2011 tasked members of a “Super Committee” to find at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade. Members did not reach an agreement by the November 23 deadline and as a result automatic spending cuts to defense and entitlement programs are set…