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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…

Enhanced Medicaid Match Rates Expire in June 2011

This fact sheet discusses the role played by the enhanced federal Medicaid matching funds available to states through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), and the implications for state Medicaid programs as that extra assistance expires June 30, 2011. States used the ARRA enhanced Medicaid funding to…

Health Coverage for the Unemployed

This policy brief outlines the challenges facing the unemployed as they seek to remain insured after losing jobs and employer-sponsored health coverage. In May 2011, 13.9 million people in the U.S. were unemployed. Of these, 6.2 million had been unemployed for six months or more and faced limited options to…