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Explaining Health Care Reform: Medical Loss Ratio (MLR)

This fact sheet explains the Medical Loss Ratio requirement under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The MLR provision limits the portion of premium dollars health insurers may spend on administration, marketing, and profits. Under health care reform, health insurers must publicly report the portion of premium dollars spent on health care and quality improvement and other activities in each state they operate. Insurers failing to meet the applicable standard must pay rebates to consumers and businesses.

The Cost of Cancer

This Kaiser Family Foundation documentary explores the financial consequences faced by three people, all privately insured, after being diagnosed with cancer. It was released in conjunction with a joint Kaiser/American Cancer Society report, “Spending To Survive: Cancer Patients Confront Holes in the Health Insurance System.” To download the video, right-click…

Americans Are Divided About Health Reform Proposals Overall, But the Public, Including Critics, Becomes More Supportive When Told About Key Provisions

MENLO PARK, Calif. – A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds that Americans are divided over congressional health reform proposals, but also that large shares of people, including skeptics, become more supportive after being told about many of the major provisions in the bills. The January Kaiser Health Tracking Poll,…

Ensuring the Health Care Needs of Women: A Checklist for Health Exchanges

To inform the development of the state health insurance Exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, this checklist identifies key coverage, affordability and access issues that are important for women. Based on lessons learned from women’s health research and the Massachusetts experience, the checklist considers essential health benefits, implementation of no-cost preventive services including contraception, provider networks and affordability, outreach and enrollment efforts, and the importance of including gender and other demographic characteristics in data collection and reporting standards.

Visualizing Health Policy: Health Care in the 2012 Election

The October 2012 Visualizing Health Policy infographic provides a snapshot of how health care–related issues are shaping the 2012 presidential election, including the percentage of Democrats, Republicans, and independents who named health care or the economy as the issue that is most important in determining their vote for President; which…

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.…

ACA 101: What You Need to Know

Useful review for anyone seeking to comprehend complex issues leading up to major implementations taking effect in 2014

Questions for 2014

Today’s discussion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is focused on immediate implementation milestones leading up to 2014 when the law’s major provisions are set to kick in.  This is a critical period when the foundation for the ACA is being established and key building blocks such as the state…