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At CMS, the Mission Is Broader Than Medicare and Medicaid

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman discusses whether the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ broad new responsibilities implementing the Affordable Care Act and a more proactive approach to Medicare payment signals that it’s time for (another) name change.

At CMS, the Mission Is Broader Than Medicare and Medicaid

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman discusses whether the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ broad new responsibilities implementing the Affordable Care Act and a more proactive approach to Medicare payment signals that it’s time for (another) name change. All previous columns by Drew Altman are…

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repeal are divided on whether the law should be replaced with a Republican-sponsored alternative or if it should be repealed and not replaced

A Look at the Private Option in Arkansas

Based on stakeholder interviews and early data on coverage, reduced uncompensated care costs, and other topics, this issue brief provides an initial look at implementation of Arkansas’ Section 1115 Medicaid expansion demonstration waiver to require most adults newly eligible for Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion to enroll in Marketplace plans.

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.

 In Employer Health Insurance Costs, Stability Is The New Normal

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman looks at the sharply slower growth in premiums for employer health benefits and what it might mean for the future of employer-sponsored coverage. All previous columns by Drew Altman are available online.

Connecting Consumers to Coverage: Lessons Learned from Assisters for Successful Outreach and Enrollment

This brief highlights the experiences of Navigators and other Marketplace consumer assistance programs under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in conducting outreach and providing enrollment assistance during the ACA’s first open enrollment period. It provides insight into the outreach and enrollment strategies the assisters developed and identifies the keys to successfully overcoming the challenges of the first year. These insights are based on findings from focus groups with assisters in four cities: Miami, Florida; Houston, Texas; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Cleveland, Ohio.

Low-Wage Workers Feel the Pinch on Health Insurance

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman explores how low-wage firms and their workers are faring in the employer-based health insurance market and how the Affordable Care Act may influence future trends.

Taking Stock and Taking Steps: A Report from the Field after the First Year of Marketplace Consumer Assistance under the ACA

This report summarizes experiences of Marketplace assistance programs as they helped consumers enroll in coverage during the first Open Enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act. Insights about what worked and where improvements could help are drawn from discussions of assisters and other experts who participated in a Consumer Assistance Roundtable, jointly sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in June, 2014.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.