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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicare Advantage 2014 Spotlight: Plan Availability and Premiums

This data spotlight report examines trends in the Medicare Advantage marketplace, including the choices available to Medicare beneficiaries in 2014, premium levels and other plan features. Medicare beneficiaries, on average, will have 18 private Medicare Advantage plans available to them in 2014, reflecting both new plans entering the market and old plans exiting it. If Medicare Advantage enrollees remain in their current plans, average monthly premiums will rise by almost $5 per month, or 14 percent, to $39 per month. The analysis also examines some benefits provided by Medicare Advantage plans including drug coverage and caps on out-of-pocket spending, and finds that average out-of-pocket limits across all plans will climb 11 percent to $4,797 in 2014. Additionally, this analysis examines changes in the types of plans available (HMOs, PPOs, etc.), including special needs plans in 2014.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

A Guide to the Supreme Court’s Review of the Contraceptive Coverage Requirement

This issue brief dissects the issues raised by the legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that private insurance plans include contraception as part of their coverage of preventive services for women. Over 40 for-profit corporations and over 40 nonprofit corporations have filed lawsuits claiming that the requirement to provide their employees with contraceptives violates their religious rights. On November 26, 2013, the Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases filed by for-profit corporations, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, that claim that this requirement violates their religious rights. At the crux of these cases is a question that the Supreme Court has not previously addressed: Do for-profit corporations have religious protections under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment? The brief provides background on how the ACA’s contraceptive requirement works, summarizes some of the legal challenges brought by for-profit and non-profit organizations and discusses the implications of potential rulings by the Supreme Court.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Testimony: Wellness Programs and Nondiscrimination Under Employer-Sponsored Group Health Plans

This testimony by the Foundation’s Karen Pollitz before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission included background on wellness programs, wellness incentives and nondiscrimination since 1996, and questions and issues related to proposed regulations governing the design and application of wellness programs offered in conjunction with employer-sponsored group health plans.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Kaiser Health Security Watch

The Kaiser Health Security Watch uses Kaiser Health Tracking Poll data to measure the public’s health care-related problems and worries, including problems paying medical bills, skipping or delaying health care due to cost, and worrying about their future ability to pay for care and keep insurance. The Health Security Watch describes…

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Beyond Rebates: How Much Are Consumers Saving from the ACA’s Medical Loss Ratio Provision?

The Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) saved consumers an estimated $2.1 billion last year, in the form of lower premiums and rebates, according to a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Under health reform, insurers must issue consumer rebates if they fail to spend a certain portion of premium income on health care claims and quality improvement expenses, thereby limiting what they may spend on administrative expenses or keep as profits.

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Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: June 2013

As the country gears up for implementation of the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), June’s Kaiser Health Tracking Poll takes a step back and examines views on health insurance more broadly among some key subgroups, including young adults, the uninsured, and those with pre-existing conditions. The poll finds that the large majority of Americans want and value health insurance.

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2012 Employer Health Benefits Survey

This annual survey of employers provides a detailed look at trends in employer-sponsored health coverage, including premiums, employee contributions, cost-sharing provisions, and other relevant information. The survey continues to document employer’s implementation of health reform with question on the percent of firms with grandfathered health plans and enrollment of adult children due to the new health reform law. The 2012 survey included 3,326 randomly selected public and private firms with three or more employees (2,121 of which responded to the full survey and 1,205 of which responded to an additional question about offering coverage).

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Snapshots: Employer Sponsored Health Insurance – A Comparison of the Availability and Cost of Coverage for Workers in Small Firms and Large Firms

Employer Sponsored Health Insurance – A Comparison of the Availability and Cost of Coverage for Workers in Small Firms and Large Firms November 2008 The majority of businesses in the United States are small businesses. Of the over three million firms with three or more workers, roughly 98% have between…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

How are Seniors Choosing and Changing Health Insurance Plans?

This report summarizes first-hand accounts of seniors’ Medicare private plan decision making strategies, based on focus groups conducted in four cities. Seniors found the initial plan selection process overwhelming due to the volume of information they received and their inability to organize it. Few used the government’s online comparison tool, and those that did cite several shortcomings. Many relied on advice from sources they trust, including insurance agents, plan representatives, friends, family members, doctor’s offices and pharmacists. After they enroll in a plan, many seniors did not revisit their initial decision or review plan options without the strong provocation of a substantial increase in cost, change in coverage, or shift in personal health care needs. Moreover, they feared that a change in plans may disrupt their care, or lead to an unforeseen increase in out-of-pocket costs, and require them to learn new rules and requirements. They are doubtful they would end up in a plan that is appreciatively different or better for them. Overall, seniors preferred to have numerous choices in plans but would like personalized help and advice from experts to ease the process.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Health Insurance and Access to Health Care Tutorial

This tutorial was produced for kaiserEDU.org, a Kaiser Family Foundation website that ceased production in September 2013. The kaiserEDU.org tutorials are no longer being updated but have been made available on kff.org due to demand by professors who are using the tutorials in class assignments. You may search for other tutorials to…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

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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.