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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

How Private Insurance Works: A Primer

This primer, prepared by Gary Claxton of the Institute for Health Care Research and Policy at Georgetown University, examines the structure and operation of private health insurance including the types of organizations that provide it, how managed care is delivered, and how risk pools work and describes how private health…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Protection For Consumers In Managed Care Plans: A Comparison Of Medicare, Medicaid and the Private Insurance Market

This policy paper describes key requirements of consumer protection regulation under Medicare, Medicaid and federal and state laws as they apply to private health insurance. These include choice and availability of plans, disclosure of information, marketing, access, quality, and the grievance and appeals process. The discussion highlights differences and similarities…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Private Long-Term Care Insurance:  Who Should Buy It and What Should They Buy?

Private Long-Term Care Insurance: Who Should Buy It and What Should They Buy?Despite the growing interest in private long-term care insurance (LTCI), there has been little independent examination of how much protection LTCI policies provide consumers or whether LTCI policies are a worthwhile purchase for people of average means. This…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Privatization of Public Hospitals

This report examines the trends in the closure of public hospitals and their conversion to private ownership. It also provides case studies of communities where major privatizations have occurred. Report (.pdf) Summary of Findings (.pdf)

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Explaining Health Care Reform: What Is An Employer “Pay-or-Play” Requirement?

To broaden coverage, some health reform proposals would require employers to offer coverage or pay to help finance subsidies for those without access to affordable coverage. These types of reforms are often referred to as “pay-or-play” policies. The brief explains the concept and policy implications of employer pay-or-play proposals, which…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Summary of Coverage Provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

This short summary describes the health coverage provisions contained in the final version of the Affordable Care Act signed into law in March 2010, including the individual mandate requirements, expansion of public programs, health insurance exchanges, changes to private insurance and employer requirements.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Uniform Coverage Summaries for Consumers

This brief explains the proposed federal rule that requires private health plans to provide a short, easy-to-read uniform summary of benefits and coverage to all health insurance applicants and enrollees. The rule, which implements a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is intended to make it simpler for consumers…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Health Insurance Market Reforms: Guaranteed Issue

Guaranteed issue laws require insurance companies to issue a health plan to any applicant – an individual or a group – regardless of the applicant’s health status or other factors. Currently, in most states, insurance companies can deny nongroup coverage to people based on their health status or their medical…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Quantifying the Effects of Health Insurance Rate Review

This report from the Kaiser Family Foundation analyzes the effect of government efforts to ensure that insurance premium increases are justifiable and provide value to consumers and small businesses. Rate review programs require insurers in the small group and individual markets to submit proposed rate increase requests to state or…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Health Insurance Market Reforms: Rate Review

Rate review is the process by which insurance regulators review health plans’ new or renewed rates for insurance policies in order to ensure that the rates charged are based on accurate, verifiable data and realistic projections of health costs. Historically, state insurance departments have conducted rate review, but under the…

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