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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…

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…

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…

What the Actuarial Values in the Affordable Care Act Mean

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) establishes four levels of coverage based on the concept of “actuarial value,” which represents the share of health care expenses the plan covers for a typical group of enrollees. As plans increase in actuarial value – bronze, silver, gold, and platinum –…

A Profile of Health Insurance Exchange Enrollees

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act calls for the creation of Health Insurance Exchanges in all states by January 1, 2014. The exchanges are a critical element of the health reform law, aimed at helping individuals and families shop for and purchase health insurance on their own with additional…

Pop Quiz: Assessing Americans’ Familiarity with the Health Care Law

Based on the December Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, the latest KFF data note explores Americans’ awareness of what the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will do. As the 112th Congress prepared to take office and the discussion of repeal was on the rise, we ‘quizzed’ Americans on whether they thought a…

Reconciliation of Advance Payments for Health Insurance Subsidies

Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will make available federal subsidies to eligible individuals for the purchase of health insurance through newly created health insurance Exchanges. These subsidies are a centerpiece of the law and are designed to provide financial assistance to millions of Americans who cannot afford…

Pulling it Together: What Conservatives Are Winning

Conservatives are out of sorts these days about the direction in which health care is headed. They think the new health reform law expands the role of government too much and spends too much at a time when they believe deficit reduction should be a higher priority. The claims about…