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The Next Big Health-Care Issue

Drew Altman, in The Wall Street Journal‘s Think Tank, writes that the next big concern for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be how much premiums increase in exchanges for 2015. He discusses the factors to focus on to put this issue in perspective when states report premium increases.

Report Examines Current Role and Future Outlook of Retiree Health Coverage

A new Kaiser Family Foundation report examines the current role and future outlook of employer-sponsored retiree health benefits for pre-65 and Medicare-eligible retirees. Retiree Health Benefits At the Crossroads reviews recent trends and developments in employer-sponsored retiree health coverage and examines the impact of recent legislation, such as the Medicare…

How Much Financial Assistance Are People Receiving Under the Affordable Care Act?

This analysis examines the amount of financial assistance that people have qualified for through premium tax credits in the new health insurance marketplaces (also known as exchanges) under the Affordable Care Act through the end of February 2014. The brief also examines the implications that the enrollment variation carries for the potential tax benefits the Affordable Care Act offers to state residents.

Visualizing Health Policy: What Americans Pay for Health Insurance Under the ACA

The March 2014 Visualizing Health Policy infographic shows examples of what Americans will pay for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, using different scenarios for 40-year-old individuals living in different parts of the country. Visualizing Health Policy is a monthly infographic series produced in partnership with the Journal of the American…

Sizing Up Exchange Market Competition

This issue brief offers an early look into how competitive the health insurance exchanges (also called marketplaces) are under the Affordable Care Act in selected states. Through analysis of enrollment data released by seven states (California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New York, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Washington) this brief finds that exchange markets in California and New York are shaping up to be more competitive than their individual markets were in 2012 while those of Connecticut and Washington show less competition. In several states, market shares of individual insurers have shifted significantly compared to the individual market prior to the ACA, pointing to the potential for greater price competition in the future and the influence of new entrants to the market.

All Eyes on the Supreme Court: More than Birth Control at Stake

On March 25th, the Supreme Court will hear two cases brought by for-profit corporations challenging the ACA’s contraceptive coverage rule on religious grounds. These two corporations are Hobby Lobby, a national chain of craft stores owned by a Christian family and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a cabinet manufacturer, owned by a Mennonite family. Beyond the impact on the ACA and contraceptive coverage, the Court’s decision may have implications for religious rights of employers and employees, as well as corporate and civil rights laws. This brief examines three fundamental questions raised by some of the 84 amicus briefs that have been submitted to the Court.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: February 2014

The February 2014 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that those who are most likely to be customers in the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s new insurance exchanges (the uninsured and those who purchase their own coverage) are more likely to prefer less costly plans with narrow provider networks over more expensive plans with broader networks, while the public overall has the opposite preference. Overall opinion of the ACA remains about the same as it has been since November, with just under half the public viewing the law unfavorably and just over a third having a favorable view.

Explaining Health Care Reform: Risk Adjustment, Reinsurance, and Risk Corridors

This report examines the premium stabilization programs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Risk Adjustment, Reinsurance, and Risk Corridors — also called the Three R’s — will work in the early years of health reform to stabilize premiums and promote insurer competition on the basis of quality and promote market stability.

Medical Debt Among People With Health Insurance

This report examines the causes and contributors to medical debt, medical bankruptcy, and other difficulties with medical bills among people with insurance. Through in-depth interviews of nearly two-dozen people and quantitative analysis of national survey data, the authors of this report find that in-network and out-of-net-work cost sharing primarily contribute to medical debt among the insured.

How Will the Uninsured in West Virginia Fare Under the Affordable Care Act?

This state report explains how the ACA expands coverage in West Virginia, including a breakdown of how many uninsured people are eligible for Medicaid, how many are eligible for financial assistance to help them buy private insurance in the new Marketplace and how many will not receive any financial assistance at all. The report also details, in specific dollar figures, the income levels at which people in West Virginia are eligible for Medicaid or financial assistance in the Marketplace. For states not expanding Medicaid, the report quantifies how many uninsured people fall into the “coverage gap,” meaning they will be ineligible for financial assistance in the Marketplace or for Medicaid in their state despite having an income below the federal poverty level.