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Workplace Wellness Programs, Healthy Behaviors and Health Reform

Many large employers offer financial incentives to their employees to exercise regularly, improve their diets, lose weight and quit smoking. Health reform proposals would write some of these incentives into law. But some patient advocates say that, depending on how the incentives are structured, they can make coverage more expensive…

Health Insurance Market Reforms: Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions

Insurers pursue multiple strategies to reduce the cost of covering enrollees with pre-existing conditions, or medical conditions and health problems that existed before the individual enrolled in a health plan. One strategy, the pre-existing condition exclusion, allows insurers to refuse to cover any costs associated with care for a pre-existing…

New Report Looks at Health Care Trends in California Compared to Rest of Nation

A new chartbook by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that on most, though not all indicators, California’s health care system fares poorly when compared to the U.S. as a whole. The report, Health Care Trends and Indicators in California and the United States, shows that many more Californians have no…

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.

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…

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.

Private Insurance Benefits and Cost-Sharing Under the ACA

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released guidance on the two key components that determine the level of protection that private insurance plans will provide to consumers under health reform. The first involves the services that insurance plans must cover, and the second involves how much patients…

Insurance Coverage of Contraceptives

In this post, we answer some of the key questions about the new contraceptive coverage policy generally, and more specifically, how it will be applied to religious organizations.