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Pulling it Together: Last Week’s Health Reform “Shocker”

Last week we learned that health reform could cost the federal government at least a trillion dollars over ten years, and that it will be really difficult to forge bipartisan agreement on legislation and keep major interest groups on board. This obviously brought more angst to the deliberations, several Republicans…

Explaining Health Care Reform: Questions About Health Insurance Subsidies

To encourage broad participation in health insurance and provide affordable coverage for families, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care signed into law in March 2010 includes provisions to lower premiums and cost-sharing requirements for Americans with low and modest incomes. This brief describes the subsidies available in the law, including…

Online Tools for Consumer-Directed Health Plans

On Jan. 25, 2005, Kaiser Family Foundation hosted a demonstration of the online tools made available to enrollees in consumer-directed health plans. Executives from Humana and Lumenos — two major firms in the consumer-directed care market — conducted real-time demonstrations of their consumer web tools to show how enrollees might…

Changes in Health Insurance Status over a Two-Year Period

The ability to maintain health insurance in the face of rising costs and an uncertain economy is a key concern for families and featured prominently in the health reform debate. While the percentage of the population without coverage at any one time changes by only a relatively small amount over…

Survey of People Who Purchase Their Own Insurance

While most people in the U.S. get health insurance through their employer, about 14 million people under age 65 have coverage through the non-group or individual market, which has faced scrutiny recently in news reports about some insurers’ steep rate increases and in the market reforms in the new health…

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 –…

Issues for Structuring Interim High-Risk Pools

One of the first provisions that would be implemented under federal health reform bills in the House and the Senate would establish a national high-risk pool program to offer coverage to otherwise uninsurable individuals during the interim period between enactment and implementation of broader health care reforms. High-risk pools provide…

Statement of Gary Claxton to NAIC Exchanges (B) Subgroup

Kaiser Family Foundation Vice President Gary Claxton, who directs the Foundation’s Marketplace Policy Project, testified July 22, 2010, at a public hearing before the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Exchanges (B) Subgroup established by the health reform law.  Testimony (.pdf)