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State Health Insurance Marketplace Profiles

Up-to-date state profiles give an in-depth look at each state’s progress in setting up marketplaces, formally known as exchanges, including the legislative process and the next steps.

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…

The Flip Side of Higher Premiums: Better Coverage

Time Magazine’s recent cover story on health care – “Bitter Pill” by Steven Brill – has focused attention on hospital prices, especially for people paying out of their own pockets. This is not a new issue, but certainly one that deserves attention. However, what has been lost in the ensuing…

California Health Care Chartbook: Key Data and Trends

This chartbook provides California and U.S. data and trend analysis on a broad range of health system and financing indicators, including demographics and health status data, insurance coverage and the uninsured, employer health insurance premiums and offer rates, Medicaid and Medicare enrollment and spending, and health care industry trends. Chartbook…

Explaining Health Care Reform: Medical Loss Ratio (MLR)

This fact sheet explains the Medical Loss Ratio requirement under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The MLR provision limits the portion of premium dollars health insurers may spend on administration, marketing, and profits. Under health care reform, health insurers must publicly report the portion of premium dollars spent on health care and quality improvement and other activities in each state they operate. Insurers failing to meet the applicable standard must pay rebates to consumers and businesses.

The Cost of Cancer

This Kaiser Family Foundation documentary explores the financial consequences faced by three people, all privately insured, after being diagnosed with cancer. It was released in conjunction with a joint Kaiser/American Cancer Society report, “Spending To Survive: Cancer Patients Confront Holes in the Health Insurance System.” To download the video, right-click…

The Requirement to Buy Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act

Along with changes to the health insurance system that guarantee access to coverage to everyone regardless of pre-existing health conditions, the Affordable Care Act includes a requirement that many people be insured or pay a penalty. This simple flowchart illustrates how that requirement (sometimes known as an “individual mandate”) works.…