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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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.…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Insurance Brokers and the Medical Loss Ratio

In a close vote, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recently adopted a resolution urging Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to exempt insurance broker and agent compensation from medical loss ratio (MLR) requirements or otherwise adjust the requirements to ease their effect. HHS last…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Webcast: New CMS Estimates of State-by-State Health Expenditures

The Kaiser Family Foundation held a live interactive webcast on December 7, 2011, to discuss trends in state health care expenditures and the implications for national and state efforts to constrain health care costs. The webcast examines new state-by-state estimates of public and private health spending from the Centers for…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

The Economy and Medical Care

Various market watchers have reported that the use of health care services has not been growing recently as it had in the past, resulting in lower than expected health care claims for people with private insurance and higher than expected earnings for insurers. A look at physician office visits by…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Questions About Essential Health Benefits

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently issued its long-awaited report on defining the essential health benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As expected, the committee preparing the IOM report did not recommend which specific services should be covered, but rather discussed what the process should be for defining the essential benefits,…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Uniform Coverage Summaries for Consumers

This brief explains the proposed federal rule that requires private health plans to provide a short, easy-to-read uniform summary of benefits and coverage to all health insurance applicants and enrollees. The rule, which implements a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is intended to make it simpler for consumers…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

How Competitive Are State Health Insurance Markets?

Beginning in 2014, state-based health insurance exchanges will be created to facilitate coverage and choice, with the hope that enhanced competition among insurers will help to moderate premiums for individuals and small groups. This analysis by the Foundation assesses the competitiveness of state insurance markets for individuals and small businesses…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Average Annual Premiums for Family Health Benefits Top $15,000 in 2011, Up 9 Percent, Substantially More than the Growth in Worker’s Wages, Benchmark Employer Survey Finds

NEWS RELEASE September 27, 2011 Average Annual Premiums for Family Health Benefits Top $15,000 in 2011, Up 9 Percent, Substantially More than the Growth in Worker’s Wages, Benchmark Employer Survey Finds About 2.3 Million Young Adults Added to Parents’ Plan As a Result of Health Reform At Small Firms, One…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Controlling Health Insurance Premiums: Perspectives from the States, the Federal Government and Industry

The Affordable Care Act creates a process for states and the Department of Health and Human Services to review “unreasonable” premium increases and provide information to consumers about the process. The rules governing this rate review process went into effect September 1, 2011. This briefing by the Kaiser Family Foundation,…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Grandfathering Explained

The Republican leadership in the House of Representatives recently indicated that it will be seeking to repeal regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that govern the “grandfathered” status of health plans. As this aspect of the health reform law gets more scrutiny, it may be useful to review some of…

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