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How Private Insurance Works: A Primer

This primer, prepared by Gary Claxton of the Institute for Health Care Research and Policy at Georgetown University, examines the structure and operation of private health insurance including the types of organizations that provide it, how managed care is delivered, and how risk pools work and describes how private health…

Protection For Consumers In Managed Care Plans: A Comparison Of Medicare, Medicaid and the Private Insurance Market

This policy paper describes key requirements of consumer protection regulation under Medicare, Medicaid and federal and state laws as they apply to private health insurance. These include choice and availability of plans, disclosure of information, marketing, access, quality, and the grievance and appeals process. The discussion highlights differences and similarities…

New Survey on Consumer Experiences with Health Plans

Survey on Consumer Experiences with Health PlansA Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health survey found that more than six in ten privately insured American adults under age 65 give their health plans a grade of A or B, but nearly half report having some type of problem with their…

How Accessible is Individual Health Insurance for Consumer in Less-Than-Perfect Health?

This report documents the findings of a study examining access to health insurance coverage in the individual market for people with health problems. Seven hypothetical consumers with varying health conditions were defined and insurers and HMOs in eight different markets around the country were asked to consider them as though…

Explaining Health Care Reform: What is Health Insurance?

A key element in any comprehensive health reform plan is defining what health insurance is and the amount of insurance coverage people will have. There are two components to that coverage: the types of services covered (e.g., physician care, hospitalization, prescription drugs, etc.), and the cost sharing required of enrollees…

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 –…