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Peering Into the Black Box of Insurance Rating

Recently, the New York Times reported that private health insurers continue to seek large premium increases despite seeing lower than expected use of medical care and booking record profits. The story highlights a significant problem for health policy: the lack of good, public information about how health insurers manage health…

Who Will be the H&R Block and TurboTax for Health Insurance?

There’s been quite a bit of focus lately insofar as these issues go, anyway on health insurance agents and brokers (sometimes known in the industry as “producers”). They are pushing legislation that has been introduced in Congress and is now being studied by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that…

Pulling it Together: The Sleeper in Health Reform

The health reform legislation currently being crafted on Capitol Hill is undeniably complex.  To oversimplify slightly it can be boiled down into four parts: coverage (subsidies for private coverage and Medicaid expansions); delivery and payment reforms; insurance market reforms and regulations; and prevention, with each broad category containing a range…

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 –…

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…

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: June 2013

As the country gears up for implementation of the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), June’s Kaiser Health Tracking Poll takes a step back and examines views on health insurance more broadly among some key subgroups, including young adults, the uninsured, and those with pre-existing conditions. The poll finds that the large majority of Americans want and value health insurance.