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Coping with Fragmented Payment in the Real World

The Alliance for Health Reform and The Commonwealth Fund sponsored this briefing which focused on three communities that have reformed and harmonized health care payments across payers to improve care: a New York health center that serves a low income population; a Colorado community that pools money from public and…

Pulling it Together: Simple Arithmetic

This week we put out our annual benchmark survey of employer health coverage and costs. Two numbers jumped off the pages. The first number was the average cost of a family health insurance policy in 2009: $13,375. To put that number in context, if you are an employer, you can…

Pulling It Together: The Message from Massachusetts

The Massachusetts special election has roiled the political world and profoundly affected the prospects for health reform just when it looked like passage was a lock.  Efforts are underway to put health reform legislation back together again on Capitol Hill, but not since powerful Ways and Means Chair Wilbur Mills fell into…

Health Affairs Blog: Medicare Premium Support Proposals Could Increase Costs for Today’s Seniors, Despite Assurances

In a Health Affairs blog post, Tricia Neuman and Gretchen Jacobson of the Kaiser Family Foundation examine how proposals to convert Medicare to a premium support system could lead to higher Medicare premiums and cost-sharing for seniors currently enrolled in the program, even if today’s seniors are “grandfathered” and the new system is phased-in for people ages 55 and younger. The blog post explains how today’s seniors could face higher health care costs, if older beneficiaries are separated, at least actuarially, from younger ones. Lawmakers could implement policies to prevent cost increases for seniors, but doing so would reduce Medicare savings, a key objective of many premium support proposals.

Data Note: Americans’ Challenges with Health Care Costs

This Data Note examines the public’s current experience with and worries about health care costs, including their ability to afford premiums, deductibles, and medical bills. For the most part, the majority of the public do not have difficulty paying for care, but significant minorities do, and even more worry about their ability to afford care in the future.

Health Spending Explorer

The Health Spending Explorer on the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker helps users examine five decades worth of numbers documenting expenditures by federal and local governments, private insurers, and individuals on 15 categories of health services, including hospitals, physician & clinic care, and prescription drugs.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.