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Challenges to Forecasting Obamacare Enrollment for 2015

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman explains why 2015 enrollment in the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces is very hard to predict. All previous columns by Drew Altman are available online.

Estimating Federal Payments and Eligibility for Basic Health Programs: An Illustrative Example

In some states, policymakers and stakeholders are considering adoption of the Basic Health Program (BHP) option permitted under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Federal regulations allow BHP implementation beginning in 2015. Through BHP, consumers with incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) who would otherwise qualify for subsidized qualified health plans (QHPs) offered in health insurance marketplaces instead are offered state-contracting standard health plans that provide coverage no less generous and affordable than what have been provided in the marketplace. To operate BHPs, states receive federal funding equal to 95 percent of the premium tax credits (PTCs) and cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) that BHP enrollees would have received if they had been covered through QHPs. This paper seeks to inform state-level analysts about the characteristics of BHP-eligible people in their state and how to use that information to estimate the approximate federal BHP payment amount per average BHP-eligible resident.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: November 2014

Following the Nov. 4 midterm elections, nearly half of Americans expect increased debate between the two parties over the Affordable Care Act. In comparison, 42 percent say the amount of debate will not change, and very few (5%) say it will decrease. Conducted just prior to the start of the ACA’s second open enrollment season, the poll also probes the views of people without health insurance, one of the key target groups for outreach and enrollment efforts. It finds the uninsured remain largely unaware of the renewed opportunity to purchase or enroll in health insurance through the marketplaces over the next few months.

How 13 Million Americans Could Lose Insurance Subsidies

This was published as a Wall Street Journal Think Tank column on November 19, 2014. Kaiser Family Foundation calculations of how many Americans could lose subsidies in 2016 depending on the Supreme Court’s ruling in King v. Burwell. The Supreme Court is expected to rule next…

Kaiser Health Policy News Index: November 2014

The Kaiser Health Policy News Index is designed to help journalists and policymakers understand which health policy-related news stories Americans are paying attention to, and what the public understands about health policy issues covered in the news. According to this month’s index, the public remains captivated by news coverage of the Ebola virus. Fewer, but still substantial shares, report following the conflicts in Iraq and Syria and the results of the midterm elections.

Mapping Marketplace Enrollment

This interactive zip code tool and map displays enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplaces as a share of the potential market in small geographic areas across the country.

Taking Stock and Taking Steps: A Report from the Field after the First Year of Marketplace Consumer Assistance under the ACA

This report summarizes experiences of Marketplace assistance programs as they helped consumers enroll in coverage during the first Open Enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act. Insights about what worked and where improvements could help are drawn from discussions of assisters and other experts who participated in a Consumer Assistance Roundtable, jointly sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in June, 2014.

High Health-Care Prices: More Talk Than Action

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman explores how price is the major factor that distinguishes the cost of our health care system from those in other developed nations, yet most efforts in the U.S. to address health-care costs don’t focus on price much at all.

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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.