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Establishing Health Insurance Marketplaces: An Overview of State Efforts

Figure 1: State Decisions for Creating Health Insurance Marketplaces State-based health insurance marketplaces, or exchanges, are a key component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the places where individuals and small businesses will be able to shop for coverage. States can build a fully state-based…

Health Insurance Market Reforms: Rate Restrictions

Rate restrictions limit how much insurance companies can vary premiums charged to individuals and businesses based on factors such as health status, age, tobacco use and gender. Currently, federal law does not place any limits on the ways that insurance companies set their premium rates. However, beginning January 1, 2014,…

Pulling it Together: What Conservatives Are Winning

Conservatives are out of sorts these days about the direction in which health care is headed. They think the new health reform law expands the role of government too much and spends too much at a time when they believe deficit reduction should be a higher priority. The claims about…

Explaining Health Care Reform: What Is An Employer “Pay-or-Play” Requirement?

To broaden coverage, some health reform proposals would require employers to offer coverage or pay to help finance subsidies for those without access to affordable coverage. These types of reforms are often referred to as “pay-or-play” policies. The brief explains the concept and policy implications of employer pay-or-play proposals, which…

Summary of Coverage Provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

This short summary describes the health coverage provisions contained in the final version of the Affordable Care Act signed into law in March 2010, including the individual mandate requirements, expansion of public programs, health insurance exchanges, changes to private insurance and employer requirements.

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…

Health Insurance Market Reforms: Guaranteed Issue

Guaranteed issue laws require insurance companies to issue a health plan to any applicant – an individual or a group – regardless of the applicant’s health status or other factors. Currently, in most states, insurance companies can deny nongroup coverage to people based on their health status or their medical…

Survey of Health Insurance Marketplace Assister Programs

This survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation of Navigators and other Marketplace consumer assistance programs under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) offers a nationwide analysis of the number and distribution of assisters and people they helped. The report examines the experience of programs in conducting outreach and enrollment assistance during the first open enrollment period. It also reviews the nature of help consumers needed applying for Medicaid or premium tax credits and understanding health insurance choices, and discusses key factors that impacted the effectiveness of Marketplace Assister Programs.

The Numbers Behind “Young Invincibles” and the Affordable Care Act

As enrollment statistics in the new health insurance marketplaces start to become available, there is a growing focus on whether the enrollment of so-called “young invincibles” will be sufficient to keep insurance markets stable. Enrollment of young adults is important, but not as important as conventional wisdom suggests since premiums…

The Potential Side Effects of Halbig

The Halbig case, if it prevails, would have far-reaching side effects on the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate and the functioning of the individual insurance market.

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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.