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Public Ranks Drug Costs and Sufficient Provider Networks Ahead of Affordable Care Act Changes as Health Care Priorities for Next President and Congress to Address

As the 2016 campaign nears its end, the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll examines the public’s view on health care priorities for the next president and Congress. Overall, Americans rank addressing high prescription drug costs and ensuring adequate provider networks in insurance plans among their top health care priorities. Health…

Surprise Medical Bills

This brief explores the problem of “surprise medical bills” — charges arising when an insured individual inadvertently receives care from an out-of-network provider. It reviews studies on the extent of the issue, including Kaiser Family Foundation polling data, and outlines state and federal policy responses, including rules and proposed rules for Medicare and plans in Affordable Care Act marketplaces.

The Burden of Medical Debt: Results from the Kaiser Family Foundation/New York Times Medical Bills Survey

To date, there has been little research providing a quantitative look at the causes of medical bill problems and the impacts they have on people’s families, their finances, and their access to health care. To fill this gap, the Kaiser Family Foundation and The New York Times conducted an in-depth survey with 1,204 adults ages 18-64 who report that they or someone in their household had problems paying or an inability to pay medical bills in the previous 12 months.

It Pays to Shop: Variation in Out-of-Pocket Costs for Medicare Part D Enrollees in 2016

This analysis focuses on out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare Part D enrollees in 2016 for specialty, brand, and generic drugs. Part D drug plans differ considerably in the drugs they list on their formularies, their use of formulary tiers, and the level and structure of cost sharing applied to those tiers. Plan decisions affect different beneficiaries in different ways, depending on the drugs they use. The financial consequences for Part D plan enrollees can be substantial. In addition to examining costs for common drugs, we also examine profiles of multiple drugs for several hypothetical Part D enrollees.

Payments for Cost Sharing Increasing Rapidly Over Time

This Kaiser Family Foundation analysis finds that for workers covered by their employer’s health plans, out-of-pocket costs including deductibles and coinsurance have been increasing significantly faster than costs paid by insurers, reflecting a decade-long trend toward slightly less generous coverage.

ACA Coverage and the Changing Labor Market: Voices from the Field

This brief highlights voices from adult focus group participants with low and moderate incomes who gained Medicaid or Marketplace coverage following implementation of the ACA. It focuses on work, including work status, the new labor market, job benefits, and the role of ACA coverage for those with non-traditional jobs.

The Missing Debate Over Rising Health-Care Deductibles

In this Wall Street Journal Think Tank column, Drew Altman discusses what may be the most important change in the American health system—hint it’s not the Affordable Care Act—which has occurred without much discussion.