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Medigap Enrollment and Consumer Protections Vary Across States

A quarter of people in traditional Medicare had private, supplemental health insurance in 2015—also known as Medigap—to help cover their Medicare deductibles and cost-sharing requirements, as well as protect themselves against catastrophic expenses for Medicare-covered services. This issue brief examines implications for older adults with pre-existing medical conditions who may be unable to purchase a Medigap policy or change their supplemental coverage after their initial open enrollment period.

Short-Term Limited Duration Plans and HIV

Given the Trump Administration’s promotion of short-term limited-duration (STLD) health insurance policies, this brief examines what they mean for people with HIV. The analysis assesses whether people with HIV could enroll in STLD plans by applying to 38 plans across five states and getting in each case. It also assesses whether such plans could meet basic HIV care and treatment needs for someone diagnosed once enrolled. This finding takes on new importance in light of the Administration’s decision not to defend the ACA and to argue for eliminating pre-existing condition protections.

Understanding Short-Term Limited Duration Health Insurance

In late 2017, President Trump issued an executive order directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to take steps to expand the availability of short-term health insurance policies. This brief provides background information on short-term policies and how they differ from ACA-compliant health plans. It also analyzes the short-term plans available through two major online brokers to assess how often they include coverage for mental health, substance abuse, prescription drugs and maternity care.

Proposals for Insurance Options That Don’t Comply with ACA Rules: Trade-offs In Cost and Regulation

This brief examines four options to promote the sale of health plan options in the individual or non-group market that are not subject to Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements for other major medical health plans. It reviews the trade-offs involved if such loosely regulated markets take root as an alternative to the ACA-regulated market, particularly as the repeal of the individual mandate penalty takes effect next year.

Private Contracts Between Doctors and Medicare Patients: Key Questions and Implications of Proposed Policy Changes

Changes in Medicare’s private contracting laws could have significant implications for beneficiaries, doctors, and the Medicare program. This brief summarizes the three options that physicians and practitioners currently have for charging Medicare patients, explains how private contracting works in Medicare under current law, and reviews current proposals on changes to private contracting in Medicare, as well as their implications for patients, physicians, and the Medicare program.

Paying a Visit to the Doctor: Current Financial Protections for Medicare Patients When Receiving Physician Services

This issue brief explains provisions in current law that shield beneficiaries from unexpected and confusing charges when they see physicians and practitioners—namely, the participating provider program, limitation on balance billing, and conditions on private contracting for doctors who opt out of Medicare or join “concierge” practices. It also analyzes the implications of modifying these provisions for beneficiaries, providers, and the Medicare program.

Workplace Wellness Programs Characteristics and Requirements

This issue brief summarizes what’s known about workplace wellness programs offered by employers today and the use of financial incentives to encourage workers to participate. Findings are drawn from the KFF/HRET Annual Employer Health Benefits Survey. In addition, the brief reviews proposed changes by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in federal standards governing financial incentives by workplace wellness programs and how these changes might balance the use of incentives against other discrimination and privacy protections.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
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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.