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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Analysis: Most Short-Term Health Plans Don’t Cover Drug Treatment or Prescription Drugs, and None Cover Maternity Care

A new Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of short-term, limited duration health plans for sale through two major national online brokers finds big gaps in the benefits they offer. Through an executive order and proposed new regulations, the Trump Administration is seeking to encourage broader use of short-term, limited duration health…

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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.

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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.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Private Contracts Between Doctors and Their Medicare Patients:  Current Law, Proposed Changes and Implications for Beneficiaries

Under current law, physicians may choose to privately contract with their Medicare patients, though very few do.  Under such arrangements, doctors can charge their Medicare patients any amount they determine is appropriate for their services rather than be bound to Medicare’s set fees and balance billing limits, so long as…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

JAMA Forum: Surprise, Surprise

Larry Levitt’s February 2016 post explains how “surprise medical bills” — unanticipated charges for out-of-network care – can happen. It describes some government approaches to the issue and outlines the challenges to protecting consumers. The post is now available at The JAMA Forum.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

In N.Y. Policy on Out-of-Network Medical Bills, a Model for Other States?

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman discusses surprise bills for out-of-network care, and New York state’s solution to the problem. All previous columns by Drew Altman are online.

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