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Explaining Health Care Reform: Questions About Health Insurance Exchanges

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), signed into law in March 2010, made broad changes to the way health insurance will be provided and paid for in the United States. PPACA created a new mechanism for purchasing coverage called Exchanges, which are entities that will be set up…

How Private Health Coverage Works: A Primer – 2008 Update

How Private Health Coverage Works: A Primer— 2008 UpdateThis primer explains the role and operations of private health coverage in the United States. Private health coverage is provided under a variety of different arrangements, including health insuring organizations regulated under state law and health plans sponsored by employers and employee organizations…

Primers on Key Health Care Topics and Programs

The Kaiser Family Foundation maintains a number of primers providing overviews of key health care programs and issues. Written by Foundation staff, each primer provides key data and information that helps illustrate the topic and its relevance for the nation’s health care system. Medicaid: A Primer Medicare: A Primer The…

Cost Sharing for Health Care: France, Germany, and Switzerland

As policymakers in the United States weigh options for reform to the nation’s health care system, the level of cost sharing that consumers face when they receive services covered by their health plans is a major consideration, especially for those with serious health conditions. This background brief authored by Kaiser…

The COBRA Subsidy and Health Insurance for the Unemployed

With the nation’s unemployment rate rising to its highest levels in decades as a result of the recession, many families have lost their employer-sponsored health coverage or are at risk of doing so. In an effort to help people maintain coverage after a layoff, the stimulus legislation known as the…

Consumers’ Experience in Massachusetts: Lessons For National Health Reform

This report examines the impact of state health reform efforts on the lives of ordinary people in Massachusetts, including a look at coverage provided by both public programs and private sources. It focuses specifically on people’s ability to afford and obtain needed care. Report (.pdf)

A Guide to the Medicaid Appeals Process

This background brief provides a comprehensive look at the appeals process for the Medicaid program, which differs significantly from those available through the Medicare program and private health insurance. The Medicaid appeals process provides redress for individual applicants and beneficiaries seeking eligibility for the program or coverage of prescribed services,…

Pulling it Together: The Sleeper in Health Reform

The health reform legislation currently being crafted on Capitol Hill is undeniably complex.  To oversimplify slightly it can be boiled down into four parts: coverage (subsidies for private coverage and Medicaid expansions); delivery and payment reforms; insurance market reforms and regulations; and prevention, with each broad category containing a range…

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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.