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Consumer Assets and Patient Cost Sharing

Higher cost sharing in private insurance has been credited with helping to slow the growth of health care costs in recent years. For families with low incomes or moderate incomes, however, high deductibles, out-of-pocket limits and other cost sharing can be a potential barrier to care and may lead these families to significant financial difficulties. This issue brief uses information from the Federal Reserve Board’s 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances to look at how household resources match up against potential cost-sharing requirements for plans offered by employers or available in the individual market, including in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces.

Health-Care Deductibles Climbing Out of Reach

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman explores the trend of higher deductibles in health plans and discusses a new analysis showing that many people with private insurance don’t have sufficient financial resources to pay a mid- or high-range deductible.

The Future of Medicare Advantage: Are We on the Right Path?

This June 10 briefing looked at Medicare Advantage and changes affecting it, including revised calculations of payments from CMS, and the Affordable Care Act’s reduced payments to Medicare Advantage plans. Speakers discussed how Medicare Advantage plans are expected to respond to payment changes; if quality bonus payments created significant changes in patient care or plan choices; and what implications could these decisions have on beneficiaries with regard to premiums, benefits and more.

Questions About Essential Health Benefits

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently issued its long-awaited report on defining the essential health benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As expected, the committee preparing the IOM report did not recommend which specific services should be covered, but rather discussed what the process should be for defining the essential benefits,…

The Budget Trigger and Health Reform

No doubt it will take some time to sort out how elements of the debt deal (formally “The Budget Control Act of 2011”) will all work. Delving into the details of how it affects subsidies in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to make insurance more affordable helps to illustrate how…

Round 2 on the Legal Challenges to Contraceptive Coverage: Are Nonprofits “Substantially Burdened” by the “Accommodation”?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most private health insurance plans to provide coverage for a broad range of preventive services including Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved prescription contraceptives and services for women. Since the implementation of the ACA contraceptive coverage requirement in 2012, over 200 corporations have filed lawsuits claiming that including coverage for contraceptives or opting for an “accommodation” from the federal government violates their religious beliefs. This brief explains the legal issues raised by the nonprofit litigation and discusses the impact of the Hobby Lobby decision on the current litigation.

2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey

This annual Employer Health Benefits Survey (EHBS) provides a detailed look at trends in employer-sponsored health coverage, including premiums, employee contributions, cost-sharing provisions, and other relevant information. The 2015 EHBS survey finds average family health premiums rose 4 percent in 2015, relatively modest growth by historical standards.

Web Briefing for Media: 2015 Kaiser/HRET Employer Health Benefits Survey

The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) hosts an annual reporters-only web briefing to release the 2015 Kaiser/HRET Employer Health Benefits Survey. The 17th annual Kaiser/HRET survey provides a detailed look at the current state of employer-based coverage and trends in private health insurance, including premiums, worker and employer contributions, firm offer rates, plan deductibles, and other cost-sharing requirements, with breakouts for small and large firms.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.