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How Small Business Owners Get Health Insurance

As with any economic policy issue, there has been much discussion of how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will affect small businesses. But, there’s been very little focus on how the health reform law will affect the owners of those businesses as people. As our recently released Employer Health Benefits…

The Individual Mandate: How Sweeping?

The so-called “individual mandate”  – the provision under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires most individuals to carry a minimum level of insurance coverage and is now being considered by the Supreme Court – has emerged as the least popular element of the reform law and the prime target for…

Is a Death Spiral Inevitable If There is No Mandate?

If the Supreme Court acts within the next couple of weeks to overturn the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) while leaving the rest of the law intact, expect to hear a lot about how the individual insurance market will be destined for a “death spiral.” When compared…

Kaiser Survey Probes Health Insurance Brokers’ Views on Insurance Trends, ACA

A new nationally representative survey of 500 health insurance agents and brokers working in the individual and small group markets by the Kaiser Family Foundation explores their outlook on market trends and views on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The survey finds that many agents are seeing steep increases in premiums…

Sizing Up Exchange Market Competition

This issue brief offers an early look into how competitive the health insurance exchanges (also called marketplaces) are under the Affordable Care Act in selected states. Through analysis of enrollment data released by seven states (California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New York, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Washington) this brief finds that exchange markets in California and New York are shaping up to be more competitive than their individual markets were in 2012 while those of Connecticut and Washington show less competition (less even market share distribution). In several states, market concentration of individual insurers have shifted significantly compared to the individual market prior to the ACA, pointing to the potential for greater price competition in the future and the influence of new entrants to the market.

Data Note: How Many People Have Nongroup Health Insurance?

The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has focused attention on the composition of the nongroup market: how it looked before the new regulatory provisions take effect and how it will change afterwards. There are several ways of answering this question, depending on the time period for measuring enrollment and the information source. There is substantial turnover among people with nongroup coverage, which means that the number of people covered at the beginning of a year (or at any other point in time) is quite different than the number of people who keep that coverage throughout the whole year.

State-by-State Estimates of the Number of People Eligible for Premium Tax Credits Under the Affordable Care Act

Key provisions of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) create new Marketplaces for people who purchase insurance directly and provide new premium tax credits to help people with low or moderate incomes afford that coverage. This analysis estimates that about 17 million people who are now uninsured or who buy insurance on their own (“nongroup purchasers”) will be eligible for premium tax credits in 2014. This issue brief provides national and state estimates for tax credit eligibility for people in these groups.

Health Insurance Market Reforms: Guaranteed Issue

Guaranteed issue laws require insurance companies to issue a health plan to any applicant – an individual or a group – regardless of the applicant’s health status or other factors. Currently, in most states, insurance companies can deny nongroup coverage to people based on their health status or their medical…

Quantifying the Effects of Health Insurance Rate Review

This report from the Kaiser Family Foundation analyzes the effect of government efforts to ensure that insurance premium increases are justifiable and provide value to consumers and small businesses. Rate review programs require insurers in the small group and individual markets to submit proposed rate increase requests to state or…

Health Insurance Market Reforms: Rate Review

Rate review is the process by which insurance regulators review health plans’ new or renewed rates for insurance policies in order to ensure that the rates charged are based on accurate, verifiable data and realistic projections of health costs. Historically, state insurance departments have conducted rate review, but under the…

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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.