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What is a Mini-Med Plan?

One of the early insurance market changes in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) phases out caps that some insurance plans impose on the annual dollar amount of benefits they will cover. Plans issued or renewed after September 23, 2010 cannot have annual limits of less than $750,000, and the threshold…

Health Reform and the Art of Federalism

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced significant changes to the premiums charged in the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), aka the “high risk pool” created by the Affordable Care Act. Premiums will now be up to 40% lower depending on the state (in some states…

Peering Into the Black Box of Insurance Rating

Recently, the New York Times reported that private health insurers continue to seek large premium increases despite seeing lower than expected use of medical care and booking record profits. The story highlights a significant problem for health policy: the lack of good, public information about how health insurers manage health…

Who Will be the H&R Block and TurboTax for Health Insurance?

There’s been quite a bit of focus lately insofar as these issues go, anyway on health insurance agents and brokers (sometimes known in the industry as “producers”). They are pushing legislation that has been introduced in Congress and is now being studied by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that…

Survey of People Who Purchase Their Own Insurance

While most people in the U.S. get health insurance through their employer, about 14 million people under age 65 have coverage through the non-group or individual market, which has faced scrutiny recently in news reports about some insurers’ steep rate increases and in the market reforms in the new health…

Affordability and Health Reform: If We Mandate, Will They (and Can They) Pay?

The Alliance for Health Reform and The Commonwealth Fund co-sponsored this briefing to explore the health reform proposals being considered which may impose responsibilities on both individuals and employers to have and help pay for coverage and whether they will be able to pay the amounts above the subsidies. Questions…

Revisiting ‘Skin in the Game’ Among Medicare Beneficiaries: An Updated Analysis of the Increasing Financial Burden of Health Care Spending From 1997 to 2005

This issue brief presents an analysis of the financial burden of out-of-pocket health care spending for Medicare beneficiaries between 1997 and 2005. The analysis shows median out-of-pocket spending as a share of Medicare beneficiaries’ income increased between 1997 and 2005, from 11.9 percent to 16.1 percent. For some beneficiaries, the spending burden was even greater, with 25 percent of people on Medicare spending nearly one-third or more of their income on health care.

Medicare Part D 2009 Data Spotlight: Premiums

This Medicare Part D data spotlight analyzes the premiums charged by the 1,689 stand-alone Medicare Part D plans that will be offered in markets across the country in 2009. The analysis finds premiums charged for Part D plans range widely, from $10.30 per month to $136.80 per month. If current…