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Webinar: How Might the Pandemic Affect Health Premiums, Utilization, and Outcomes in 2021 and Beyond?

As the coronavirus pandemic enters its eighth month, we are still facing uncertainty about what the long-term impact of the crisis will be for the health sector, and for patients. However, the extent to which costs grow, and how the burden is distributed across payers, programs, individuals, outcomes, and geography…

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Cost-Sharing Waivers and Premium Relief by Private Plans in Response to COVID-19 (Nov. 2020 Update)

An updated issue brief estimates the number of enrollees in individual and fully-insured group market plans that have waived cost-sharing – out-of-pocket costs including coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles – for COVID-19 treatment. The analysis also estimates the number of enrollees whose insurer is offering various forms of premium payment relief.…

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Medicare Advantage 2021 Spotlight: First Look

For 2021, the average Medicare beneficiary has access to 33 Medicare Advantage plans, the largest number of options available in the last decade, and can choose from plans offered by eight firms. Among the majority of Medicare Advantage plans that cover prescription drugs, 54 percent will charge no premium in addition to the monthly Medicare Part B premium. As in previous years, the vast majority of Medicare Advantage plans will offer supplemental fitness, dental, vision, and hearing benefits. In addition, virtually all will also offer telehealth benefits in 2021.

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The Real Cost of Health Care: Interactive Calculator Estimates Both Direct and Hidden Household Spending

A new interactive tool from KFF estimates total household health spending for individuals and families in the U.S., including costs that are often less visible to consumers. Users can generate scenarios based on family size, income level, insurance source, and health status. In addition to estimating direct costs like deductibles…

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Short-Term Health Insurance Plans Charge Less than Half as Much in Premiums as ACA Plans By Excluding Pre-Existing Conditions and Severely Limiting Benefits

Short-term health insurance plans offer a trade-off for consumers: substantially lower premiums than plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act, but much less protection if they get sick and need care. Just how much cheaper are the premiums and what are consumers giving up to get them? A new…

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Do People Who Sign Up for Medicare Advantage Plans Have Lower Medicare Spending?

The analysis finds that people who switched from traditional Medicare to Medicare Advantage in 2016 had health spending in 2015 that was $1,253 less, on average, than the average spending for beneficiaries who remained in traditional Medicare (after adjusting for health risk). The findings suggest that the current payment method may systematically overestimate expected costs of Medicare Advantage enrollees. Adjusting payments to reflect Medicare Advantage enrollees’ prior use of health services could potentially lower total Medicare spending by billions of dollars over a decade.

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The Silent Affordability Crisis Facing Sick People

In this Axios column, Drew Altman shows that employer coverage for lower wage workers is much worse than ACA marketplace coverage for similar populations. It’s a bigger problem we need to talk about more, he says.

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4.2 Million Uninsured People Could Get a Bronze Plan in the ACA Marketplace with $0 Premiums After Tax Credits

We have data on the number and share of uninsured in each state who have access to free bronze plans.

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Tracking the Rise in Premium Contributions and Cost-Sharing for Families with Large Employer Coverage

An analysis of large employer health coverage on the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker finds that the cost to families for health coverage and care has risen more than two times faster than wages and three times faster than inflation over the last decade.

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New Analysis of Large Employer Health Coverage: The Cost to Families for Health Coverage and Care Has Risen More Than 2X Faster Than Wages and 3X Faster Than Inflation Over the Last Decade 

A new KFF analysis that looked at both premiums and other out-of-pocket costs shows that families with coverage through a large employer paid 67 percent more for their health benefits and care in 2018 than a decade earlier. In 2018, a typical family of four with large employer coverage spent…

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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.