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Health Insurer Financial Performance Through September 2020

In this brief, we analyze third quarter data from 2018 to 2020 to examine how insurance markets performed financially through the end of September. Average margins remained relatively high compared to the same point in recent years, suggesting many insurers remained profitable even as non-COVID-related care returned in the summer and fall.

What Have Pandemic-Related Job Losses Meant for Health Coverage?

Surprisingly, in comparison to the nearly 9% drop in employment from March to June, early data suggests that employers had kept coverage rates remarkably steady, at least through mid-summer. We find that enrollment in the fully-insured group market dropped by just 1.3% from the end of March through the end of June.

Association Health Plans for Small Groups and Self-Employed Individuals under the Better Care Reconciliation Act

A provision in the Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), would establish association health plan options for small employers and self-employed individuals. For these plans, the requirement that premiums cannot vary based on health status would not apply. This brief describes how association health plans could affect premiums in the small group and non-group markets.

Health Insurance Market Reforms: Portability

Most Americans have access to health insurance through an employer-sponsored health plan, a fact that has made changing or losing a job a complex issue for the purposes of maintaining health insurance. Moving to a new job can be hard if the employer does not offer health insurance, or if…

Quick Take: Essential Health Benefits: What Have States Decided for Their Benchmark?

Beginning on January 1, 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that all non-grandfathered individual and small group health insurance plans sold in a state, including those offered through an Exchange, cover certain essential health benefits (EHBs). As it stands today, many plans offered in the individual and small group…

Health Insurance Market Reforms: Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions

Insurers pursue multiple strategies to reduce the cost of covering enrollees with pre-existing conditions, or medical conditions and health problems that existed before the individual enrolled in a health plan. One strategy, the pre-existing condition exclusion, allows insurers to refuse to cover any costs associated with care for a pre-existing…

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…

Health Insurance Market Reforms: Rate Restrictions

Rate restrictions limit how much insurance companies can vary premiums charged to individuals and businesses based on factors such as health status, age, tobacco use and gender. Currently, federal law does not place any limits on the ways that insurance companies set their premium rates. However, beginning January 1, 2014,…

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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.