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Kaiser Health Policy News Index: April 2015

The health policy stories included in this month’s Kaiser Health Policy News Index were followed closely by about 4 in 10 Americans. Of the stories asked about this month, the one that garnered the most attention was coverage of the white police officer charged with the murder of an unarmed black man in South Carolina. Over half report closely following other stories, including the Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps, a new religious freedom law in Indiana that allows business owners to refuse service to gay customers, negotiations over Iran’s Nuclear Program, and a terrorist attack by Islamic militants at a university in Kenya. The only non-health story to receive less attention than the health stories this month was coverage of the Congressional Republican budget proposals, followed closely by just over a third of the public.

Repayments and Refunds: Estimating the Effects of 2014 Premium Tax Credit Reconciliation

This analysis estimates the range of repayment or refund amounts of the advanced premium tax credits issued to enrollees who experience income volatility between the time of enrollment and tax credit reconciliation. Using a simulation model among all households eligible for advance payments of the premium tax credits under the Affordable Care Act, it estimates that half would owe a repayment while 45 percent would be issued a refund of some or all of premium subsidies received.

New Analysis: Half of U.S. Households Eligible for a Tax Subsidy Under the Health Law Would Owe a Repayment, While 45 Percent Would Receive a Refund

Estimated Average Repayment is $794. Estimated Average Refund is $773. Half of U.S. households eligible for a 2014 tax subsidy under the Affordable Care Act would owe a repayment to the government, while 45 percent would receive a refund, according to estimates from a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The…

At Five Year Anniversary of the ACA, Gap Between Favorable and Unfavorable Views Among The Public Narrows to Smallest Spread in More Than Two Years

Most Expect Negative Consequences if Supreme Court Prohibits Subsidies in States Without Their Own Insurance Exchanges; Two Thirds of the Public and Those in Affected States Want Congress or Their State to Close Any Gaps As April 15 Tax Deadline Nears, Nearly Half Unaware Insurance Reporting Requirement Starts This Year…

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: March 2015

As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marks its fifth anniversary, this month’s poll finds the gap between favorable and unfavorable opinions of the law has narrowed to the closest margin in over two years. Although the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the King v. Burwell case in early March, the majority of the public continues to say they have heard only a little or nothing at all about the case. The survey also includes a look at Americans’ experiences reporting their insurance status on their taxes for the first time, and finds that nearly half are unaware that the requirement to report health insurance status on their taxes takes effect this year.

Explaining the 2015 Open Enrollment Period

The brief provides an overview of what consumers can expect during the second annual Open Enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which runs from November 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015. It is the second opportunity for uninsured individuals to enroll in private insurance coverage, premium tax credits and cost sharing subsidies and the first time that people newly insured in 2014 can renew their health plan coverage and subsidies. It also overlaps with the start of the tax filing season, during which subsidized individuals will undergo tax reconciliation of their 2014 financial assistance and the individual responsibility provisions of the ACA will be enforced.

Tax Subsidies for Private Health Insurance

This brief describes the different forms of tax assistance for private health insurance, including subsidies offered through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces and benefits for people who are self-employed or who have employer-based coverage. The brief also provides examples of how the subsidies work and how the amounts may differ by income and type of coverage.

Quantifying Tax Credits for People Now Buying Insurance on Their Own

This analysis estimates that Americans currently buying insurance on the individual market would receive $2700 in subsidies (as tax credits) in 2014 under Obamacare. Tax credits are available for qualifying people buying insurance through the new health care marketplaces, or exchanges.