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Health Reform

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State Actions to Improve the Affordability of Health Insurance in the Individual Market

A number of states have taken steps to provide consumers with more affordable coverage options in the individual market, including the marketplaces. Some states are implementing strategies that lower premiums by building on, and increasing the stability of the individual market, while other states are expanding the availability of lower cost coverage sold outside the marketplaces that does not comply with ACA standards—an approach that could increase marketplace premiums further. This brief examines these different approaches and discusses the implications of state policy choices.

How Many Employers Could Be Affected by the High-Cost Plan Tax

The high cost plan tax (HCPT) sometimes referred to as the Cadillac tax, is an excise tax on the cost of employer health benefit exceeding certain threshold. The HCPT provides a powerful incentive to control health plans costs over time, whether through efficiency gains or shifts in costs to workers. While many employers do not expect that the tax will take effect in 2022, others are already amending their health programs in anticipation. We estimate if the tax takes effect in 2022, 21% will be subject to the tax, increasing to 37% by 2030 unless firms reduce costs. Large shares would be affected when counting workers’ voluntary contributions to Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

Uwe Reinhardt’s New Book Priced Out: His Health Policy Ideas in Today’s Debates

Dr. Uwe Reinhardt is a giant in the health policy field who advised policymakers and influenced debates about the nation’s health system before his passing in 2017. His recently released last book, Priced Out: The Ethics and Economics of Health Care, completed by his wife and longtime collaborator Tsung-Mei (May) Cheng gives…

Universal Coverage May Not Mean Everyone Has Health Insurance

Universal coverage is a big and important goal. But would absolutely everyone be covered under current proposals? Is it a better rallying cry for Democrats in the primaries or the general election? Drew Altman analyzes these questions in an Axios column.