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Establishing Health Insurance Marketplaces: An Overview of State Efforts

Figure 1: State Decisions for Creating Health Insurance Marketplaces State-based health insurance marketplaces, or exchanges, are a key component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the places where individuals and small businesses will be able to shop for coverage. States can build a fully state-based…

Congressional Testimony on Expanding Health Care Coverage

On May 5, 2009, the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance held a roundtable discussion on health-care coverage issues as part of its health reform efforts. Diane Rowland, the Foundation’s Executive Vice President and Executive Director of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, and Gary Claxton, Foundation Vice President…

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,…

Pulling it Together: What Conservatives Are Winning

Conservatives are out of sorts these days about the direction in which health care is headed. They think the new health reform law expands the role of government too much and spends too much at a time when they believe deficit reduction should be a higher priority. The claims about…

Explaining Health Care Reform: What is Health Insurance?

A key element in any comprehensive health reform plan is defining what health insurance is and the amount of insurance coverage people will have. There are two components to that coverage: the types of services covered (e.g., physician care, hospitalization, prescription drugs, etc.), and the cost sharing required of enrollees…

Changes in Health Insurance Status over a Two-Year Period

The ability to maintain health insurance in the face of rising costs and an uncertain economy is a key concern for families and featured prominently in the health reform debate. While the percentage of the population without coverage at any one time changes by only a relatively small amount over…

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…

What the Actuarial Values in the Affordable Care Act Mean

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) establishes four levels of coverage based on the concept of “actuarial value,” which represents the share of health care expenses the plan covers for a typical group of enrollees. As plans increase in actuarial value – bronze, silver, gold, and platinum –…

Oral Health and Low-Income Nonelderly Adults: A Review of Coverage and Access

This policy brief provides data and analysis of coverage and access to oral health care for low-income nonelderly adults. Lack of resources to pay for dental services, either through dental insurance or out-of-pocket, is a major barrier to oral health care for many low-income Americans. The problem is particularly acute…

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.