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Examining Prior Authorization in Health Insurance

This post explains what’s known about how insurers use prior authorization as a tool to control costs and encourage cost-effective care, the state and federal laws that govern it, and ongoing policy debates over efforts to impose standards to limit or regulate its use.

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The Uncertain Future of Policies to Promote Access and Affordability Put in Place During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In this column for the JAMA Health Forum, Larry Levitt highlights four changes implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic that helped to make health care more accessible and affordable and the prospects for those changes to telehealth, COVID-19 coverage, Medicaid and marketplace premiums continuing beyond the pandemic’s end.

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For ACA Enrollees, How Much Premiums Rise Next Year is Mostly up to Congress

Most customers with coverage through Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces will face big premium increases next year if Congress doesn’t extend the temporary enhanced tax credits included in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021. If the outcome isn’t clear by summer, fall open enrollment could be a mess.

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Employer Coverage of Travel Costs for Out-of-State Abortion

This Policy Watch gives an overview of employers offering to cover travel expenses for workers who need to go out of state for an abortion in the context of increasing restrictions on abortion around the country. We discuss who is offering these benefits, the implications for workers, and some of the legal and political concerns for employers.

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Analysis: The Vast Majority of Physicians Accept New Patients, Including Patients With Medicare and Private Insurance

Despite occasional anecdotal reports of people having trouble finding a doctor who takes their insurance, KFF researchers find in a new analysis that the vast majority of non-pediatric office-based physicians accept new Medicare patients, as well as new private insurance patients. Eighty-nine percent of such physicians accepted new Medicare patients…

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Most Office-Based Physicians Accept New Patients, Including Patients With Medicare and Private Insurance

This brief examines the share of non-pediatric office-based physicians accepting new patients with Medicare or private insurance and how these rates have changed over time and vary by physician specialties, geographic areas, and physician and practice characteristics across Medicare and private insurance. This analysis further examines the extent to which non-pediatric physicians are opting out of Medicare, by specialty and state.

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Many Workers, Particularly at Small Firms, Face High Premiums to Enroll in Family Coverage, Leaving Many in the ‘Family Glitch’

Data from the KFF Employer Health Benefits Survey demonstrates that some workers face very high contribution amounts for family coverage, including 12% who would have pay at least $10,000 annually in premiums for a family of four. These are the workers most likely to benefit from a fix to the ‘family glitch’.

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Out-of-pocket spending on insulin among people with private insurance

This analysis of insurance claims data finds that Congressional proposals to set a $35 per month cap on what people pay out of pocket for insulin would provide financial relief to at least 1 out of 5 insulin users with different types of private health insurance.

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Many Privately Insured People with Diabetes Could Save Money if Congress Caps Insulin Costs

Several legislative proposals in Congress propose a $35 per month cap on what people with health insurance would have to pay out of pocket for insulin, a life-saving hormone taken regularly by many people with diabetes to maintain their health. Such a cap could provide financial relief to at least…

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