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America's Underinsured: A State-by-State Look at Health Insurance Affordability Prior to the New Coverage Expansions

March 25, 2014 - The Affordable Care Act insurance reforms seek to expand coverage and to improve the affordability of care and premiums. Before the implementation of the major reforms, data from U.S. census surveys indicated nearly 32 million insured people under age 65 were in households spending a high share of their income on medical care. Adding these “underinsured” people to the estimated 47.3 million uninsured, the state share of the population at risk for not being able to afford care ranged from 14 percent in Massachusetts to 36 percent to 38 percent in Idaho, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas. For more information visit: America's Underinsured: A State-by-State Look at Health Insurance Affordability Prior to the New Coverage Expansions.

Americans' Experiences in the Health Insurance Marketplaces: Results from the First Three Months

February 18, 2014 - Conducted December 11–29, 2013, The Commonwealth Fund’s second Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey interviewed a nationally representative sample of adults who are potentially eligible for the health reform law’s new insurance options, whether private plans or Medicaid. Results show that by the end of December, 24 percent of potentially eligible adults had visited a marketplace to find a plan. The first survey, conducted in October, had found that 17 percent of people potentially eligible for coverage had visited the marketplaces during the first month of open enrollment. By the end of December, 41 percent of visitors were ages 19 to 34, and 77 percent reported being in good health. People’s ability to compare benefits and premiums improved between October and December, but many reported challenges in plan selection. A majority of respondents say they are determined to gain coverage by the end of this year’s open enrollment period. For more information see: Americans Experiences in the Health Insurance Marketplaces Results from the First Three Months

Americans Experiences in the Health Insurance Marketplaces Results from the First Three Months

January 8, 2014 - Conducted December 11–29, 2013, The Commonwealth Fund’s second Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey interviewed a nationally representative sample of adults who are potentially eligible for the health reform law’s new insurance options, whether private plans or Medicaid. Results show that by the end of December, 24 percent of potentially eligible adults had visited a marketplace to find a plan. The first survey, conducted in October, had found that 17 percent of people potentially eligible for coverage had visited the marketplaces during the first month of open enrollment. By the end of December, 41 percent of visitors were ages 19 to 34, and 77 percent reported being in good health. People’s ability to compare benefits and premiums improved between October and December, but many reported challenges in plan selection. A majority of respondents say they are determined to gain coverage by the end of this year’s open enrollment period. For more information see: Americans Experiences in the Health Insurance Marketplaces Results from the First Three Months

2013 International Health Policy Survey

November 13, 2013 - A 2013 survey conducted in 11 countries finds that U.S. adults are significantly more likely than their counterparts to forgo health care because of the cost, to have difficulty paying for care even when they have insurance, and to deal with time-consuming insurance issues. For more information see: Access, Affordability, and Insurance Complexity Are Often Worse in the United States Compared to 10 Other Countries.

Americans' Experiences in the Health Insurance Marketplaces

November 4, 2013 - Conducted October 9–27, 2013, the Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey interviewed a nationally representative sample of adults who are potentially eligible for the health reform law’s new insurance coverage options, whether private plans or expanded Medicaid. For more information see Americans' Experiences in the Health Insurance Marketplaces: Results from the First Month

Scorecard on State Health System Performance for Low-Income Populations, 2013

September 16, 2013 - The Commonwealth Fund's Scorecard on State Health System Performance for Low-Income Populations, 2013, identifies opportunities for states to improve their health systems for economically disadvantaged populations and provides state benchmarks of achievement. For more information see Scorecard on State Health System Performance for Low-Income Populations, 2013.

Undocumented and Uninsured: Barriers to Affordable Care for Immigrant Populations

September 16, 2013 -

The Affordable Care Act will significantly reduce the number of U.S. residents without health insurance and ensure appropriate access to health services, but the law specifically excludes one group from all its provisions: the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants residing in this country. Research nationally—and new data from California—show that undocumented residents are most often young, working adults who are in good health but infrequently use health services. For more information see Undocumented and Uninsured: Barriers to Affordable Care for Immigrant Populations.

In States' Hands: How the Decision to Expand Medicaid Will Affect the Most Financially Vulnerable Americans

September 16, 2013 -

For more information, please see In States' Hands: How the Decision to Expand Medicaid Will Affect the Most Financially Vulnerable Americans.

Primary Care: Our First Line of Defense

July 22, 2013 -

Insuring the Future: Current Trends in Health Coverage and the Effects of Implementing the Affordable Care Act

April 26, 2013 - Eighty-four million people―nearly half of all working-age U.S. adults―went without health insurance for a time last year or were underinsured because of high out-of-pocket costs relative to income, according to a new study based on findings from the Commonwealth Fund's 2012 Biennial Health Insurance Survey. For more information, see the report, Insuring the Future: Current Trends in Health Coverage and the Effects of Implementing the Affordable Care Act.

Insurers Medical Loss Ratios and Quality Improvement Spending in 2011

April 15, 2013 - For more information please see Insurers Medical Loss Ratios and Quality Improvement Spending in 2011

Implementing the Affordable Care Act: Choosing an Essential Health Benefits Benchmark Plan

March 18, 2013 - This issue brief examines state action to select an essential health benefits benchmark plan and finds that 24 states and the District of Columbia selected a plan. All but five states will have a small-group plan as their benchmark.

For more information, see the issue brief, Implementing the Affordable Care Act: Choosing an Essential Health Benefits Benchmark Plan.

Confronting Costs: Stabilizing U.S. Health Spending While Moving Toward a High Performance Health Care System

January 10, 2013 - The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System recommends a set of synergistic provider payment reforms, consumer incentives, and systemwide reforms to confront costs while improving health system performance. This approach could slow spending by a cumulative $2 trillion by 2023.

For more information, see the report, Confronting Costs: Stabilizing U.S. Health Spending While Moving Toward a High Performance Health Care System.

State Trends in Premiums and Deductibles, 2003–2011: Eroding Protection and Rising Costs Underscore Need for Action

December 12, 2012 - Average premiums for employer-sponsored family health insurance plans rose 62 percent between 2003 and 2011, rising far faster than incomes did in all states, according to a new Commonwealth Fund analysis that tracks trends in job-based coverage state by state.

For more information, see the issue brief, "State Trends in Premiums and Deductibles, 2003–2011: Eroding Protection and Rising Costs Underscore Need for Action."

Patient-Centered Medical Homes

November 27, 2012 - For more information on patient-centered medical homes, see the Patient-Centered Care topic page and WhyNotTheBest.org.