Blog Entries: December 2011 and Earlier

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Millions of Baby Boomers Will Gain Coverage Under Health Reform, Especially Those in Southern and Western States

December 14, 2010 - Beginning in 2014, the American public will enter a new era in health care: loss of a job or a spouse or another life-changing event will no longer mean a loss of health insurance. Regardless of life circumstances, everyone will have access to comprehensive health insurance coverage.

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Improving Affordability of Coverage for People with Preexisting Conditions

December 07, 2010 - To better meet consumers' needs, in 2011, the federally administered Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan program will offer lower deductibles for prescription coverage, reduced premiums, and new child-only premium rates—and states are making adjustments to their plan options, too.

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Study Gives a State-by-State Look at Health Insurance Costs

December 02, 2010 - Health insurance premiums have risen three times faster than incomes, a new Commonwealth Fund analysis finds. By 2009, total premiums equaled or exceeded 18 percent of the median household income in 26 states, up from three states in 2003.

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International Health Policy Symposium Highlights Learning Opportunities

November 29, 2010 - Michelle Ries reports on the 13th International Symposium on Health Care Policy, which brought together health ministers and leading policy thinkers to address problems shared by many health care systems.

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Medical Loss Ratio Regulations Good for Consumers

November 23, 2010 - Commonwealth Fund Vice President Sara R. Collins says the new HHS regulations on medical loss ratio—or the percentage of premiums that health insurance plans spend on medical care versus administration and profits—will improve the value consumers receive for their health insurance payments.

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International Survey: U.S. Leads in Insurance Paperwork, Disputes

November 18, 2010 - Findings from a new Commonwealth Fund international survey suggest that there are opportunities for the U.S. to learn from other countries' insurance systems, and underscore the importance of Affordable Care Act reforms that will provide affordable insurance options.

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Health Reform Resource Center: What's in the Affordable Care Act?

November 04, 2010 - The Commonwealth Fund created the Health Reform Resource Center to enable users to explore the many facets of the Affordable Care Act.

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Transparency and Consumer Education Needed for Health Reform Success

October 25, 2010 - If we want high-quality, high-value health care in this country, we need to share information about what is happening inside our health care system with everyone who gets, gives, or pays for care, says Barbra G. Rabson of Massachusetts Health Quality Partners.

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Time to Unmask the Price Differences in Health Care

October 25, 2010 - Without price transparency in health care, says Louise Probst of the St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition, payment reform will remain stalled.

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Affordable Care Act Options for People with Preexisting Conditions

October 19, 2010 - From 2007 to 2009, the four largest insurers in the individual market denied coverage to about one of every seven applicants on the basis of a preexisting condition. While the health reform law's ban on denying coverage because of preexisting conditions does not go into effect until 2014, Jean Hall outlines other provisions of the Affordable Care Act that bridge that coverage gap.

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Health Insurance Exchanges: Overcoming Implementation Barriers

September 30, 2010 - The new health insurance exchanges will serve as major insurance marketplaces when they become fully operational in 2014. In this post, Timothy Jost offers policy options for handling some of the thorny issues federal and state governments will need to address during the implementation process.

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A Call for Standardized Rehospitalization Measures and Information Systems

September 27, 2010 - Are rates of rehospitalizations improving or worsening in the United States, in your state, in your community, or in your hospital? These questions are likely to lead not to answers but to a number of other questions. In this post, Anne-Marie Audet calls for national rehospitalization measures and an information system that will enable providers to respond to the data quickly.

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A New Era in Health Care Begins

September 23, 2010 - Millions of Americans have gained access to more stable and comprehensive health insurance, thanks to important provisions of the Affordable Care Act that have just taken effect. These changes could not have come soon enough, says Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis.

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Toward High-Performance Accountable Care: Promise and Pitfalls

September 14, 2010 - Karen Davis and Stephen Schoenbaum discuss the need for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to test different models of accountable care organizations, a type of health care provider that is responsible for patients across a continuum of care.

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Affordable Coverage for Small Business Employees

September 03, 2010 - Small businesses—which have historically struggled more than large companies to provide adequate health insurance to their employees—will be one of the first groups to benefit from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), in the form of tax credits designed to offset health insurance premium costs. These credits are an important step toward helping all Americans obtain comprehensive health insurance coverage.

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