Publications: Health Insurance

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Getting and Keeping Coverage: States' Experience with Citizenship Documentation Rules

January 12, 2009 - A new Commonwealth Fund report examines the impact recent citizenship documentation rules have had on the stability of health insurance coverage for low-income children covered by state public programs. It finds that getting and keeping coverage has become more difficult for many families.

Fund Report

An Analysis of Leading Congressional Health Care Bills, 2007-2008: Part I, Insurance Coverage

January 9, 2009 - This Commonwealth Fund analysis of leading bills of the 110th Congress aimed at expanding and improving health insurance coverage finds several of these proposals could substantially reduce the number of uninsured Americans, and would either reduce health care spending or add only modestly to annual health care expenditures.

Fund Report

Expanding SCHIP: A Downpayment on Health Reform

January 8, 2009 - In this essay, Columbia University's Sherry Glied, Ph.D., calls for using the upcoming reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) as means to achieve universal coverage for U.S. children.

Perspectives on Health Reform Brief

Interruptions in Medicaid Coverage and Risk for Hospitalization for Ambulatory Care-Sensitive Conditions

December 16, 2008 - A study of adult Medicaid patients in California found that beneficiaries who experienced interruptions in their Medicaid benefits had a substantially higher risk of hospitalization for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions--like asthma, congestive heart failure, and diabetes--than did those with continuous coverage.

In the Literature

In Chronic Condition: Experiences of Patients with Complex Health Care Needs, in Eight Countries, 2008

November 13, 2008 - A new Commonwealth Fund survey of chronically ill patients in eight industrialized nations--Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States--finds that those in the U.S. are by far the most likely to forgo care because of the cost, as well as the most likely to experience medical errors, care coordination problems, and high out-of-pocket costs.

In the Literature

How Have Employers Responded to Health Reform in Massachusetts? Employees' Views at the End of One Year

October 28, 2008 - Employers in Massachusetts have not dropped health insurance coverage for their employees as a result of state health reform legislation, finds a new Health Affairs study supported in part by the Fund. Likewise, employers have also not tightened eligibility standards, increased workers' premiums, or scaled back on the scope of coverage.

In the Literature

Testimony--Rising Health Care Costs: Implications for the Health and Financial Security of U.S. Families

October 21, 2008 - The soaring costs of health care and stagnant household incomes are leaving many working families without insurance or with medical expenses that consume a large share of their budgets.


Medicaid Re-Enrollment Policies and Children's Risk of Hospitalizations for Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions

October 16, 2008 - Low-income children tend to rotate in and out of Medicaid coverage, often due to rules requiring that they re-enroll frequently. A new study finds that extending the time period between Medicaid eligibility redetermination can result in fewer hospitalizations for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions, though higher overall program costs.

In the Literature

The 2008 Presidential Candidates' Health Reform Proposals: Choices for America

October 2, 2008 - This analysis examines key differences and areas of agreement in the health system reform proposals of presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama. The report describes how each candidate would seek to expand health insurance coverage, improve the quality and efficiency of the health system, and control costs

Fund Report

Testimony--Shifting Health Care Financial Risk to Families Is Not a Sound Strategy: The Changes Needed to Ensure Americans' Health Security

September 23, 2008 - In invited testimony before the House Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Health, Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis said that federal action is needed "to guarantee affordable coverage that provides adequate financial protection and ensures that individuals can obtain needed care--the two essential functions of health insurance."


Testimony--Using What Works: Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program as a Base for Health Care Reform

September 18, 2008 - In invited testimony before a congressional subcommittee, Karen Davis said that Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program "warrant serious consideration as building blocks for a new system of seamless coverage for America's 46 million uninsured people."


Health of the Nation--Coverage for All Americans

August 28, 2008 - In May 2008, the New England Journal of Medicine and the Massachusetts Medical Society brought together 13 panelists, including Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis, for the 2008 Shattuck lecture on U.S. health policy and health coverage.


Women's Health Insurance Coverage 1980-2005

August 26, 2008 - Higher health care costs, say the authors of this Commonwealth Fund-supported study, wiped out any gains in access to health insurance that women might have realized through greater participation in the work force and expansions of Medicaid policy.

In the Literature

Crossing the Medicaid-Private Insurance Divide: The Case of EPSDT

August 21, 2008 - Recent legislation could threaten the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT), warn the authors of this Commonwealth Fund-supported paper.

In the Literature

Losing Ground: How the Loss of Adequate Health Insurance Is Burdening Working Families—Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Surveys, 2001–2007

August 20, 2008 - This Commonwealth Fund report, which draws on four years of survey data, finds 41 percent of working-age Americans--or 72 million people--have medical bill problems or are paying off medical debt, up from 34 percent in 2005.

Fund Report