Publications: Health Insurance

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Realizing Health Reform's Potential—Oceans Apart: The Higher Health Costs of Women in the U.S. Compared to Other Nations, and How Reform Is Helping

July 13, 2012 - Twenty percent of U.S. women ages 19 to 64 were uninsured in 2010, up from 15 percent in 2000. This issue brief examines the implications of poor coverage for women in the United States by comparing their experiences to those of women in 10 other industrialized nations, all of which have universal health insurance systems.

Issue Brief

Young, Uninsured, and in Debt: Why Young Adults Lack Health Insurance and How the Affordable Care Act Is Helping—Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Health Insurance Tracking Survey of Young Adults, 2011

June 8, 2012 - In 2011, 13.7 million young adults ages 19 to 25 stayed on or joined their parents' health plans, including 6.6 million who would likely not have been able to do so before passage of the Affordable Care Act, according to this Commonwealth Fund report. But not all young adults have parents with health plans they can join, and many still experience gaps in coverage and face medical bill problems and medical debt.

Issue Brief

More Than Half of Individual Health Plans Offer Coverage That Falls Short of What Can Be Sold Through Exchanges as of 2014

May 23, 2012 - More than half of Americans who have health coverage through the individual insurance market are in plans that would not meet the standards for "essential benefits" set by the Affordable Care Act. Most people enrolled in employer group plans, however, have more comprehensive coverage with less cost-sharing.

In the Literature

Achieving Better Quality of Care for Low-Income Populations: The Roles of Health Insurance and the Medical Home in Reducing Health Inequities

May 16, 2012 - A new analysis of the Commonwealth Fund 2010 Biennial Health Insurance Survey demonstrates that when low-income adults have both health insurance and a medical home, they are less likely to report cost-related access problems, more likely to be up-to-date with preventive screenings, and report greater satisfaction with the quality of their care.

Issue Brief

Gaps in Health Insurance: Why So Many Americans Experience Breaks in Coverage and How the Affordable Care Act Will Help

April 19, 2012 - One-quarter of adults ages 19 to 64 experienced a gap in their health insurance in 2011, with a majority remaining uninsured for one year or more, according to the The Commonwealth Fund Health Insurance Tracking Survey of U.S. Adults.

Issue Brief

Innovative Strategies to Help Affordable Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs) Compete in New Insurance Marketplaces

April 13, 2012 - This issue brief lays out a number of innovative strategies CO-OP organizers are developing to increase the odds of long-term sustainability and economic success of this approach to providing affordable health plans.

Issue Brief

Health Plan Quality Improvement Strategy Reporting Under the Affordable Care Act: Implementation Considerations

April 6, 2012 - Under the Affordable Care Act, health plans will need to report on their quality improvement activities regarding plan or coverage benefits and certain provider reimbursement structures. In this Commonwealth Fund report, the authors propose a framework that can be used to identify and develop measures and reporting requirements.

Fund Report

Health Insurance Premiums: Commonwealth Fund Resources

April 5, 2012 - Commonwealth Fund publications and research on health insurance premiums.

Other

Estimating the Impact of the Medical Loss Ratio Rule: A State-by-State Analysis

April 5, 2012 - Consumers nationwide would have received an estimated $2 billion in rebates from health insurers if the new medical loss ratio (MLR) rules enacted in the Affordable Care Act had been in effect in 2010, according to this new study.

Issue Brief

Implementing the Affordable Care Act: State Action on Early Market Reforms

March 22, 2012 - As the second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act approaches, a new Commonwealth Fund report finds that 49 states and the District of Columbia have already taken action supporting the law’s implementation, such as passing legislation, issuing regulations or other guidance, or actively reviewing insurer filings.

Issue Brief

Employers and the Exchanges Under the Small Business Health Options Program: Examining the Potential and the Pitfalls

February 8, 2012 - A set of Commonwealth Fund–supported Health Affairs articles examines the potential of the Affordable Care Act's Small Business Health Care Options Program to provide affordable options for small employers who now face high premiums and administrative costs when they insure their employees.

In the Literature

Regulating Stop–Loss Coverage May Be Needed to Deter Self-Insuring Small Employers from Undermining Market Reforms

February 8, 2012 - This Commonwealth Fund–supported study by Mark A. Hall looks at states’ legal options for regulating employer stop–loss coverage.

In Brief

Large Employers See Scenarios Under Which They Could Move Workers and Retirees to Exchanges

February 8, 2012 - The health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act are targeted primarily at individuals and small employers. But they are causing many large employers to rethink their health benefits strategies, according to this Commonwealth Fund–supported analysis.

In Brief

Small Firms' Actions in Two Areas, and Exchange Premium and Enrollment Impact

February 8, 2012 - In this Commonwealth Fund–supported study, researchers at the RAND Corporation simulated the effects of the new regulations, given these potential exceptions.

In Brief

How Choices in Exchange Design for States Could Affect Insurance Premiums and Levels of Coverage

February 8, 2012 - With support from The Commonwealth Fund, researchers from the Urban Institute simulated the implications of the various state health insurance exchange design choices.

In Brief