Publications: Health Insurance

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How Small Business Health Exchanges Can Offer Value to Their Future Customers—And Why They Must

February 8, 2012 - In this Commonwealth Fund–supported article, Jon Kingsdale argues that the reason many small firms do not currently offer health insurance to employees is not lack of availability—as there is a thriving commercial market for small-group coverage—but because of cost.

In Brief

Health Insurance Exchanges of Past and Present Offer Examples of Features That Could Attract Small-Business Customers

February 8, 2012 - This Commonwealth Fund–supported article in Health Affairs recommends ways the exchanges can reach out to small-business owners to meet their needs.

In Brief

The Income Divide in Health Care: How the Affordable Care Act Will Help Restore Fairness to the U.S. Health System

February 7, 2012 - Adults in low- and moderate-income families are more likely to be uninsured, to lack a regular source of health care, and to struggle to get the health care they need compared to those in higher-income families, according to this new Commonwealth Fund survey.

Issue Brief

Full Coverage for Preventive Medications After Myocardial Infarction

November 21, 2011 - Patients discharged from the hospital after heart attack were more likely to take medications prescribed for their condition when copayments were eliminated, a Commonwealth Fund–supported study concludes. Patients with full coverage also experienced fewer heart attacks, strokes, and other vascular events during the study period—and total spending by the insurer did not change.

In the Literature

State Trends in Premiums and Deductibles, 2003–2010: The Need for Action to Address Rising Costs

November 17, 2011 - Premiums for employer-sponsored family health insurance policies increased by 50 percent from 2003 to 2010, and the annual amount that employees pay toward their insurance increased by 63 percent, as businesses required employees to contribute a greater share, this new Commonwealth Fund analysis finds.

Issue Brief

Health Care Opinion Leaders' Views on Health Spending and Reform Implementation

November 14, 2011 - Nearly nine of 10 leaders in health and health care policy say it is important for federal and state policymakers to continue efforts to implement the Affordable Care Act, according to the latest and final Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey.

Data Brief

The New Wave of Innovation: How the Health Care System Is Reforming—A Resource for Journalists from The Commonwealth Fund

November 1, 2011 - This supplement to the Nov/Dec 2011 issue of the Columbia Journalism Review serves as a resource for journalists from The Commonwealth Fund.

Other

Testimony: Premium Tax Credits Under The Affordable Care Act: How Will They Help Millions of Uninsured Americans Gain Affordable, Comprehensive Health Insurance

October 27, 2011 - In invited testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Health Care, the Fund's Sara Collins discussed the importance of the Affordable Care Act's premium tax credits and other insurance affordability provisions that will ensure the health and financial security of working families.

Testimony

Ensuring Equity: A Post-Reform Framework to Achieve High Performance Health Care for Vulnerable Populations

October 7, 2011 - This Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System report examines the problems facing vulnerable populations and offers three strategies to close the health care divide.

Fund Report

Variations in Amenable Mortality—Trends in 16 High-Income Nations

September 23, 2011 - The United States ranks last among 16 high-income nations when it comes to deaths that could potentially be prevented by timely access to effective health care, according to a new Commonwealth Fund–supported study.

In the Literature

Affordable Care Act Reforms Could Reduce the Number of Underinsured U.S. Adults by 70 Percent

September 8, 2011 - The number of U.S. adults who had health insurance all year but were still "underinsured"—that is, they had very high medical expenses relative to their incomes—rose by 80 percent between 2003 and 2010, from 16 million to 29 million, according to a new Commonwealth Fund study published in the September issue of Health Affairs.

In the Literature

Realizing Health Reform's Potential—When Unemployed Means Uninsured: The Toll of Job Loss on Health Coverage, and How the Affordable Care Act Will Help

August 24, 2011 - In this period of chronically high unemployment, millions of Americans are losing their health insurance coverage along with their jobs. A Commonwealth Fund brief finds that unemployed workers have few affordable coverage options. While the Affordable Care Act will provide new options, extending subsidies for COBRA would further protect unemployed workers, the authors say.

Issue Brief

U.S. Physician Practices Spend Nearly Four Times as Much Money Interacting with Health Plans and Payers Than Do Their Canadian Counterparts

August 4, 2011 - In a new Health Affairs study comparing the costs physicians in the U.S. and Canada incur when they have to deal with multiple health insurers, Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers show just how much more U.S. practices spend than their counterparts across the border.

In the Literature

Assessing the Financial Health of Medicaid Managed Care Plans and the Quality of Patient Care They Provide

June 15, 2011 - In many states, Medicaid programs have contracted out the delivery of health care services to publicly traded for-profit health plans focused on Medicaid members. The authors of this Commonwealth Fund study found that publicly traded plans had higher administrative costs and received lower quality scores than non-publicly traded plans.

Issue Brief

Realizing Health Reform's Potential—Early Implementation of Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans: Providing an Interim Safety Net for the Uninsurable

June 14, 2011 - The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan is a temporary program implemented under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to make health insurance coverage available to uninsured individuals with preexisting conditions until 2014, when exchange-based health insurance becomes available to all. This issue brief examines enrollment trends, early changes to plan structures and premiums, and estimates of out-of-pocket costs by utilization pattern and type of plan.

Issue Brief