Health Care

HEALTH CARE IS CONSISTENTLY AT THE TOP OF THE DOMESTIC POLICY AGENDA and is often a major topic of debate during election years, and 2016 is no different. From measured improvements to more significant repeal-and-replace strategies for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as approaches to mitigate health care spending growth and improve quality, the candidates are hinting at...Read more

ONE METHOD OF EXPANDING HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE that policymakers have considered as part of the health care election platforms is a Medicare buy-in option. The idea is that a subset of those individuals not eligible for Medicare be allowed to buy in to Medicare for their health insurance coverage. Currently, eligibility for Medicare begins at age 65, or younger for those...Read more

SOME POLICYMAKERS HAVE PROPOSED MOVING TO A SINGLE-PAYER SYSTEM as a way to meet the goals of achieving universal health insurance coverage, lowering health spending, and improving health care quality. In general “single payer” means the health insurance system covers the health care spending for all of a specified population and is financed by the government, typically from...Read more

MOST HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS USE PROVIDER NETWORKS made up of doctors, hospitals, and other providers that the insurer contracts with to provide health care to its members. Provider networks are structured in a variety of different ways. High-performance networks (HPNs) are designed to deliver high-quality and efficient care; promote stronger relationships between the insurer,...Read more

BEFORE AND SINCE BEING SIGNED INTO LAW by President Obama in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has generated some the most significant public debate in recent years—it has been challenged in the Supreme Court and faced multiple efforts to modify and repeal it in Congress. The ACA was enacted to expand health insurance coverage to more Americans and begin reducing growth in...Read more

AN AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA) PROVISION that receives a lot of attention is the excise tax on high-cost employer sponsored plans, also referred to as the “Cadillac tax.” This tax imposes a 40 percent excise tax on the premiums that exceed certain thresholds. The intention, in part, is to discourage enrollment in very generous health plans that can drive up health care spending...Read more

A KEY COMPONENT OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA) requires most Americans to obtain a minimum amount of health insurance coverage through employer-sponsored plans, the private insurance market, public insurance program such as Medicare or Medicaid, or pay a penalty. This requirement, along with the premium subsidies for low- and moderate-income individuals, limited open...Read more

ONE COMMON THEME FOR THOSE CALLING FOR MAJOR CHANGES to or replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is encouraging insurers to sell health insurance across state lines. That is, insurers licensed to sell insurance in any particular state would be allowed to sell insurance under that state’s rules in other states. The intention is to spur more competition, which could...Read more

SOME PROPOSALS THAT SEEK TO MODIFY OR REPEAL the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would try to expand the availability of small businesses to band together to offer health insurance through an association health plan (AHP). The success and practicality of such an approach for increasing coverage and reducing premiums would depend on how the rules governing AHPs were written.

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