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Not Much “Shock” in CareFirst’s Proposed 2014 Maryland Health Insurance Rates

April 25, 2013

Health insurers are starting to submit, for state review, their premium rates for the coverage they will offer in the individual and small group markets next year, when the major components of health reform take effect.  The latest batch comes from Maryland, where the largest insurer, CareFirst, has asked the state for a 25 percent average rate increase for its 2014 individual-market plans...

New Study Makes Headlines About “Rate Shock” But Sows Confusion

April 10, 2013

As we recently noted, claims of “rate shock” from health reform’s changes to the health insurance markets are overblown.  But a new report has generated considerable attention to this issue again, with health...

Claim About Health Reform “Rate Shock” Is “Unfounded,” Urban Analysis Finds

March 25, 2013

The insurance industry and its allies warn that health reform’s limit on how much more insurers can charge older people than younger people for coverage will make individual insurance much more expensive for young adults.  But a new Urban Institute ...

New Tax Credits Blunt Insurance Premium Increases for Young Adults

February 7, 2013

Insurance companies are urging the federal government to delay or loosen a requirement in health reform that they charge older people no more than triple the premium that they charge younger people for the same plan.  Their main argument is that some young, healthy people will see big premium...

Health Reform Opens Doors for Young Adults

January 24, 2013

Health reform’s impact on younger adults has received a lot of attention recently — and for good reasons.  About 29 percent of adults in their 20s are uninsured (almost double the rate of the overall population), and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will greatly improve their...

House Republicans Try — Again — to Impede Health Reform

December 20, 2012

Just ten months before millions of Americans begin enrolling in health coverage through new insurance exchanges, House Republicans are once again trying to undermine this critical element of health reform.

In addition to its “Plan B” tax plan, the House is scheduled to vote today on a package of spending cuts that includes repealing federal grants to help states establish and run the...

What’s Covered? And How Much Will It Cost?

October 2, 2012

It’s often hard to decipher the fine print of different health insurance plans to figure out what’s covered and how much you have to pay.  But starting this fall, it should get a whole lot easier, thanks to a little-known provision of health reform.

As of September 23, private health insurers must provide a standardized form called a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) that lists a...

House Bill Would Weaken a Beneficial Health Reform Requirement

September 18, 2012

Nearly 13 million people recently received more than $1 billion in rebates on their health insurance premiums due to a health reform provision known as the “80/20 rule” or the “medical-loss ratio” standard.  The rule requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent (or 85 percent in the case of large employer coverage) of what they collect in premiums on medical care and improving...

Defunding State Health Insurance Exchanges Would Slow Health Reform

April 24, 2012

The House voted almost a year ago to undercut the Affordable Care Act by repealing its grants to help states set up “exchanges,” the new marketplaces that will allow individuals and small businesses to choose among a number of private health insurance plans.  (The measure didn’t go anywhere in the Senate.)

Here we go again.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is preparing to...

New Health Exchange Rules Show Important Improvements

March 13, 2012

Health reform took a major step forward this week, as the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the final rules detailing the standards for the health insurance exchanges that the Affordable Care Act calls for.

These competitive marketplaces are a centerpiece of health reform and will give individuals...