Health Reform

Drug Overdose Deaths Rose During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Particularly Among Black and American Indian/Alaska Native People

Drug overdose deaths rose during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic, with some of the biggest jumps occurring among people of color, a new KFF analysis finds. The analysis breaks out drug overdose deaths by race and ethnicity for the first nine months of 2020, when the pandemic triggered widespread shutdowns and job losses,…More

Substance Use Issues Are Worsening Alongside Access to Care

Drug overdose deaths rose during the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic, with some of the biggest jumps occurring among people of color. This analysis breaks out drug overdose deaths by race and ethnicity for the first nine months of 2020, to the same period in each of the two prior years. It also looks …

Substance Use Issues Are Worsening Alongside Access to Care Read More »

Lacking Dental Coverage, Many People on Medicare Forgo Dental Care, Especially Beneficiaries of Color

Many people enrolled in Medicare go without dental care, especially beneficiaries of color, according to a new KFF analysis of dental coverage and costs for people with Medicare. Almost half of all Medicare beneficiaries (47%) did not have a dental visit within the past year as of 2018, the analysis finds, with rates higher among…More

Medicare and Dental Coverage: A Closer Look

Medicare does not cover routine dental care and about half of Medicare beneficiaries do not have dental coverage. Some beneficiaries have dental coverage through other sources, including Medicare Advantage, but 47% of all beneficiaries have not been to the dentist in the past year and many older adults face high out-of-pocket costs for needed dental …

Medicare and Dental Coverage: A Closer Look Read More »

Two-Thirds of the Public Say the U.S. Should Play a Major Role in Distributing COVID-19 Vaccines Globally, But Not Most Republicans

With increased attention to the global need for COVID-19 vaccines and the Biden administration’s announcement today about how it plans to distribute the first portion of the 80 million doses it will share by the end of this month, the latest KFF Health Tracking Poll finds that two-thirds of the public (66%) say that the…More

KFF Health Tracking Poll – May 2021: Prescription Drug Prices Top Public’s Health Care Priorities

The latest KFF Health Tracking Poll explores the public’s views on the U.S. role in distributing COVID vaccines to other countries, health care priorities for Congress, prescription drug regulations and price negotiations, and affordability changes in the COVID-19 relief bill.

Expanding Medicare to Adults at Age 60 Years—Medicare-for-More?

In this column for the JAMA Health Forum, Larry Levitt examines the implications of lowering Medicare’s age of eligibility, which is emerging as a potential pathway toward Medicare-for-all or a public option among single-payer advocates. He explores the implications for costs, industry, people and broader reform efforts.

The Pandemic’s Impact on Children’s Mental Health

The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the nation’s mental health, and a new issue brief shows that children are also facing worsening emotional and cognitive health. The brief examines factors contributing to worsening mental health and substance use outcomes among children and adolescents during the pandemic, looking closely at those who are at…More

Lowering the Age of Medicare Eligibility to 60 Could Reduce the Cost of Health Care and Have a Modest Effect on the Number of People Who Are Uninsured

A new KFF analysis shows that lowering the age of Medicare eligibility to 60 could improve the affordability of coverage for people who are already insured and expand coverage to over a million of the nation’s 30 million uninsured. Such a policy could provide a path to Medicare coverage for up to 11.7 million people…More

Did the individual mandate work?

A paper by Lurie et al. (2021) provides the answer. They reach four conclusions from their analysis: First, the actual penalty paid per uninsured month is less than half the statutory amount. Second, nonetheless, we find visually clear and statistically significant responses to both extensive margin exposure to the mandate and to marginal increases in …

Did the individual mandate work? Read More »

Vast Majority of Large Employers Surveyed Say Broader Government Role Will Be Necessary to Control Health Costs and Provide Coverage, Survey Finds

Top executives at nearly 90% of large employers surveyed believe the cost of providing health benefits to employees will become unsustainable in the next five-to-10 years, and 85% expect the government will be required to intervene to provide coverage and contain costs, according to a new survey released today from Purchaser Business Group on Health…More

Lowering the Age of Medicare Eligibility Would Likely Reduce Health Spending for Employers, But Raise Costs for the Federal Government by Covering More People in Medicare

Two new KFF analyses find that lowering the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 60 could significantly reduce health spending for employers, who could potentially pass savings to employees in the form of lower premiums or higher wages. Additionally, per person health spending for older adults who move from employer coverage on to Medicare…More

Health Spending for 60-64 Year Olds Would Be Lower Under Medicare Than Under Large Employer Plans

During the presidential campaign, President Biden proposed to lower the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 60. This analysis uses claims data for covered medical services from both large employer plans and traditional Medicare to illustrate the potential spending effects of using Medicare payment rates in lieu of higher rates paid by employer plans …

Health Spending for 60-64 Year Olds Would Be Lower Under Medicare Than Under Large Employer Plans Read More »

What Are Some Policy Options for Reaching the 2.2 Million Uninsured People in the ACA’s “Coverage Gap”?

A new KFF issue brief explores several potential policy options that would help close the Affordable Care Act’s “coverage gap,” including providing further new incentives for states to expand Medicaid, creating a new “public option” or extending ACA Marketplace premium subsidies to low-income people who don’t currently qualify for federal help. At stake is affordable…More

Analysis Estimates 5.1 Million People Fall into the Affordable Care Act’s “Family Glitch”

A new KFF analysis estimates 5.1 million people nationally fall into the Affordable Care Act’s “family glitch” that occurs when a worker receives an offer of affordable employer coverage for themselves but not for their dependents, making them ineligible for financial assistance for marketplace coverage. The so-called glitch occurs because the ACA prohibits people with…More

The ACA Family Glitch and Affordability of Employer Coverage

This analysis estimates that 5.1 million people fall into the Affordable Care Act’s “family glitch,” which occurs when a worker receives an offer of affordable employer coverage for themselves but not for their dependents, making them ineligible for financial assistance for marketplace coverage. It explores the demographic characteristics of this group, including state-level estimates.

Web Briefing: Understanding the Health Coverage and Affordability Provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act signed into law earlier this month includes a number of provisions aimed at making health coverage more accessible and affordable amid the public health and economic crises created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Join KFF at a web briefing to explain these changes and their expected impact on consumers, insurance …

Web Briefing: Understanding the Health Coverage and Affordability Provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act Read More »

How the American Rescue Plan Act Affects Subsidies for Marketplace Shoppers and People Who Are Uninsured

This brief use data from the American Community Survey (ACS) to provide estimates of eligibility for and the amount of financial assistance to purchase Marketplace coverage under the ARPA among both current individual market purchasers, as well as Marketplace-eligible uninsured people.

Impact of Key Provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 COVID-19 Relief on Marketplace Premiums

This data note estimates how tax credits premiums will change for people at various ages and incomes under the temporary boost in subsidies included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the COVID-19 relief plan signed into law in March 2021.

Updated KFF Calculator Estimates Marketplace Premiums to Reflect Expanded Tax Credits in COVID-19 Relief Legislation

KFF has updated its 2021 Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator to reflect the expanded premium tax credits available to people who purchase their own coverage through their state’s health insurance exchange as passed by Congress in the American Rescue Plan Act and expected to be signed into law soon. The calculator allows users to enter their…More

2021 Calculator – Before COVID-19 Relief

The Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator, updated with 2021 premium data and to reflect subsidies in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, provides estimates of health insurance premiums and subsidies for people purchasing insurance on their own in health insurance exchanges (or “Marketplaces”) created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With this calculator, you can …

2021 Calculator – Before COVID-19 Relief Read More »

2021 Calculadora – Antes COVID-19 Alivio

Nota: esta calculadora refleja las primas para 2021. Esta calculadora ilustra las primas (el costo mensual de su seguro) y subsidios para las personas que compran seguro médico por su propia cuenta en el nuevo mercado de seguros de salud (o de intercambio) creado por la Ley de Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio (Affordable…More

2021 Calculator – Before COVID-19 Relief

The Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator, updated with 2021 premium data and to reflect subsidies in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, provides estimates of health insurance premiums and subsidies for people purchasing insurance on their own in health insurance exchanges (or “Marketplaces”) created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With this calculator, you can …

2021 Calculator – Before COVID-19 Relief Read More »

2021 Calculadora – Antes COVID-19 Alivio

Nota: esta calculadora refleja las primas para 2021. Esta calculadora ilustra las primas (el costo mensual de su seguro) y subsidios para las personas que compran seguro médico por su propia cuenta en el nuevo mercado de seguros de salud (o de intercambio) creado por la Ley de Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio (Affordable…More

Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator

The Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator, updated with 2021 premium data and to reflect subsidies in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, provides estimates of health insurance premiums and subsidies for people purchasing insurance on their own in health insurance exchanges (or “Marketplaces”) created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With this calculator, you can …

Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator Read More »

KFF Tracking Poll: More Than a Third of Americans Say They’ve Struggled to Pay Living Expenses Since December; 6 in 10 Families Hit by COVID Have Lost A Job or Income

Majorities Favor Provisions to Expand Marketplace Tax Credits and Encourage States to Expand Medicaid As Congress considers an additional $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan, more than a third (37%) of Americans say that someone in their household has had trouble paying basic living expenses over the past three months, the latest KFF Health Tracking Poll…More

KFF Health Tracking Poll: Economic Hardship, Health Coverage, And The ACA

This poll examines the public’s assessments of the Biden administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the impact COVID-19 has had on people’s finances, and support for provisions of the latest COVID-19 relief bill. It examines the public’s views of the ACA and possible next steps.

Two New Analyses: House COVID-19 Relief Plan Would Temporarily Lower Marketplace Premiums for Millions and More than Offset Short-Term State Costs to Expand Their Medicaid Programs

The House COVID-19 relief proposal would temporarily lower what millions of Marketplace enrollees and uninsured potential enrollees would pay toward premiums and would provide states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs a financial boost that would more than offset their costs initially, two new KFF analyses find. The analyses assess two parts of the…More

Kathleen Sebelius at Health Datapalooza: To push ACA forward, forget bipartisanship

At a Health Datapalooza session, former HHS head Kathleen Sebelius looked back on lessons learned in 2009 when the Affordable Care Act was moving through Congress. She cautioned the Biden administration against leaning on bipartisanship when restoring the healthcare law.

How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Affecting People’s Mental Health and Substance Use

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis, about 4 in 10 adults nationwide have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder – a four-fold increase from pre-pandemic levels. Drawing on the latest national survey data, KFF polling and other research, an updated brief explores what’s known about the pandemic’s impact on people’s mental health…More

The Coverage Gap: Uninsured Poor Adults in States that Do Not Expand Medicaid

In states that do not implement the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many adults will fall into a “coverage gap” of earning too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for Marketplace premium tax credits. Nationwide, 2.2 million poor uninsured adults are in this situation. This brief presents estimates …

The Coverage Gap: Uninsured Poor Adults in States that Do Not Expand Medicaid Read More »

Claims Denials and Appeals in ACA Marketplace Plans

Based on an analysis of transparency data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), this brief assess claims denials and appeals among issuers offering individual market coverage on healthcare.gov and finds that 17% of in-network claims were denied by issuers in 2019, with denial rates for specific issuers varying significantly around this …

Claims Denials and Appeals in ACA Marketplace Plans Read More »

The Language of Health Care Reform

Published in the Jan. 19 edition of JAMA, this article from KFF Executive Vice President for Health Policy Larry Levitt lays out the major health policy challenges that will confront President-elect Biden and potential approaches to major reform. While a big reform debate may not be likely this year, one is likely coming as the…More

Get Ready for a Lot of Biden Executive Orders on Health Care

In this column for the JAMA Health Forum, Larry Levitt explores what President-elect Biden might do to advance his health care vision both through legislation and through executive orders and waivers and demonstrations.

Poll: Large Majorities Now Say They Wear Masks Regularly and Can Continue Social Distancing for At Least Six Months if Needed, though Republicans Remain Less Likely to Take Such Precautions

As winter sets in and COVID-19 cases and deaths reach records in most parts of the country, more Americans say they wear masks every time they leave home now (73%) than said so in May (52%), a new KFF Health Tracking Poll finds. A small minority (11%) say they wear masks only some of the…More

Potential Health Policy Administrative Actions Under President Biden

This brief outlines the potential health policy actions that President Biden could take using executive authority, based on campaign pledges, and actions that would reverse or modify regulations or guidance issued by the Trump Administration.

Preventive Services Tracker

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires new private health insurance plans to cover many recommended preventive services without any patient cost-sharing. This tracker presents up-to-date information on the adult preventive services nongrandfathered private plans must cover, by condition, including a summary of the recommendation, the target population, the effective date of coverage, and related federal …

Preventive Services Tracker Read More »

Tracking Section 1332 State Innovation Waivers

This interactive map shows the status of all Section 1332 waivers requested by states. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows states to apply for innovation waivers to alter key ACA requirements in the individual and small group insurance markets and can be used to shore up fragile insurance markets, address unique state insurance market issues, …

Tracking Section 1332 State Innovation Waivers Read More »

Explaining Health Care Reform: Questions About Health Insurance Subsidies

This brief describes health insurance subsidies available through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces, including premium subsidies that would be provided in the form of tax credits, as well as other subsidies that would lower cost sharing to eligible Americans. It provides details on who is eligible for the assistance, the maximum repayment limits for the …

Explaining Health Care Reform: Questions About Health Insurance Subsidies Read More »

Calculadora del Mercado de Seguros Médicos

Nota: esta calculadora refleja las primas para 2021. Esta calculadora ilustra las primas (el costo mensual de su seguro) y subsidios para las personas que compran seguro médico por su propia cuenta en el nuevo mercado de seguros de salud (o de intercambio) creado por la Ley de Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio (Affordable…More

2020 Calculadora del Mercado de Seguros Médicos

Nota: esta calculadora refleja las primas para 2020. Esta calculadora ilustra las primas (el costo mensual de su seguro) y subsidios para las personas que compran seguro médico por su propia cuenta en el nuevo mercado de seguros de salud (o de intercambio) creado por la Ley de Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio (Affordable…More

2020 Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator

The Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator, updated with 2020 premium data, provides estimates of health insurance premiums and subsidies for people purchasing insurance on their own in health insurance exchanges (or “Marketplaces”) created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With this calculator, you can enter your income, age, and family size to estimate your eligibility for …

2020 Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator Read More »

Want to protect people with preexisting conditions? You need the full Affordable Care Act.

In this perspective published by the Washington Post, KFF Executive Vice President for Health Policy Larry Levitt explains why the popular Affordable Care Act provisions that ensure people with pre-existing conditions can access affordable health insurance can’t easily be preserved if other related provisions are overturned.

Health Policy Resources for Covering the 2020 Elections

As the 2020 Election Day approaches, many candidates continue to focus on health care issues, including on the public health and economic response to COVID-19, the future of the Affordable Care Act, health care costs and abortion. To help reporters understand and cover these issues, KFF offers independent, non-partisan policy analysis, polling and other research and…More

2021 Premium Changes on ACA Exchanges and the Impact of COVID-19 on Rates

A look at preliminary marketplace rate filings reveals many premium changes for 2021 are moderate thus far, with increases or decreases of a few percentage points. However, most insurers have not yet incorporated the rate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in their rate changes for 2021, so many of these proposed rates are likely to …

2021 Premium Changes on ACA Exchanges and the Impact of COVID-19 on Rates Read More »

KFF Health Tracking Poll – October 2020: The Future of the ACA and Biden’s Advantage On Health Care

The poll examines the public’s views on the Supreme Court case to overturn the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Less than a month from the results of the 2020 presidential election, this poll examines the top issues for voters (the economy, the coronavirus pandemic, health care, criminal justice and …

KFF Health Tracking Poll – October 2020: The Future of the ACA and Biden’s Advantage On Health Care Read More »

Election 2020: State Health Care Snapshots

Health care is a top issue for voters in the 2020 election. To understand the health care landscape in which the 2020 election policy debates will unfold, these state health care snapshots provide data across a variety of health policy subjects, including health care costs, health coverage—Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance—and the uninsured, women’s health, health …

Election 2020: State Health Care Snapshots Read More »

A Reconfigured U.S. Supreme Court: Implications for Health Policy

U.S. Supreme Court decisions shape health policy in important ways. The nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, if confirmed, is expected to establish a solid 6:3 conservative majority that could affect case outcomes in several areas. This issue brief considers the potential implications of a reconfigured Court for health policy issues, including those already on …

A Reconfigured U.S. Supreme Court: Implications for Health Policy Read More »

Health Care and the 2020 Presidential Election

This side-by-side comparison examines President Trump’s record and former Vice President Biden’s positions across a wide range of key health issues, including the response to the pandemic, the Affordable Care Act marketplace, Medicaid, Medicare, drug prices, reproductive health, mental health and opioids, immigration and health coverage, and health care costs.

COVID-19, Mental Health, and the 2020 Election: A Review of Candidate Platforms

This brief examines where the candidates stand on four key aspects of the nation’s mental health and substance abuse challenges: the opioid epidemic, suicide rates, mental health parity, and mental health workforce. On each issue, the brief summarizes the policy positions of President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

An Early Look at 2021 Premium Changes on ACA Exchanges and the Impact of COVID-19 on Rates

A look at preliminary marketplace rate filings reveals many premium changes for 2021 are moderate thus far, with increases or decreases of a few percentage points. However, most insurers have not yet incorporated the rate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in their rate changes for 2021, so many of these proposed rates are likely to …

An Early Look at 2021 Premium Changes on ACA Exchanges and the Impact of COVID-19 on Rates Read More »