Kip Piper's Health Care Blog
Medicare, Medicaid, Health Reform

The number of people choosing consumer-directed health plans continued to grow in 2011, reaching 7 percent of people with private insurance. Consumer-directed or consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) are high-deductible plans paired with health savings accounts (HSAs). Individuals pay into HSAs with pre-tax income, reducing their tax burdens. The plans...
Opaque prices – the norm in U.S. health care – in a key driver of inefficient, ineffective medical care and rapid cost increases.  Transparency of health care prices - public reporting of prices - is an essential ingredient for a high-value, cost effective health care system. In recent years, rising...
To help determine the value of health care provided by qualified health plans (QHPs) that will contract with Health Insurance Exchanges, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking information on best practices in health plan quality management and reporting. Through a Request for Information (RFI), CMS seeks information...
Employers have made major changes to their health benefits in the past decade. Premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance increased more than 60 percent from 2001 to 2009, and the employee’s share of premiums went up more than 90 percent. There has also been a decline in the numbers of businesses...
Members of Congress and retired Members are eligible for health insurance coverage under the same system as other federal employees – the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).  Under the Affordable Care Act, Congressmen and Senators, as well as Congressional staff, must receive their health coverage through the Health...
Businesses have a big incentive to keep their employees healthy and to curb their health costs and spending. Premiums for employer-sponsored insurance for families almost doubled in the past decade, with the employer’s share of premiums increasing from $5,866 in 2002 to $11,429 in 2012. Data from the Health...
Essential health benefits (EHB) will play a fundamental role in shaping health plans after 2014. Part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), EHBs define a baseline of 10 types of services those plans must cover, including prescription drugs, hospital services, preventive or wellness services, and chronic disease management. Qualified...
The Employer Mandate is one of the many complex new requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health reform law.  Under the Employer Mandate - decorously called Employer Shared Responsibility in the law - most employers must provide health insurance coverage to all full-time employees or pay a penalty...
A year from now, in January 2014, new health insurance exchanges (HIX) will offer coverage to individuals and small-business employees. Part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the exchanges present vast and complex challenges for states, the federal government, and health insurers weighing whether to participate by becoming qualified...
State insurance commissioners typically bear most of the responsibility for enforcing health insurance consumer protections. In theory, that will remain the case after broad new consumer protections included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) go into effect. States are expected to be the first-line of enforcement, and the federal...

Latest Articles