Tag: health insurance
American Health Insurance Is Upside Down

Writing in The Week, Ryan Cooper shares a chilling story about an Obamacare Gold-level health insurance policy that let its beneficiary down when he needed it most: Stewart is 29 years old, and was pursuing his Ph.D in American history at Texas Christian University until ill health forced him to withdraw. He lives in...
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Fixed-Dollar Tax Credits Would Reduce Individual Health Insurance Premiums

Sonia Jaffe and Mark Shepard of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) have written a new paper, which compares the effects of fixed-dollar subsidies for health insurance to subsidies that are linked to premiums. They conclude that fixed-dollar subsidies reduce taxpayers’ costs and improve access. Unfortunately, the structure of subsidies in U.S. health...
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Obamacare’s Bureaucracy: The Amazing Rise in Health Insurance Jobs

As Congress and President-elect Trump debate how to repeal and replace Obamacare, the obsession with health insurance, rather than actual access to health care, has dominated the debate. It invites the question: How have jobs in health insurance fared before and after Obamacare? They have boomed! Before the Great Recession, nonfarm civilian employment peaked...
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Obama Economists’ Bad Obamacare Economics

President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) has issued its valedictory report on the state of Obamacare. The gist of its argument is that Obamacare is doing fine, on the verge of overcoming its growing pains since 2014. Critics (like me) who suspect the 25 percent increase in premiums for 2017 are a problem...
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“Surprise” Medical Bills a Big Problem

Yale University professors Zach Cooper and Fiona Scott Morton have published a new article reporting their research on “surprise” medical bills. These occur when a patient goes to an in-network hospital but is treated (without his knowledge) by an out-of-network doctor and receives an unexpected bill from the doctor (or doctors). Examining 2.2 million...
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Why Aren’t Consumer-Driven Health Plans More Popular?

In a recent post I discussed new evidence that so-called consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) reduce health spending one-eighth among employer-sponsored group plans run by national health insurance companies. CHDPs are defined as High-Deductible Health Plans coupled with Health Savings Accounts (or Health Reimbursement Arrangements). These plans became available in 2005. However, they appear to...
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Bill Clinton Is Right: Obamacare Is Crazy. Here’s a Sane Reform

Bill Clinton’s criticism of Obamacare reflected a good understanding of labor economics. Last Monday, he explained: So you’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums...
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Consumer-Driven Health Plans Reduce Health Spending One-Eighth

The Health Care Cost Institute has released its analysis of claims data for the years 2010 through 2014, comparing consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs, which HCCI defines as High-Deductible Health Plans coupled with Health Savings Accounts or Health Reimbursement Arrangements). HCCI examines a database of claims submitted by Aetna, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, and UnitedHealthcare for...
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Premiums for Employer-Based Family Health Insurance Up One-Fifth Since Obamacare

The Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research Educational Trust has released its 2016 Employer Health Benefits Survey. The survey covers almost 1,900 private and public (non-federal) employers. The results show Obamacare has not reduced premiums, which have increased by one-fifth for family plans since 2011. The good news is that the proportion of beneficiaries with “High-Deductible...
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More than One in Five Americans “Churn” Through Health Coverage within a Year

The U.S. Census Bureau has just released the Current Population Report’s Health Insurance Coverage in The United States, 2015. This report sits alongside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health interview Survey as a critical source of understanding changes in health insurance in recent years. The report discusses coverage during the three...
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