Insurance Reform: Commentary

Can Affordability of Health Care Be Measured?

Nov. 21, 2017

Affordability may be the most ubiquitous buzzword in health reform. In repeated surveys, Americans cite the affordability of health care as their top financial concern. Despite their handwringing, politicians often avoid defining what constitutes “affordable” health care, and both non-experts and seasoned policymakers seem to lack robust measures of affordability. How can the most important crisis in health care lack reliable metrics?

Reimagining the Future of Medicare Across the Care Continuum

Oct. 30, 2017

Reforming Medicare to protect the health of an aging and vulnerable population is a pressing policy concern. To share some perspective, Dr. Mary Naylor led a panel entitled “Shaping the Future of Medicare” at Penn LDI’s 50th Anniversary Symposium.

The panelists addressed several core themes, including cost-effective personal care in the home, end-of-life care, Medicare payment reforms, and reimagining care for families of an aging population.

A ‘Newfound Passion for Advocacy’

Sep. 26, 2017

The American College of Physicians (ACP), representing 152,000 internal medicine physicians and medical students, has been front and center in the national debates on health care reform, according to Robert Doherty, the ACP’s Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs and Public Policy. The ACP is the largest physician specialty society and second largest medical organization in the United States.

Chart of the Day: Adverse Tiering for HIV/AIDS Patients

Aug. 3, 2017

It’s called “adverse tiering” and it’s a benefit strategy designed to dissuade patients with expensive chronic conditions from enrolling in marketplace plans. The ACA prohibited plans from refusing to cover patients with pre-existing conditions and from charging them higher premiums. To avoid high-cost patients, some plans have structured their formularies to require substantial cost sharing for drugs in a certain class, particularly for expensive conditions such as HIV/AIDS.

‘A Giant Step in the Wrong Direction’

Jun. 26, 2017

Forty economists and health policy experts, including Dan Polsky and Zeke Emanuel, have signed a strongly worded letter opposing the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the Senate proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Taking Subsidies Off the Exchanges

Apr. 26, 2017

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has an “empty shelf” problem: consumers can use their premium subsidies only on the public health insurance exchanges, but insurers are not required to offer any plans on these exchanges.

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