Health Insurance

Financial and structural characteristics of the public and private programs that cover medical costs. LDI analyzes how to expand and improve coverage through insurance exchanges, employer-sponsored insurance, and public programs.

Strengthening Medicaid Waiver Evaluations

Dec. 3, 2018

States are considered “laboratories of democracy,” allowing experimentation with innovative reforms that could potentially be adopted at the national level. To test new approaches in their Medicaid programs, states have embraced Section 1115 waivers, which permit innovations that do not meet federal program rules, but still promote the program’s objectives.

How Important Is Price Variation Between Health Insurers?

Nov. 1, 2018

Stuart V. Craig, Keith Marzilli Ericson, Amanda Starc

Abstract [from journal]

Prices negotiated between payers and providers affect a health insurance contract's value via enrollees' cost-sharing and self-insured employers' costs. However, price variation across payers is hard to observe. We measure negotiated prices for hospital-payer pairs in Massachusetts and characterize price variation. Between-payer price variation is similar in magnitude to between-hospital price variation. Administrative-services-only contracts, in which insurers do not bear risk, have higher prices. We model negotiation incentives and show that contractual...

What Is "Affordable" Health Care?

Issue Brief
Nov. 1, 2018

Although the “affordability” of health care is a common concern, the term is rarely defined.This joint Penn LDI and United States of Care issue brief considers affordability as an economic concept, as a kitchen-table budget issue for individuals and families, and as a threshold in current policy. It reviews a range of measures that capture the cost burden for individuals and families with different forms of coverage, in different financial circumstances, and with different health concerns.

Supply of Primary Care Providers and Appointment Availability for Philadelphia's Medicaid Population

Issue Brief
Oct. 23, 2018

This brief analyzes the supply of primary care providers serving the Medicaid population in Philadelphia, and the geographic variability of this measure across the city. It also examines important measures of access – appointment availability and wait time for an initial appointment – that highlight challenges faced by Medicaid patients.

Primary Care Access for Philadelphia’s Medicaid Population

Oct. 23, 2018

Following Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania in 2015, more than one in five non-elderly adults in Philadelphia are now covered by Medicaid. This population faces unique challenges with accessing primary care, including fewer providers accepting Medicaid patients. 

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