Understanding health care reform is no easy task. These resources can help. This list is admittedly arbitrary and subject to change. Many of these resources were suggested by readers. If you’d like to nominate a resource simply leave a link to the site or tool in the comments section, below.
For brokers, the best single source of information on health care reform is available through the National Association of Health Underwriters. Membership in NAHU is required to access this material, but not only is membership well worth the investment, it is critical for any broker concerned with the future of their profession.
Just the Facts: Analysis and opinions have their place (in the next sections, actually), but sometimes what’s needed is source material:
- The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is really two bills: HR 3590, which was the Senate’s version of health care reform, and HR 4872 the reconciliation bill that enabled the White House and the House of Representatives to refine the final product.
- The IRS offers answers concerning the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit.
- The Department of Health and Human Services has published health care reform regulations on issues including: coverage for children under 19; grandfathered health plans, and the Patient’s Bill of Rights.
- HHS explanation of the PPACA, important deadlines, FAQs and the like are about as official as one can get.
- Few resources are as thorough or highly regarded as those from the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation. The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Health Reform section is invaluable.
- The Commonwealth Fund Health Reform Resource Center lives up to its name, with a deep library of useful information.
- The “official” source for information about health care reform is at HealthCare.gov.
News: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will evolve over time. Some news outlets worth following to see what’s happening include:
- The Hill’s Healthwatch Blog covers health care policy overall, including health care reform issues. They’re a great source for inside-the-beltway information.
- If anyone scoops The Hill, it’s most likely Politico Pulse, a reliable source concerning the politics of health care reform.
- Separating fact from fiction is hard, and there’s plenty of both when the topic is health care reform. Check out the St. Petersburg Times’ PolitiFact.com to get the straight scoop – use to the key words “Health Care Reform”
Analysis and Opinion: Here’s some folks who may help you make sense of all this health care reform news:
- HealthAffairs is a highly regarded source for news, analysis and opinion on health care and health care reform
- The California HealthCare Foundation provides insight useful both within and beyond the Golden State
- The Incidental Economist blog takes a no-nonesense view of health care reform and its economic impact. Better still, its economics even a non-economist can understand.
- InsuranceThoughtLeadership.com Healthcare section often touches on health care reform. With a number of contributors you’ll find a broad range of perspectives, including mine.hat .
Tools: Brokers not only have to understand the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, they have the added responsibility to make sense of it to their prospects and clients. Here’s some tools that may help:
- The Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator from Kaiser Family Foundation estimates the size of the premium subsidy an individual purchasing through the exchange
- Tom’s Inflation Calculator answers the question: what would be today’s equivalent of that $500 deductible so popular in 1987? ($1,536 using on Medical Cost Inflation; $977 based on general inflation).
- UCLA’s California Health Interview Survey provides in-depth data about public and private health care coverage in California. And lots more. This is the source used by lawmakers. The site requires registration, but is free.
- The Foundation for Health Coverage Education provides state-specific tools for determining eligibility for a variety of public and private medical coverage options on their Coverage for All web site.
This page was updated on October 26, 2015 to delete or fix dead links.