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Narrow Networks, Access to Hospitals and Premiums: An Analysis of Marketplace Products in Six Cities

December 16, 2014 Comments off

Narrow Networks, Access to Hospitals and Premiums: An Analysis of Marketplace Products in Six Cities
Source: Urban Institute

This report examines which hospitals are included within marketplace plans in six cities (Denver; New York City (Manhattan); Portland, Ore.; Providence; Baltimore; and Richmond, Va.). The report finds that nearly all insurers offering plans through the insurance Marketplaces in six cities include many highly ranked hospitals within their provider networks. The report also concludes that every hospital in the cities studied is included in at least one Marketplace plan network. The authors also looked at how the size of a plan’s provider network affected the cost of premiums. The report shows that the size of a plan’s network is not necessarily tied to premiums. The authors note that although narrowing networks (i.e., limiting the amount of providers covered under a specific plan) generally led to more-competitive, lower-cost premiums, some plans with broader networks had low premiums and some plans with narrow networks had high premiums.

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Measuring Mortgage Credit Accessibility

December 16, 2014 Comments off

Measuring Mortgage Credit Accessibility
Source: Urban Institute

This paper provides a method of measuring credit accessibility that addresses several shortcomings of traditional methods. Credit accessibility is measured by calculating the demand-to-origination progression rate for low-credit-profile consumers. Using this improved measure, we explore several issues critical to credit accessibility including differences among demographic groups, changes over time and credit cycles, and the impact of government support for the single-family owner-occupied mortgage market.

Monitoring the Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Employers: Literature Review

November 21, 2014 Comments off

Monitoring the Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Employers: Literature Review
Source: Urban Institute

In this report, we analyze recent trends in the employer health insurance market and the anticipated effects of the Affordable Care Act on employers, with a particular focus on small firms with fewer than 50 workers. We first present a detailed picture of the employer market by identifying preexisting trends in key outcomes that could be incorrectly attributed to the Affordable Care Act. We also analyze the literature to identify economic factors that are important in current employer and employee decisions regarding health coverage.

Immigrant Access to Health and Human Services: Final Report

November 17, 2014 Comments off

Immigrant Access to Health and Human Services: Final Report
Source: Urban Institute

The Immigrant Access to Health and Human Services project describes the legal and policy contexts that affect immigrant access to health and human services. The study aims to identify and describe federal, state, and local program eligibility provisions related to immigrants, major barriers to immigrants’ access to health and human services for which they are legally eligible, and innovative or promising practices that can help states manage their programs. This final report summarizes findings from the seven research briefs and one report that constitute this project.

Stop and Frisk: Balancing Crime Control with Community Relations

November 14, 2014 Comments off

Stop and Frisk: Balancing Crime Control with Community Relations
Source: Urban Institute

Police have been stopping, questioning, and frisking pedestrians for decades in an effort to protect themselves and the public from harm. However, pedestrians may view the stop and frisk experience as unjustified and perceive that they are subject to unfair and overly aggressive treatment. These feelings are most pronounced for those residing in high-crime areas that are targets for intensive stop and frisk activities. Because citizens’ views of the police contribute to their willingness to cooperate with and empower law enforcement, minimizing the negative effects of stop and frisk is crucial for overall police effectiveness and is especially important for improving relations with communities of color. This publication discusses the constitutionality and legal precedents of stop and frisk and the theory and practice behind these street stops. This background is followed by a discus¬sion of stop and frisk’s unintended consequences and a series of practical recommendations for the lawful and respectful use of pedestrian stops in the context of community policing.

A Better Way to Budget for Federal Lending Programs

October 30, 2014 Comments off

A Better Way to Budget for Federal Lending Programs
Source: Tax Policy institute (Urban Institute and Brookings Institution)

Policy analysts have long debated how best to budget for student loans, mortgage guarantees, and other federal lending programs. Under official budget rules, these programs appear highly profitable; under an alternative, favored by many analysts, they appear to lose money. That discrepancy confuses policy deliberations. In this brief, Donald Marron proposes a new budgeting approach, known as expected returns, that would eliminate this confusion. Unlike existing approaches, expected returns accurately reports the fiscal effects of lending over time and provides a natural way to distinguish the fiscal gains from bearing financial risk from the subsidies given to borrowers.

The Nonprofit Sector in Brief 2014: Public Charities, Giving and Volunteering

October 29, 2014 Comments off

The Nonprofit Sector in Brief 2014: Public Charities, Giving and Volunteering
Source: Urban Institute

The Nonprofit Sector in Brief 2014 highlights trends in the number and finances of 501(c)(3) public charities and key findings on two important resources for the nonprofit sector: private charitable contributions and volunteering. Each year, The Nonprofit Sector in Brief 2014 presents the most recent data available on the nonprofit sector. This particular edition of the brief presents data from 2002 to 2012.

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