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New postings and analysis from Health Affairs, the leading journal of health policy. Health Affairs publishes new research each week online at For more information, contact Chris Fleming at 301-347-3944.

Dearth Of Full Medicare Drug Coverage In "Doughnut Hole" To Persist

Consolidation in the health insurance industry will continue, WellPoint Inc. chairman, president, and CEO Larry Glasscock says in an interview published Nov. 28 on the Health Affairs Web site.

"If you look at other industries, where economies of scale exist, you see more consolidation. Ten years ago, in our business, the top ten insurers covered about 27 percent of the membership, nationally. Today, the top ten companies cover about 50 percent. In ten years it has consolidated that much, and I think that it will continue in the future," Glasscock tells Health Affairs founding editor John Iglehart.

Coverage Unaffordable For More Than Half Of Uninsured, Researchers Report

More than half of the nation's uninsured residents are ineligible for public programs such as Medicaid but do not have enough resources to purchase coverage themselves, researchers from the Urban Institute report in a Health Affairs Web Exclusive published Nov. 30. The report was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Of the 44.6 million uninsured Americans, 56 percent are ineligible for public programs and have insufficient incomes to afford coverage on their own, the researchers report. Another 25 percent of the uninsured are eligible for public programs, and the remaining 20 percent have incomes high enough to afford coverage.

Survey Finds Employers Support Shared Responsibility for Health Coverage

Despite intense health care cost pressures, firms covering more than 90 percent of the nation's workforce view health benefits as an important tool to attract and retain qualified workers, according to a national study by researchers at the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) and the Commonwealth Fund published in the Nov/Dec issue of Health Affairs. Moreover, firms employing two-thirds of all workers, including both firms that do and do not offer health benefits, agreed that "all employers should share in the cost of health insurance for employees, either by covering their own workers or by contributing to a fund to cover the uninsured," the study found.

Print editions of Health Affairs may be ordered for $35 each from Health Affairs' Customer Service at 301-347-3900 or online at


Health Affairs, published by Project HOPE, is the leading journal of health policy. The nonpartisan, peer-reviewed journal appears bimonthly in print, with additional online-only papers published weekly as Health Affairs Web Exclusives at The full text of each Health Affairs Web Exclusive is available free of charge to all Web site visitors for a two-week period following posting, after which it switches to pay-per-view for nonsubscribers. The abstracts of all articles are free. The Nov/Dec 2006 issue was supported by the California HealthCare Foundation. Web Exclusives are supported in part by a grant from the Commonwealth Fund.


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