About the Journal

“A must-read policy journal for health wonks.”

     - Bloomberg Businessweek



Health Affairs is the leading journal of health policy thought and research. The peer-reviewed journal was founded in 1981 under the aegis of Project HOPE, a nonprofit international health education organization. Health Affairs explores health policy issues of current concern in domestic and international spheres. Its mission is to serve as a high-level, nonpartisan forum to promote analysis and discussion on improving health and health care, and to address such issues as cost, quality, and access.

The journal reaches a broad audience that includes: government and health industry leaders; health care advocates; scholars of health, health care and health policy; and others concerned with health and health care issues in the United States and worldwide.


Health Affairs publishes monthly issues in print, online, and on iPad. Regular Web First articles are posted online before they appear in the monthly issue.

Articles and Pages

In 2014, Health Affairs published 298 articles and 2,267 pages.

How to Access Our Content

All articles published by Health Affairs, since its inception in 1981, are available and fully searchable online at www.healthaffairs.org. Subscribers have unrestricted access to all journal content, and all other readers may access journal articles three years old or older. In addition all may access Health Affairs Blog and Health Policy Briefs, sign up for email alerts and RSS feeds, and follow Health Affairs on Twitter or Facebook.

Health Affairs' Web site is maintained in conjunction with Stanford University's HighWire Press.


Health Affairs subscription packages are available to individuals and single-site libraries and institutions. National, global, and multi-site licenses are also available to institutions, organizations, and companies. See Subscription for more information.

Founding Editor John K. Iglehart
Editor-In-Chief Alan Weil
Executive Editor Donald E. Metz
Executive Publisher Jane Hiebert-White


Health Affairs authors include top scholars, policymakers, and health care industry leaders. We also welcome submissions from graduate and doctoral students and others who do not typically write for peer-reviewed journals.


Health Affairs receives more than 1,400 manuscripts annually.

  • Each paper is reviewed by the editors for timeliness and relevance to the journal's objectives. About 50% of these submissions are selected for external review.
  • For papers that are not selected for external review, the journal notifies authors within a week of submission.
  • For papers selected for external review, authors may expect to be notified of the journal’s decision about two months from the date of submission.
  • For papers selected for revision, the time between revision request and publication varies (weeks to months) depending on factors such as the extent of revision required, the need for additional review and revision, issue production, etc. The current average time from submission to publication is 6 months.

Our acceptance rate for unsolicited papers is currently 10–15 percent. See more information on how to submit a paper.


11,000 domestic and international subscribers. For subscription prices and ordering procedure, see Subscribe.

Web Site Traffic

Page views per month on the journal website average 400,000 as of December 2014. Annual page views total 5 million. Unique visitors each month total more than 100,000.

Policy Impact

Health Affairs articles are cited by US administration officials, US lawmakers, and ministry of health leaders around the globe. US congressional testimony featured 91 mentions between 2010-2012. Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle reference Health Affairs in drafting legislation. US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts cited the journal in his decision regarding the Affordable Care Act.

Impact Factor

Health Affairs is rated number one in cost-effectiveness among scholarly periodicals in Health Policy & Services as well as Health Care Sciences and Services.

  • Impact Factor for 2015: 5.23
  • Health Policy & Services: 1/87
  • Health Care Sciences and Services: 1/74

Press Citations

Health Affairs is frequently cited by national media, including the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, network television and radio, and NPR.


Health Affairs readers include government health leaders (local, national, and international); decisionmakers at hospitals, insurance companies, and other health care industries; researchers and academics in economics, law, public health, sociology, health administration, medicine, nursing, and political science; advocates; consultants; investment analysts; reporters; and students.

Topics Covered

Health Affairs is a multidisciplinary journal covering a wide range of health issues including: access to care, health spending, quality, Medicare, Medicaid, prescription drug coverage and costs, physician practice, nursing trends, mental health, malpractice and health law, insurance reform, hospitals, global health, disparities in health care, and more. To view a complete list of topics, see Topic Collections.

Inside the Journal

Health Affairs is divided into the following major sections:

  • Feature articles: New proposals, original research, and analysis of timely health policy issues
  • Report From The Field: High-level journalistic article that explores a timely health policy topic
  • Entry Point: A report on relevant health policy legislation and policymaking activity.
  • Analysis and Commentary: Opinions and proposals for change
  • Interviews: Conversations with leaders in government and the private sector
  • Narrative Matters: Personal stories about experiences with the health care system and the people in it--using the power of literary nonfiction to highlight an important public policy issue (published with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation)
  • GrantWatch: A review of recently awarded foundation grants and grant outcomes, with regular essays or special reports about health philanthropy
  • DataWatch: Short papers that highlight data that “speak for themselves relative to important policy issues or topics.”
  • Book Reviews
  • Letters to the Editor: Discussion of issues raised in papers published in Health Affairs.

These sections have different word count requirements. If you have questions about this, please contact the editors.

Thematic Issues

Health Affairs publishes both thematic and "variety" issues every year. Thematic issues are devoted to in-depth exploration of a key topic surrounding health and health care.

Web Firsts

Online papers are published as Web First papers at www.healthaffairs.org. Each Web First paper is published in the first available print issue following Web publication. Web First papers are subject to the same peer review, evaluation, and editing as any other paper published by Health Affairs. They are indexed in the literature at time of posting.

Health Affairs Blog

Health Affairs Blog offers an inclusive and interactive dimension to the journal’s timely commentary and analysis of health policy dialog. Pertinent posts often link to original peer-reviewed journal articles. We welcome relevant comments from readers using their real names. Health Affairs Blog content is copyrighted and licensed under a Creative Commons license.


Health Affairs is indexed and/or abstracted in PUBMED, MEDLINE, ProQuest, Lexis-Nexis; SciencesInternational Bibliography of Social Science; Index Medicus; EMBase; Scopus; EMCare; and Thomson Reuters Scientific and Social Sciences Index.

ISSN 0278-2715
Electronic ISSN 1544-5208

Federal Tax I.D. Number 53-0242962


Health Affairs is published and copyrighted by Project HOPE — The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.
7500 Old Georgetown Road, Suite 600
Bethesda, MD 20814