Kaiser Family Foundation

KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation), also known as The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, is an American non-profit organization, headquartered in San Francisco, California. It prefers KFF since its legal name can cause confusion as it is no longer a foundation or a family foundation, and is not associated with Kaiser Permanente.[2] KFF focuses on major health care issues facing the nation, as well as U.S. role in global health policy. KFF claims that it is a non-partisan source of facts and analysis, polling and journalism for policymakers, the media, the health care community, and the general public,[3] and its website has been heralded for having the "most up-to-date and accurate information on health policy"[4] and as a "must-read for healthcare devotees."[5]

Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF)
FormationDecember 4, 1948; 73 years ago (1948-12-04)
FounderHenry J. Kaiser
Legal statusPublic charity
PurposeHealth care, health policy
HeadquartersSan Francisco, California, U.S.
President and CEO
Dr. Drew Altman
Revenue (2019)
Expenses (2019)$54,877,435[1]

Current activitiesEdit

Policy analysis and pollingEdit

KFF publishes analysis, polling and journalism about health-care issues, and states that much of its work especially concerns persons with low income or those who are otherwise especially vulnerable to health-care cost, such as the uninsured, those with chronic illnesses, or Medicaid/Medicare recipients. In addition to domestic U.S. health policy issues, KFF also conducts work on the U.S. role in global health policy.[6]

In early 2020 its analysis and polling focused heavily on the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2010, KFF began providing resources for consumers seeking information about the then new health insurance law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act with a series of animated videos[7] explaining the health law and health insurance terms as well as a calculator[8] for people to estimate what health insurance coverage would cost them.

Kaiser is well known for public opinion research, documenting the views and experiences of the public on health and related issues – often in partnership with major news organizations, such as The Washington Post[9] and The New York Times.[10]

Health news and informationEdit

Through KHN (Kaiser Health News), KFF's editorially independent news service dedicated to coverage of health care policy and politics,[11] KFF provides coverage of health policy issues and developments at the federal and state levels in the health care marketplace and health care delivery system.[12]

KHN reporters were finalists for a 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting for exposing predatory bill collection by the University of Virginia Health System that relentlessly squeezed low-income patients—many into bankruptcy—forcing the non-profit, state-run hospital to change its tactics.[13]

KFF also sponsors training and site visits for health care reporters.[14][15]

KFF works with major media and corporate partners, government agencies and health departments, national leadership and community organizations, and other foundations to undertake large-scale public information campaigns on pressing health and social issues, mostly on HIV/AIDS,[16][17] including (current and former campaigns): It's Your (Sex) Life (MTV); GYT: Get Yourself Tested (MTV, CDC, Planned Parenthood); Rap it Up (BET); KNOW HIV/AIDS (Viacom and CBS Corporation); Enterate Protegate and Soy… (Univision); and PAUSE (Fox Broadcasting Network).

KFF worked with UNAIDS in 2004 to launch the Global Media AIDS Initiative at the United Nations to mobilize media in response to the global AIDS pandemic. Large-scale regional media coalitions operated under auspices of the GMAI, including efforts in Africa, the Caribbean, the Asia-Pacific region, Eastern Europe and now developing Central and South America.[citation needed]

Under Greater Than AIDS – a national public information response to the U.S. epidemic launched in 2009 – KFF works with a broad cross-section of public and private partners[18] to increase knowledge, reduce stigma and promote actions to stem the spread of HIV. While national in scope, Greater Than AIDS focuses on communities most affected.


KFF was established in 1948 by Henry J. Kaiser. The Kaiser Family Foundation was originally set up in Oakland, California, the same city in which Kaiser Permanente's headquarters were located. Later, KFF moved to Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, about 35 miles away from Oakland. In 2018, it relocated to San Francisco, CA.[19]

When Kaiser died in 1967, his second wife, Ale Chester, inherited half of his estate, and the other half went to the KFF. Ale sold all of her holdings, moved far away, and remarried. Mr. Kaiser's children received very little direct inheritance; but did receive authority to run the Kaiser Industries businesses, and the Kaiser Family Foundation.[citation needed]

In 1977, ten years after Kaiser's death, the conglomerate of disparate Kaiser Industries organizations split apart. The Kaiser Family Foundation was initially a major owner of these shares: at the time of dissolution, the foundation owned 32 percent, according to Fortune Magazine.[20]

By 1985, the foundation no longer had an ownership stake in the Kaiser companies and is no longer associated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries.[21] KFF is now an independent national organization and one family member, selected by the Board, serves on the Board of Directors of KFF.

The Kaiser Family Foundation previously funded professorial chairs at UC Berkeley, Stanford University, Harvard University, and Johns Hopkins University, named the Henry J. Kaiser Professorships.[citation needed]

Starting in September 1990, KFF CEO Drew Altman directed "a complete overhaul of the Foundation's mission and operating style." Altman changed a "sleepy grant-making organization" (some $30 million a year interest on the $400 million endowment), into a leading voice and repository for facts and information on health-care issues.[22]

Notable members of the board of trusteesEdit


  1. ^ a b "Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation" (PDF). Foundation Center. 15 November 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  2. ^ "President's Message". www.kff.org. Archived from the original on 18 February 2021. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  3. ^ "More About the Kaiser Family Foundation". www.kff.org. Archived from the original on 18 December 2020. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Presenting the third annual Wonky awards". The Washington Post. December 31, 2013. Archived from the original on 18 June 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  5. ^ Duke Helfand (April 18, 2010). "Spreading the health". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 22 August 2019. Retrieved 22 Aug 2019.
  6. ^ "Our Programs". www.kff.org. 8 April 2010. Archived from the original on 8 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Insurance Lingo Boggles Consumers". Health News Florida. November 13, 2014. Archived from the original on 22 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  8. ^ Mike Oliver (November 13, 2014). "Use newly updated calculator to see if you qualify for Obamacare subsidy to buy insurance in 2015". AL.com. Archived from the original on 17 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation rural and small-town America poll". The Washington Post. June 2017. Archived from the original on 17 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Full Results of The New York Times/Kaiser Family Foundation Poll". The New York Times. April 23, 2014. Archived from the original on 23 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  11. ^ "About Us". kaiserhealthnews.org. Archived from the original on 24 April 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  12. ^ Tom Gilbert. "Kaiser Health News: A Model of Symbiosis" (PDF). No. April 2014. TVWeek.com News Pro. pp. 23–24. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 March 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  13. ^ "Finalist: Jay Hancock and Elizabeth Lucas of Kaiser Health News". pulitzer.org. Pulitzer. Archived from the original on 6 May 2020. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  14. ^ Jason Millman (June 23, 2014). "A reminder that not everyone loves more transparency for health-care prices". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 10 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  15. ^ "Media Internships & Fellowships". www.kff.org. 3 March 2015. Archived from the original on 8 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  16. ^ "GYT: Get Yourself Tested Campaign". npin.cdc.gov. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Archived from the original on 21 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  17. ^ "GYT: Get Yourself Tested (United States)". weforum.org. World Economic Forum. Archived from the original on 25 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  18. ^ "Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS Team with Health Departments and Local AIDS Service Organizations to Provide Free HIV Testing in Support of National HIV Testing Day". walgreens.com. June 13, 2013. Archived from the original on 6 June 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  19. ^ Diamond, Dan. "POLITICO Pulse". Politico. Archived from the original on 8 March 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  20. ^ "The Kaisers and Their Empire". Fortune Magazine. February 1977.
  21. ^ Donna K.H. Walters (August 4, 1985). "An Empire Fades Away, But Its Legacy Lingers On; Final Chapter Is Being Written for What Once Was West's Greatest Industrial Power". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2013-11-06. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  22. ^ Lois Romano (November 2, 2009). "Health care? He's got it covered". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2015.

External linksEdit