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Program on Medicare Policy

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The Gap in Medigap

This policy insight examines the low rate of Medigap coverage among people under age 65 with disabilities on Medicare and the federal law that governs consumer rights and protections related to Medigap open enrollment.

The Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit

This fact sheet includes the latest information and data for 2017 about the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit, including current plan information, the standard benefit parameters, low-income assistance, the latest available enrollment data, and Part D program spending and financing.

How Much Has Medicare Spent on the EpiPen Since 2007?

This data note examines the effects of rising EpiPen prices on Medicare and beneficiaries. We analyze EpiPen spending, in the aggregate and per user, in Medicare Part D between 2007 (the year after the Part D drug benefit took effect, and the year Mylan acquired the product) and 2014 (the most recent year of data available).

Medicare Part D in 2016 and Trends over Time

This chartpack presents a summary of Part D enrollment, premiums, cost sharing, benefit design and other key trends in 2016 and changes over time. For 2016, the analysis finds that 40% of Part D enrollees are now in Medicare Advantage drug plans, and over half of all enrollees are in plans offered by just three firms. The chartpack also highlights some concerning trends in the Low-Income Subsidy market, with the fewest number of premium-free plans available since Part D started, and 1.5 million LIS enrollees paying premiums for coverage, even though they have premium-free options available.

Medicare’s Role for People Under Age 65 with Disabilities

This issue brief examines the role of Medicare for people under age 65 with disabilities, including how this group qualifies for Medicare, the characteristics of people under age 65 with disabilities compared to those age 65 or older, and how sources of supplemental coverage and prescription drug coverage, spending and use of services, and access to care differ for Medicare beneficiaries under age 65 with disabilities and older beneficiaries.

The Facts on Medicare Spending and Financing

This issue brief examines the latest facts about Medicare spending and financing, includes the most recent historical and projected Medicare spending data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary (OACT), the 2016 annual report of the Boards of Medicare Trustees, and the 2016 Medicare baseline and projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). It discusses historical and projected spending trends, program financing, Medicare’s financial condition, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), and the future outlook.

Modifying Medicare’s Benefit Design: What’s the Impact on Beneficiaries and Spending?

This report examines an approach to reforming Medicare that has been a focus of Congressional hearings and featured in several broader debt reduction and entitlement reform proposals, and was included in the June 2016 House Republican health plan. The analysis models four different options for modifying Medicare’s benefit design, all of which include a single deductible, modified cost-sharing requirements, a new cost-sharing limit, and a prohibition on first-dollar Medigap coverage. The analysis models the expected effects on out-of-pocket spending by beneficiaries in traditional Medicare, and assesses how each option is expected to affect spending by the federal government, state Medicaid programs, employers, and other payers, assuming full implementation in 2018.

Medicare Payment System Reforms: What Do We Know?

Medicare is testing new ways to pay for medical services, emphasizing value rather than volume, and evidence is beginning to build about successes and challenges. On Monday, April 11, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and the Alliance for Health Reform will host a briefing to examine what we know so far…

An Overview of Medicare

This issue brief provides an overview of Medicare, the health insurance program for people ages 65 and over and younger people with permanent disabilities. The brief review the characteristics of people on Medicare, what Medicare covers, benefit gaps and supplemental coverage, beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket health care spending, program spending and financing, payment and delivery system reform, and issues for the future of Medicare.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.