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Medicare Prescription Drug Plans in 2009 and Key Changes Since 2006: Summary of Findings

Since 2006, Medicare beneficiaries have had access to prescription drug coverage offered by private plans, either stand-alone prescription drug plans (PDPs) or Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans (MA-PD plans). Today, more than 26 million Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare drug plans, including 17.5 million in stand-alone prescription drug plans…

Uniform Coverage Summaries for Consumers

This brief explains the proposed federal rule that requires private health plans to provide a short, easy-to-read uniform summary of benefits and coverage to all health insurance applicants and enrollees. The rule, which implements a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is intended to make it simpler for consumers…

Medicaid: A Primer – Key Information on the Nation’s Health Coverage Program for Low-Income People

This primer provides an overview of Medicaid, the nation’s largest health coverage program, which covers more than 62 million low-income individuals, including children and families, people with disabilities and seniors who are also covered by Medicare. Medicaid also is the dominant source of the country’s long-term care financing. The program will expand significantly under the Affordable Care Act in 2014.

Essential Health Benefits: Balancing Affordability and Adequacy

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), insurance plans offered through state insurance exchanges as well as non-grandfathered plans offered in the individual and small group markets – will be required to cover a set of health benefits and services called the “essential health benefits” package. Guidance issued…

Medicare Part D 2010 Data Spotlight: Benefit Design and Cost Sharing

The Medicare Modernization Act established a defined standard drug benefit for Part D stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plans, while giving plans flexibility to offer alternative benefit designs. Only about one in 10 PDPs offer the standard benefit in 2010. Plan sponsors can offer…

The Role of Clinical and Cost Information in Medicaid Pharmacy Benefit Decisions: Experience in Seven States

This policy brief provides perspective on the potential for using comparative effectiveness research in Medicaid pharmacy programs by looking at seven states to determine how they currently evaluate relative clinical and cost information about prescription drugs when making coverage decisions for their Medicaid pharmacy benefits. The brief was prepared by…

Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlight: Benefit Design

This Medicare Part D data spotlight examines the benefit design of Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) in 2008, focusing on national plans. It shows that in 2008, as in previous years, only about 10 percent of national prescription drug plans offered the defined standard benefit. The spotlight also…

Preventing Chronic Disease: The New Public Health

There is a groundswell of activity in local communities to support healthier lifestyles and help people make long-lasting and sustainable changes that can reduce their risk for chronic diseases. A number of provisions in the health reform law are aimed directly at improving population health by addressing conditions where Americans…