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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…

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…

Workplace Wellness Programs, Healthy Behaviors and Health Reform

Many large employers offer financial incentives to their employees to exercise regularly, improve their diets, lose weight and quit smoking. Health reform proposals would write some of these incentives into law. But some patient advocates say that, depending on how the incentives are structured, they can make coverage more expensive…

Boomers Come of Age: Covering Early Retirees and Other 50-64 Year-Olds

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contains provisions that can help workers age 50-64 if they lose their jobs and their employer-sponsored health benefits, such as incentives for employers to maintain retiree benefits. This briefing, cosponsored by the Alliance for Health Reform and AARP, answered many questions about provisions…

Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlight: The Coverage Gap

This Medicare Part D data spotlight examines the coverage gap, or “doughnut hole,” in Medicare drug plans available in 2008. Part D enrollees (other than those receiving low-income subsidies) will reach the coverage gap after they incur $2,510 in total drug costs in 2008. At that point, enrollees are required…

The Sleeper in Health Reform: Long-Term Care and the CLASS Act

The Kaiser Family Foundation briefing examines a little-noticed but major provision in two leading health reform bills that would change the way that the U.S. pays for long-term care. The provision, known as the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act, would establish a national voluntary insurance program that…

Medicaid: A Primer on the Federal-State Partnership

This briefing provided an overview of the Medicaid program and its role in the health care system. Panelists discussed who is eligible for Medicaid, what benefits are covered, how the program is administered. Medicaid financing and the program’s role in health reform was also explained. More information on Medicaid from…