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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…

Medicaid Payment for Outpatient Prescription Drugs

This fact sheet summarizes Medicaid’s role as the major source of outpatient pharmacy services for low-income Americans. Medicaid spent $25.4 billion on prescription drugs in fiscal year 2009, and outpatient prescription drug coverage is an optional benefit that all state Medicaid programs currently provide. Fact Sheet (.pdf)

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…

Briefing – Medicare: A Primer

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

Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlight: Formularies

This Medicare Part D data spotlight examines the formularies (list of covered drugs) of Medicare stand-alone prescription drug plans in 2008, changes since 2006, and differences in how plans cover brand-name and generic drugs. This is one in a series analyzing key aspects of the 2008 Medicare Part D prescription…

Federal Core Requirements And State Options In Medicaid: Current Policies And Key Issues

Medicaid is a jointly financed partnership between the federal government and states. The federal-state financing and administrative structure of Medicaid provides a framework of federal core requirements along with broad state options for program design and administration. This issue brief presents an overview of the current Medicaid program framework, with…

Restructuring Medicare’s Benefit Design: Implications for Beneficiaries and Spending

Several deficit-reduction plans have proposed combining Medicare’s separate deductibles for hospital and physician services, standardizing cost sharing across types of benefits, and establishing a new limit on annual out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries. A new Kaiser Family Foundation study examines the potential implications of proposals to revamp Medicare’s cost-sharing requirements as…

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…