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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Adding an Out-of-Pocket Spending Maximum to Medicare: Implementation Issues and Challenges

In an effort to simplify Medicare’s cost-sharing requirements, provide beneficiaries with catastrophic protection, and achieve program savings, some have proposed to restructure Medicare’s benefit design. Several recent proposals would create a unified deductible for Medicare Parts A and B, simplify cost-sharing requirements above the deductible, and add an annual limit on beneficiary out-of-pocket spending—a benefit feature typical of larger employer plans, but lacking in traditional Medicare. This issue brief describes the options for adding an out-of-pocket spending limit to Medicare and examines the operational issues that could arise in implementing both a uniform and an income-based out-of-pocket spending limit. Because the implementation of an income-related out-of-pocket maximum would pose somewhat greater complexity for Medicare, the operational issues associated with this approach are discussed in greater detail.

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The Future of Medicare Advantage: Are We on the Right Path?

This June 10 briefing looked at Medicare Advantage and changes affecting it, including revised calculations of payments from CMS, and the Affordable Care Act’s reduced payments to Medicare Advantage plans. Speakers discussed how Medicare Advantage plans are expected to respond to payment changes; if quality bonus payments created significant changes in patient care or plan choices; and what implications could these decisions have on beneficiaries with regard to premiums, benefits and more.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

An Analysis of the Share of Medicare Beneficiaries Who Would Benefit from an Annual Out-of-Pocket Maximum under Traditional Medicare Over Multiple Years

This analysis examines the share of Medicare beneficiaries who would be helped over time if the program were to add a limit on out-of-pocket spending to traditional Medicare. This analysis was conducted jointly with the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) in response to a request made during a Feb. 26, 2013 hearing of the House Ways and Means’ Subcommittee on Health.

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Medicaid Managed Care in the Era of Health Reform – Briefing and Panel Discussion

Amid increasing state and national interest in using managed care delivery models for Medicaid beneficiaries, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (KCMU) hosted a public briefing on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 to provide information on recent transitions from fee-for-service to managed care, and to discuss their…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicare: The Essentials

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Paying a Visit to the Doctor: Current Financial Protections for Medicare Patients When Receiving Physician Services

This issue brief explains provisions in current law that shield beneficiaries from unexpected and confusing charges when they see physicians and practitioners—namely, the participating provider program, limitation on balance billing, and conditions on private contracting for doctors who opt out of Medicare or join “concierge” practices. It also analyzes the implications of modifying these provisions for beneficiaries, providers, and the Medicare program.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Paying a Visit to the Doctor: Current Financial Protections for Medicare Patients When Receiving Physician Services

As the Congress continues to work on reforming Medicare payments for physician services, a new Kaiser Family Foundation brief examines key provisions in current law that help provide safeguards and financial protections for beneficiaries when they visit their doctor, and explains how potential changes could affect beneficiaries, providers, and the…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Benefits and Cost-Sharing for Working People with Disabilities in Medicaid and the Marketplace

This issue brief uses hypothetical examples of working people with disabilities to illustrate the experiences they might have with Medicaid and Marketplace coverage in four states (California, Kentucky, New Jersey, and Ohio), with a focus on benefits that are typically important to people with disabilities.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Health Affairs Blog: The Cost of A Cure: Medicare’s Role in Treating Hepatitis C

This blog post discusses Sovaldi (sofosbuvir), an oral drug recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C, and the potential impact of this long-awaited cure on Medicare spending and Part D premiums.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

How Much Is Enough? Out-of-Pocket Spending Among Medicare Beneficiaries: A Chartbook

This new analysis and chartbook examines out-of-pocket spending among Medicare beneficiaries, including spending on health and long-term care services and insurance premiums, using the most current year of data available from a nationally representative survey of people on Medicare. It explores which types of services account for a relatively large share of out-of-pocket spending, which groups of beneficiaries (including by age, gender, health status, and chronic conditions) are especially hard hit by high out-of-pocket costs, and trends in out-of-pocket spending between 2000 and 2010.

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