This primer on health care spending in the United States reviews the growth in health care spending since 1970 and the impact of health care costs on families and employers.
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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.
“What Is Health Care Cost Containment?” Larry Levitt’s September 2012 contribution to The JAMA Forum, is now available online.
Family Health Premiums Rise 3 Percent to $13,770 in 2010, But Workers’ Share Jumps 14 Percent as Firms Shift Cost Burden
About One In Four Covered Workers Now Face Annual Deductibles Of $1,000 Or More, Including Nearly Half Of Those Employed By Small Businesses WASHINGTON, D.C. — Workers on average are paying nearly $4,000 this year toward the cost of family health coverage – an increase of 14 percent, or $482,…
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…
Medicaid Expansion through Premium Assistance: Key Issues for Beneficiaries in Arkansas’ Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver Proposal
This issue brief provides background about Medicaid premium assistance in the individual health insurance market, summarizes major components of Arkansas’ Section 1115 demonstration waiver application to implement the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion through premium assistance, and considers key issues affecting beneficiaries.
The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare: Health Insurance Changes Coming Your Way Under the Affordable Care Act
In this animated video, the YouToons get ready for Obamacare and explore health insurance changes under the Affordable Care Act. This cartoon serves as a health reform tutorial for consumers and organizations.
A new animated video features the YouToons as they get ready for Obamacare and explore health insurance changes under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The cartoon serves as a health reform tutorial for consumers and organizations.
This July 22, 2013 briefing, Streamlining Cost Sharing in Medicare: The Impact on Beneficiaries, explored the impact on beneficiaries of recent proposals to combine the two main parts of Medicare.
Healthier and Wealthier, or Sicker and Poorer? Prospects for Medicare Beneficiaries Now and in the Future
This January 2014 briefing, co-sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Alliance for Health Reform, examines what is known about the health and economic security of Medicare beneficiaries today, as well as how current and future beneficiaries may be affected by the leading proposals that aim to achieve Medicare savings.