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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 Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Health Care on a Budget: The Financial Burden of Health Spending by Medicare Households

The Medicare program offers health and financial protection to nearly 50 million seniors and younger people with disabilities, though many beneficiaries still face significant out-of-pocket expenses. This analysis examines how much Medicare households spend on health-related expenses compared to other spending priorities and compared to non-Medicare households, the extent to which Medicare households’ health spending as a share of household budgets varies by age and poverty level, and changes in Medicare households’ health spending over time.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medical Debt Among People With Health Insurance

This report examines the causes and contributors to medical debt, medical bankruptcy, and other difficulties with medical bills among people with insurance. Through in-depth interviews of nearly two-dozen people and quantitative analysis of national survey data, the authors of this report find that in-network and out-of-net-work cost sharing primarily contribute to medical debt among the insured.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans: The Marketplace in 2013 and Key Trends, 2006-2013

This report presents findings from an analysis of the Medicare Part D marketplace in 2013 and changes in drug coverage and costs since 2006. It presents key findings related to Medicare drug plan availability, enrollment, premiums, low-income subsidies, the coverage gap, benefit design, cost sharing, formularies, and utilization management, based on data from CMS for all plans participating in Part D. The analysis was conducted jointly by researchers at Georgetown University, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

2013 Employer Health Benefits Survey

This annual Employer Health Benefits Survey (EHBS) provides a detailed look at trends in employer-sponsored health coverage, including premiums, employee contributions, cost-sharing provisions, and other relevant information. The 2013 EHBS survey finds average family health premiums rose 4 percent in 2013, relatively modest growth by historical standards.

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Streamlining Cost Sharing in Medicare: The Impact on Beneficiaries

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.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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.

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The Youtoons Get Ready 300x200

New Animation Explains Changes Coming for Americans Under Obamacare

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.

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The Youtoons Get Ready 300x200

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. The YouToons first appeared in the 2010 animated movie, “Health Reform Hits Main Street.”

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