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What the Actuarial Values in the Affordable Care Act Mean

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) establishes four levels of coverage based on the concept of “actuarial value,” which represents the share of health care expenses the plan covers for a typical group of enrollees. As plans increase in actuarial value – bronze, silver, gold, and platinum –…

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…

Medicare at a Glance

This fact sheet provides a basic overview of the Medicare program, including how it is financed, who is eligible, and what benefits are covered under the program. In addition, it describes supplemental health insurance, out-of-pocket spending by people on Medicare, and data on Medicare expenditures and financing.

Health Care Costs: A Primer

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. The share of the economy devoted to health care increased from 7.2 percent in 1970 to 17.9 percent in 2009…

Medicaid 101: What You Need to Know

The Alliance for Health Reform and the Kaiser Family Foundation present a briefing to discuss the basics of Medicaid and its role in the health care system. Speakers address questions on how the program is administered, how much it costs and how it is financed, as well as how the…

Health Care Costs: A Primer

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.

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.