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Medicare Prescription Drug Plans In 2010 and Key Changes Over Five Years

This brief summarizes key findings from the full collection of 2010 Part D Data Spotlights examining key trends in the private stand-alone drug plans available to Medicare beneficiaries. The spotlight is one in a series analyzing key aspects of the Medicare Part D drug plans that will be available to…

The Public’s Health Care Agenda for the New President and Congress

  The Public’s Health Care Agenda for the New President and Congress This survey captures the public’s attitudes regarding the health care agenda for President Obama and the new Congress in 2009. It assesses the relative priority placed on health care by the American public as part of addressing the…

The Independent Payment Advisory Board: A New Approach to Controlling Medicare Spending

In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act authorized the creation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to help control the growth in Medicare costs. Beginning in 2014, IPAB will issue recommendations to lower Medicare costs in the event that spending exceeds targets established in the health care…

Medicaid and the Budget Control Act: What Options Will Be Considered?

On August 2, 2011, President Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 into law. The Act was designed to reduce federal spending and raise the debt ceiling. It established the Joint Select Committee, also known as the “Super Committee,” tasked with decreasing projected deficits by $1.5 trillion between FY2012…

Explaining Health Reform: Medicare and the New Independent Payment Advisory Board

This brief describes how the new board created under the 2010 health reform law is expected to limit the growth in Medicare spending over time. Starting in 2014, if projected per capita Medicare spending exceeds targets set in the law, the board must recommend ways to reduce Medicare spending, while…

Medicare Part D 2010 Data Spotlight: The Coverage Gap

This data spotlight examines the coverage gap, or “doughnut hole,” in Medicare stand-alone drug plans available in 2010. While in the gap in coverage, Part D enrollees (other than those receiving low-income subsidies) are required to pay 100 percent of total drug costs until they reach the catastrophic coverage level.…

Explaining Health Reform: Key Changes in the Medicare Advantage Program

This brief examines the changes in the 2010 health reform law affecting the Medicare Advantage program, which gives beneficiaries the option of enrolling in private insurance plans for their Medicare benefits, instead of the traditional fee-for-service program. The reform law will gradually reduce Medicare payments to these plans to bring…

Medicaid Financing Issues: Provider Taxes

Current law allows states to use revenue from provider taxes to help fund the state share of spending on Medicaid, a program that is jointly financed by the states and the federal government. Almost all states have at least one provider tax in place. This issue brief reviews the use…

Raising Medicare Premiums for Higher-Income Beneficiaries: Assessing the Implications

As policymakers consider ways to slow the growth in Medicare spending as part of broader efforts to reduce the federal debt or offset the cost of other spending priorities, some have proposed to increase beneficiary contributions through higher Medicare premiums. This issue brief explains provisions of current law that impose income-related premiums under Medicare Part B and Part D, describes recent proposals to modify these requirements, and analyzes the potential implications for the Medicare population.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.