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Medicare 101: What You Need To Know

Hosted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Alliance for Health Reform, this briefing reviewed basic questions about the Medicare program, such as: What services does Medicare provide, and how does Medicare pay for these services? How is Medicare financed? What changes did the Affordable Care Act (ACA) make to Medicare? How fast is Medicare spending growing? What are current proposals to strengthen Medicare for the future, and what are prospects for action in the new Congress?

A Primer on Medicare: Key Facts About the Medicare Program and the People it Covers

This primer explains key elements of the Medicare program, which now provides health coverage to 55 million people — including 46 million people age 65 and older and another 9 million younger adults with permanent disabilities. It looks at the characteristics of the Medicare population, what benefits are covered, how much people with Medicare pay for their benefits and the program’s overall costs and future financing challenges.

Medicaid Moving Forward

Medicaid is the nation’s main public health insurance program for people with low incomes, and it is the single largest source of health coverage in the U.S., covering nearly 70 million Americans. Medicaid also finances 16% of total personal health spending in the nation. States design and administer their own Medicaid programs within federal requirements, and states and the federal government finance the program jointly. As a major payer, Medicaid is a core source of financing for safety-net hospitals and health centers that serve low-income communities, including many of the uninsured. It is also the main source of coverage and financing for both nursing home and community-based long-term care.

Key Themes in Capitated Medicaid Managed Long-Term Services and Supports Waivers

This issue brief analyzes key themes in 19 capitated § 1115 and § 1915(b)/(c) Medicaid managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS) waivers approved to date by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) with a focus on covered populations and services, provisions aimed at expanding beneficiary access to HCBS, beneficiary protections, and quality measurement and oversight.

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.

One Year into Duals Demo Enrollment: Early Expectations Meet Reality

One year into initial enrollment in the Medicare-Medicaid financial alignment demonstrations for dual eligible beneficiaries, some initial insights are beginning to emerge. This policy insight highlights key challenges and trends emerging in states’ demonstrations.