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California's "Bridge to Reform" Medicaid Demonstration Waiver

This issue brief provides an overview of California’s “Bridge to Reform” Medicaid Demonstration Waiver, which was approved in 2010 and will make up to roughly $8 billion in federal Medicaid matching funds available to California over a five-year period to expand coverage to low-income uninsured adults and preserve and improve…

Analysis of Medicare Prescription Drug Plans in 2011 and Key Trends Since 2006

This report presents findings from an analysis of the Medicare Part D marketplace in 2011 and changes in drug coverage and costs since 2006. It presents key findings related to Medicare drug plan premiums, the subsidy for low-income beneficiaries, the coverage gap, benefit design and cost sharing, formularies, and utilization…

Special Needs Plans: Availability and Enrollment

Special Needs Plans are a form of Medicare Advantage plan authorized to provide a managed care option for beneficiaries with significant or relatively specialized care needs, including Medicare beneficiaries who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, beneficiaries living in nursing homes or other institutions, and beneficiaries with severe chronic…

Pulling It Together: Are We Headed for a Government Takeover of Health Care?

Remember the “government takeover of the health care system” argument that critics of the health reform law have used?  Well, last week the Office of the Actuary in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published the latest projections of health spending in the journal Health Affairs.  Attention focused mainly…

An Overview of Changes in the Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAPs) for Medicaid

The joint federal-state financing of the Medicaid program works through a matching mechanism known as the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP). This mechanism determines the federal and state shares of Medicaid costs based on a state’s per capita personal income relative to the national average. While the FMAP formula has…

Preventing Chronic Disease: The New Public Health

There is a groundswell of activity in local communities to support healthier lifestyles and help people make long-lasting and sustainable changes that can reduce their risk for chronic diseases. A number of provisions in the health reform law are aimed directly at improving population health by addressing conditions where Americans…