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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…

The Nuts and Bolts of Medicare Premium Support Proposals

In April 2011, as part of its 2012 budget resolution, the U.S. House included a proposal to reduce Medicare spending by transforming the program into a system sometimes called “premium support” or vouchers. Such an approach also has been a central element of other proposals by national leaders seeking to…

The Role of Medicare and Beneficiaries in the Deficit-Reduction Debate

This Kaiser Family Foundation briefing examined how Medicare reform options now under consideration might work and their implications for beneficiaries and taxpayers. As context for understanding the potential effects of reforms, the briefing looked at the current and projected income and assets of people on Medicare, out-of pocket health care…