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Medicarer Part D 2010 Data Spotlight: Coverage of Top Brand-Name and Specialty Drugs

This Part D Data Spotlight documents the wide variations across the private stand-alone drug plans with respect to coverage of drugs, what enrollees pay for those drugs, and restrictions and limitations placed on their use. These variations have potentially significant implications for beneficiaries’ access to medications and out-of-pocket costs. The…

More Than Meets the Eye: Long-Term Care Provisions in the New Reform Law

In the debates around the health reform law and its implementation, little attention has been given to the law’s provisions supporting long-term care. This briefing offered an overview of these provisions, such as the CLASS Act, a new national, voluntary insurance program to help working adults finance services and supports…

Reaching for the Stars: Quality Ratings of Medicare Advantage Plans, 2011

New: Medicare Advantage Plan Star Ratings and Bonus Payments in 2012 In 2012, Medicare Advantage plans will be awarded additional payments based on their quality ratings as a result of the 2010 health reform law. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has proposed a demonstration that would modify the…

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…

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…

Pulling It Together: Bono, Jon Stewart and the HIV/AIDS Message

One of the most interesting conversations on a health topic happened recently on The Daily Show between Bono and Jon Stewart. Bono told Stewart that we were “at the beginning of the end of the AIDS epidemic,” promising an announcement the next day that would explain how a combination of…

Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program Provisions in the New Health Reform Law

This brief compares the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program provisions in the new health reform law with pre-reform law governing those programs. The analysis focuses on Medicaid coverage and financing changes; how Medicaid and CHIP will interface with a new health insurance exchange and other Medicaid benefits and access…

Medicare Advantage 2010 Data Spotlight: Plan Availability and Premiums

This data spotlight examines changes in the availability and premiums of private Medicare Advantage options for Medicare beneficiaries in 2010 as the annual open enrollment period begins. While the number of plans available in 2010 declined somewhat from 2009, the analysis finds that Medicare beneficiaries on average have 33 Medicare…