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Income and Assets of Medicare Beneficiaries, 2016-2035

This issue brief, co-authored by researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute, describes the income, savings, and home equity of current Medicare beneficiaries, considers variations by race, ethnicity and other demographic characteristics, and examines the extent to which income and assets are projected to be higher among the next generation of beneficiaries.

What Could a Medicaid Per Capita Cap Mean for Low-Income People on Medicare?

Policymakers are currently considering proposals that would fundamentally change the structure and financing of Medicaid, and potentially affect 11 million people on Medicare. This brief discusses the potential implications of Medicaid per capita cap or block grant proposals for the 11 million low-income seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare. It also describes how the per capita cap model proposed in the American Health Care Act could potentially affect low-income people on Medicare who receive assistance from Medicaid.

Data Note: Three Findings about Access to Care and Health Outcomes in Medicaid

The Medicaid program covers 74 million low-income Americans, including many of the poorest and sickest people in our society. Among those served are pregnant women and children, parents and other adults, poor seniors, and people with disabilities. Given Medicaid’s major coverage role and the complex needs of the populations it covers, data and evidence on access to care and health outcomes in Medicaid are of key interest. Such an assessment is also important to ensure that debate about the effectiveness of the Medicaid program is grounded in facts and analysis. This Data Note discusses what the research shows.

Medicaid Pocket Primer

Medicaid, the nation’s public health insurance program for people with low income, covers 1 in 5 Americans, including many with complex and costly health care needs. Medicaid is also the primary source of long-term care coverage in the U.S. State and federal Medicaid dollars provide significant financing for our health care system and finance over 16% of personal health spending. This primer outlines fundamentals of the Medicaid program.

Improving the Affordability of Coverage through the Basic Health Program in Minnesota and New York

To date, Minnesota and New York are the only states to have adopted a Basic Health Program (BHP), an option in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that permits state-administered coverage in lieu of marketplace coverage for those with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL) who would otherwise qualify for marketplace subsidies. BHP covers adults with incomes between 138-200% of FPL and lawfully present non-citizens with incomes below 138% FPL whose immigration status makes them ineligible for Medicaid. This brief reviews Minnesota’s and New York’s approaches to BHP and assesses BHP’s impact on consumers, marketplaces, and state costs. Although there is uncertainty around the future of the ACA (including BHP) following the 2016 election, BHP implementation offers important lessons for consideration in future reforms about structuring coverage programs for low-income uninsured consumers.

Explaining Health Care Reform: Questions About Health Insurance Subsidies

This brief describes health insurance subsidies available through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces, including premium subsidies that would be provided in the form of tax credits, as well as other subsidies that would lower cost sharing to eligible Americans. It provides details on who is eligible for the assistance, the maximum repayment limits for the credits, and out-of-pocket spending limits.

Key Facts about the Uninsured Population

This fact sheet describes how coverage has changed under the ACA, examines the characteristics of the uninsured population, and summarizes the access and financial implications of not having coverage.

Modifying Traditional Medicare’s Benefit Design Could Reduce Federal Spending But With Cost Tradeoffs Between Beneficiaries and The Federal Government

Revamping traditional Medicare’s benefit design and restricting “first-dollar” supplemental coverage could reduce federal spending, simplify cost sharing, protect against high medical costs, decrease out-of-pocket spending for many beneficiaries, and provide more help to those with low incomes — but would be unlikely to achieve all of these goals simultaneously.

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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.