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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Explaining Health Reform: Key Changes in the Medicare Advantage Program

This brief examines the changes in the 2010 health reform law affecting the Medicare Advantage program, which gives beneficiaries the option of enrolling in private insurance plans for their Medicare benefits, instead of the traditional fee-for-service program. The reform law will gradually reduce Medicare payments to these plans to bring…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Summary of Key Changes to Medicare in 2010 Health Reform Law   

This brief provides a detailed look at the improvements in Medicare benefits, changes to payments for providers and Medicare Advantage plans, various demonstration projects and other Medicare provisions in the law. It includes a timeline of key dates for implementing the Medicare-related provisions in the law. Issue Brief (.pdf) Earlier…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicare: A Primer

This primer explains key elements of the Medicare program, which now provides health coverage to 47 million people — including 39 million people age 65 and older and another 8 million younger adults with permanent disabilities. It looks at the characteristics of the Medicare population, what benefits are covered, how…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicare Advantage 2010 Data Spotlights

Now Available: 2011 Medicare Advantage Spotlight: Plan Availability and Premiums The Kaiser Family Foundation has issued a series of data spotlight looking at the 2010 Medicare Advantage plan options and trends around the Medicare Advantage plan. These spotlights were prepared by a team of researchers at Mathematica Policy Research Inc.…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicare Advantage 2010 Data Spotlight: Benefits and Cost-Sharing

This data spotlight examines trends in benefits and cost-sharing for Medicare Advantage plans in 2010, including the wide variations found across plans and the rapid increase in cost sharing requirements for some benefits, including stays in skilled nursing facilities. It also examines the annual limits on out-of-pocket spending set by…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Low-Income Assistance Under the Medicare Drug Benefit

This fact sheet provides an overview of the Medicare drug benefit and the additional subsidies available to certain eligible low-income beneficiaries. Fact Sheet – December 2009 (.pdf)

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

What’s in the Stars? Quality Ratings of Medicare Advantage Plans, 2010

NEW: Foundation brief looks at implications of 2011 quality ratings for Medicare Advantage plans. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rates the relative quality of the private plans that are offered to Medicare beneficiaries through the Medicare Advantage program as a way of aiding beneficiaries who are considering…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Examining Sources of Supplemental Insurance and Prescription Drug Coverage Among Medicare Beneficiaries: Findings from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, 2007

This updated chartpack presents sources of supplemental and prescription drug coverage among Medicare beneficiaries in 2007, the most recent year for which national data are available. The chartpack looks at variations in supplemental and prescription drug coverage by income, race/ethnicity, age, urban/rural location, and health status. It also examines characteristics…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

The Obama Administration’s 2010 Call Letter for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans: Implications for Beneficiaries

On March 30, 2009, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued the 2010 “call letter,” which functions as a request for proposals to private health insurers and organizations that want to sponsor Medicare Advantage Plans or Medicare Prescription Drug Plans. This issue brief reviews the call letter — the first issued…

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