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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicare Advantage 2015 Data Spotlight: Overview of Plan Changes

This issue brief analyzes the number and variety of Medicare Advantage plan choices available to beneficiaries in 2015. It describes trends in number of Medicare Advantage plans, plan premiums, and plan quality ratings, including changes in prescription drug coverage and limits on out-of-pocket expenses. This spotlight is part of a series of spotlights tracking key changes in the Medicare Advantage program.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

What Do We Know About Health Care Access and Quality in Medicare Advantage Versus the Traditional Medicare Program?

As the number of Medicare Advantage enrollees continues to climb, there is growing interest in understanding how the care provided to Medicare beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage plans differs from the care received by beneficiaries in traditional Medicare. This literature review of more than 40 studies synthesizes the evidence to date comparing access and quality for beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage plans and traditional Medicare.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

How Do Quality and Access Compare In Medicare Advantage Versus Traditional Medicare?

Today a record three in 10 Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Advantage health plans, mainly HMOs and PPOs, which are paid by the government to provide Medicare benefits to their enrollees. Given the projected rise in Medicare Advantage enrollment, an important question for both consumers and policymakers is how…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicare Advantage 2014 Spotlight: Enrollment Market Update

This Data Spotlight provides an overview of Medicare Advantage enrollment patterns in March 2014, and examines variations by plan type, state, and firm. It also analyzes trends in premiums paid by beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans and describes the changes in limits on out-of-pocket expenses and prescription drug coverage in the Part D “donut hole” provided by the plans in 2014.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

How are Seniors Choosing and Changing Health Insurance Plans?

This report summarizes first-hand accounts of seniors’ Medicare private plan decision making strategies, based on focus groups conducted in four cities. Seniors found the initial plan selection process overwhelming due to the volume of information they received and their inability to organize it. Few used the government’s online comparison tool, and those that did cite several shortcomings. Many relied on advice from sources they trust, including insurance agents, plan representatives, friends, family members, doctor’s offices and pharmacists. After they enroll in a plan, many seniors did not revisit their initial decision or review plan options without the strong provocation of a substantial increase in cost, change in coverage, or shift in personal health care needs. Moreover, they feared that a change in plans may disrupt their care, or lead to an unforeseen increase in out-of-pocket costs, and require them to learn new rules and requirements. They are doubtful they would end up in a plan that is appreciatively different or better for them. Overall, seniors preferred to have numerous choices in plans but would like personalized help and advice from experts to ease the process.

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Figure 1: Medicare Advantage Enrollment in 2014 Exceeds Projections by 6 Million Beneficiaries

Medicare Advantage: Take Another Look

This Policy Insight explores possible explanations for the continued rise in Medicare Advantage enrollment between 2010 and 2013 in spite of a projected decrease following payment changes in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Open Enrollment: Insights from Medicare for Health Insurance Marketplaces

This Policy Insight draws on the experiences of Medicare beneficiaries during Medicare’s annual enrollment period to consider whether consumers with health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s new marketplaces will shop for a better deal during their open enrollment season.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Open Enrollment: Insights from Medicare for Health Insurance Marketplaces

In the latest post in the Policy Insights series, Tricia Neuman draws on the experiences of Medicare beneficiaries during Medicare’s annual enrollment period to consider whether consumers with health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s new marketplaces will shop for a better deal during their open enrollment season. Previous columns in the Policy Insights series…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Health Affairs Article: At Least Half of New Medicare Advantage Enrollees Had Switched From Traditional Medicare During 2006-11

In an article in Health Affairs, researchers from the Kaiser Family Foundation counter the popular misperception that the steady rise in Medicare Advantage enrollment has been driven by members of the Baby Boom generation overwhelmingly choosing the private plans as they become eligible for Medicare. Their study examines the 2006-2011 growth in Medicare Advantage enrollment and finds that a majority of new enrollees in Medicare Advantage in each year were, in fact, seniors switching from traditional Medicare.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medigap Enrollment Among New Medicare Beneficiaries: How Many 65-Year Olds Enroll In Plans With First-Dollar Coverage?

On March 26, 2015, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which would replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, among other changes; the bill is currently pending in the U.S. Senate. H.R. 2 includes a provision that would prohibit Medicare supplemental insurance (Medigap) policies from covering the Part B deductible for people who become eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. This data note looks at the number and share of “new” Medicare beneficiaries who would be affected by the Medigap provision in H.R. 2, if it had been implemented in 2010, using the most current data sources available, and examines trends in Medigap enrollment among new beneficiaries since 2000.

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