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Medicare Payments and Beneficiary Costs for Prescription Drug Coverage

This March 2007 issue brief, commissioned by the Kaiser Family Foundation, provides a basic introduction to the reimbursement system for private Medicare drug plans. It explains the system of plan bidding and payment, including the special provisions for low-income enrollees, and considers how aspects of the payment system may affect…

Papers on Issues For People With Medicare Raised By Proposed Drug Benefit Regulations

Papers on Issues For People With Medicare Raised By Proposed Drug Benefit RegulationsThe Kaiser Family Foundation has commissioned a series of papers to explore key issues that may be of concern for Medicare beneficiaries as the new Medicare drug benefit is implemented. These papers focus on specific areas of potential…

Summary of the Proposed Rule to Implement the New Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit

In August 2004, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published a proposed rule to implement the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit (Title I of the Medicare Modernization Act). Given the high level of interest in the proposed rules for implementing the Medicare drug benefit, the Kaiser Family Foundation commissioned Health…

Medicare Advantage: The Role of Private Health Plans in Medicare Tutorial

This tutorial was produced for kaiserEDU.org, a Kaiser Family Foundation website that ceased production in September 2013. The kaiserEDU.org tutorials are no longer being updated but have been made available on kff.org due to demand by professors who are using the tutorials in class assignments. You may search for other tutorials to…

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.

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…

Visualizing Health Policy: The Role of Medicare Advantage

This Visualizing Health Policy infographic provides a snapshot of the role of Medicare Advantage plans, an alternative to traditional Medicare, including information about the proportion of Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, geographic differences in Medicare Advantage penetration, the trend of increasing enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans,…

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.

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.

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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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.