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Turning the Spotlight on Medicare Advantage for 2017

Medicare Advantage plans, which consist primarily of HMOs and PPOs, now cover almost 18 million people – nearly one-third of all Medicare beneficiaries.  Medicare Advantage plans have been in the news lately because the proposed merger between Aetna and Humana, which together account for one-quarter of all Medicare Advantage enrollees,…

Medicare Advantage Plans in 2017: Short-term Outlook is Stable

This issue brief analyzes the number and variety of Medicare Advantage plan choices available to beneficiaries in 2017. It describes trends in number of Medicare Advantage plans and plan quality ratings, and new information on plan premiums, out-of-pocket expense limits, and other plan features. This spotlight is part of a series of spotlights tracking key changes in the Medicare Advantage program.

What Might a Repeal of the Affordable Care Act Mean for Medicare?

As Republican policymakers consider how to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they are likely to face a number of decisions about whether to retain any of the law’s changes to Medicare. Repealing the ACA has potential implications for Medicare spending, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders, according to a…

Few People Switch Medicare Advantage Plans Each Year, Raising Questions About Whether Seniors Have the Tools and Information They Need To Compare Plans  

A small share of Medicare Advantage enrollees switch plans each year, but those who do tend to pick plans with lower premiums and out-of-pocket limits than the plans they left behind, according to a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Eleven percent of enrollees voluntarily switched from one Medicare…

Medicare Advantage Plan Switching: Exception or Norm?

The Medicare open enrollment period allows enrollees to compare plans, stick with their current plan, switch to another plan, or shift to traditional Medicare. This analysis examines the extent to which Medicare Advantage enrollees change plans when given the opportunity. It also analyzes the variation in the rate of plan switching by enrollee and plan characteristics and whether people who voluntarily switch plans tend to move to plans with lower premiums, lower out-of-pocket limits, or higher quality ratings.

Medicare Part D in 2016 and Trends over Time

This chartpack presents a summary of Part D enrollment, premiums, cost sharing, benefit design and other key trends in 2016 and changes over time. For 2016, the analysis finds that 40% of Part D enrollees are now in Medicare Advantage drug plans, and over half of all enrollees are in plans offered by just three firms. The chartpack also highlights some concerning trends in the Low-Income Subsidy market, with the fewest number of premium-free plans available since Part D started, and 1.5 million LIS enrollees paying premiums for coverage, even though they have premium-free options available.

The Facts on Medicare Spending and Financing

This issue brief examines the latest facts about Medicare spending and financing, includes the most recent historical and projected Medicare spending data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary (OACT), the 2016 annual report of the Boards of Medicare Trustees, and the 2016 Medicare baseline and projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). It discusses historical and projected spending trends, program financing, Medicare’s financial condition, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), and the future outlook.

Medicare Advantage Hospital Networks: How Much Do They Vary?

This report takes an in-depth look at Medicare Advantage plans’ hospital networks. The analysis draws upon data from 409 Medicare Advantage plans serving beneficiaries in 20 diverse counties that together accounted for about one in seven (14%) Medicare Advantage enrollees nationwide in 2015. The report examines the size and composition of plans’ hospital networks, the variation across counties, the inclusion of Academic Medical Centers and NCI-Designated Cancer Centers, and the relationship between network size and other plan features, including premiums, quality star ratings, per capita Medicare spending, parent organization, and plan tax status.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
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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.