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Explaining Health Reform: Medicare and the New Independent Payment Advisory Board

This brief describes how the new board created under the 2010 health reform law is expected to limit the growth in Medicare spending over time. Starting in 2014, if projected per capita Medicare spending exceeds targets set in the law, the board must recommend ways to reduce Medicare spending, while…

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…

Medicare Advantage Plan Star Ratings and Bonus Payments in 2012

This report looks at the star ratings that have been used for many years to help consumers compare plans, and examines how Medicare Advantage quality scores will interact with plan payments, beginning in 2012. To encourage Medicare Advantage plans to provide quality care, the 2010 health reform law authorized Medicare…

The Landscape of Private Firms Offering Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage in 2006

describes key characteristics of the organizations that offer the new Medicare drug benefit and analyzes how companies are positioning themselves to attract Medicare enrollees.• Seven of the 10 organizations that sponsor stand-alone prescription drug plans nationwide are based in commercial insurance firms with substantial Medicare Advantage experience, and three of…

Medicare Advantage Fact Sheet

This fact sheet provides an overview of the Medicare Advantage program, describes program changes made by the new health reform law in plan participation and beneficiary enrollment, presents data on benefits and premiums, and explains changes in Medicare payments to participating plans.

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…

A Primer on Medicare Financing

As Congress and the Administration increasingly focus on the nation’s budget deficit, many policy experts and several bipartisan deficit reduction panels have proposed significant changes to Medicare to reduce federal spending and address rising health care costs. This primer provides an overview of Medicare spending trends, how the program is…

The Emerging Role of Group Medicare Private Fee-for-Service Plans

This issue brief examines the recent boom in Medicare Advantage enrollment attributable to employers contracting with Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans to cover their Medicare-eligible retirees. Between 2006 and 2008, the number of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage group plans nearly doubled from 900,000 to nearly 1.7 million as of…

Views of the New Medicare Drug Law – Chartpack By Income Group

This comprehensive survey of people on Medicare, conducted in June and July 2004, assesses their attitudes toward the new Medicare drug law. This chartpack, issued in September 2004, presents additional analysis on the survey data, looking at key findings broken down by income group.Chartpack (.pdf)

Prescription Drug Spending Under The MMA: Modeling The Impact On Out-of-Pocket Costs

This report projects the impact of the new Medicare drug benefit on out-of-pocket spending for people who enroll in 2006. The analysis is based on a model developed by the Actuarial Research Corporation for the Kaiser Family Foundation. The model generally conforms to the Congressional Budget Office’s assumptions and projections…