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2006 Kaiser/Hewitt Retiree Health Benefits Survey

The 2006 Kaiser/Hewitt survey of large businesses that provide retiree health benefits to their workers assesses their evolving responses to the new Medicare drug benefit in 2006. It also looks at the rising costs and changing benefits of retiree health coverage overall in 2006, as well as the outlook for…

Voices of Beneficiaries: Medicare Part D Insights and Observations One Year Later

This report describes the views and experiences of 35 Medicare beneficiaries under the new drug benefit in advance of the 2007 open enrollment period. The report finds that drug plan enrollees generally say that they are satisfied with their drug coverage and have not encountered major difficulties using their plan.…

Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlight: Specialty Tiers

This Medicare Part D data spotlight focuses on the use of specialty tiers for high-cost and injectible drugs in Medicare Prescription Drug Plans in 2008. It finds that the number of plans with specialty tiers has nearly doubled since 2006. It also looks at the drugs assigned to specialty tiers,…

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…

Primers on Key Health Care Topics and Programs

The Kaiser Family Foundation maintains a number of primers providing overviews of key health care programs and issues. Written by Foundation staff, each primer provides key data and information that helps illustrate the topic and its relevance for the nation's health care system.Medicaid: A PrimerMedicare: A PrimerThe Uninsured: A PrimerHealth…

Medicarer Part D 2010 Data Spotlight: Coverage of Top Brand-Name and Specialty Drugs

This Part D Data Spotlight documents the wide variations across the private stand-alone drug plans with respect to coverage of drugs, what enrollees pay for those drugs, and restrictions and limitations placed on their use. These variations have potentially significant implications for beneficiaries’ access to medications and out-of-pocket costs. The…

Medicare Part D 2011 Data Spotlight: The Coverage Gap

This data spotlight examines the availability of gap coverage in the private Medicare Part D drug plans offered to beneficiaries in 2011, the first year of the phase-out of the gap, as required under the 2010 health reform law. The changes for 2011 include a 50 percent discount on brand-name…

Medicare Part D Spending Trends: Understanding Key Drivers and the Role of Competition

This brief commissioned by the Foundation examines factors that contributed to Medicare’s lower-than-expected spending on prescription drugs under the Medicare Part D drug benefit that started in 2006. Since its launch, Medicare has spent about 30 percent less on Part D benefits than the Congressional Budget Office originally projected. Some…

The Part D Experience: What are the Lessons for Broader Medicare Reform?

Launched in 2006, Medicare added a prescription drug benefit that relies entirely on private plans, while, for other benefits, beneficiaries have a choice between private health plans and traditional fee-for-service Medicare. As policymakers consider changes to Medicare that would give an even greater role to private health plans in caring…