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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…

Reaching for the Stars: Quality Ratings of Medicare Advantage Plans, 2011

New: Medicare Advantage Plan Star Ratings and Bonus Payments in 2012 In 2012, Medicare Advantage plans will be awarded additional payments based on their quality ratings as a result of the 2010 health reform law. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has proposed a demonstration that would modify 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…

Prescription Drug Discount Card Programs: Implications for Medicare Beneficiaries

This testimony was delivered by Tricia Neuman, a vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the Bush Administration's Proposals for Medicare Modernization. The statement, which draws upon a report prepared for the Foundation by Health Policy Alternatives, Inc., provides an overview of existing…

Medicare Prescription Drugs Through Private Drug-Only Plans: A Discussion with Actuaries

Central to the current debate over Medicare prescription drug coverage is the role of private insurance plans in providing drug benefits to Medicare beneficiaries. This report offers views from health actuaries knowledgeable about the Medicare program and the prescription drug debate on key issues that emerge for potential plan sponsors,…

A Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: Implications for Medicaid and Low-Income People

The Senate and House of Representatives each approved legislation in June of 2003 that would establish outpatient prescription drug coverage for Medicare beneficiaries as part of Medicare program reform. Among the key differences in the House and Senate bills that still must be addressed are the treatment of Medicaid beneficiaries…