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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…

Medicare Part D 2010 Data Spotlight: The Coverage Gap

This data spotlight examines the coverage gap, or “doughnut hole,” in Medicare stand-alone drug plans available in 2010. While in the gap in coverage, Part D enrollees (other than those receiving low-income subsidies) are required to pay 100 percent of total drug costs until they reach the catastrophic coverage level.…

Medicare Part D 2010 Data Spotlight: Premiums

Medicare Part D helps cover the cost of outpatient prescription drugs for 27 million beneficiaries enrolled in private stand-alone prescription drug plans (PDPs) and Medicare Advantage prescription drug (MA-PD) plans. The majority of Part D enrollees pay a monthly premium for Medicare drug coverage. This data spotlight examines premiums for…

Raising Medicare Premiums for Higher-Income Beneficiaries: Assessing the Implications

As policymakers consider ways to slow the growth in Medicare spending as part of broader efforts to reduce the federal debt or offset the cost of other spending priorities, some have proposed to increase beneficiary contributions through higher Medicare premiums. This issue brief explains provisions of current law that impose income-related premiums under Medicare Part B and Part D, describes recent proposals to modify these requirements, and analyzes the potential implications for the Medicare population.

Medicare and Prescription Drugs, Fact Sheet

This fact sheet, updated in April 2003, profiles current sources of prescription drug coverage among the Medicare population, describes the characteristics of beneficiaries who lack drug coverage and the implications of being without such coverage, and provides current data on prescription drug use and spending. Fact Sheet (.pdf)

Medicare Part D: A First Look at Part D Plan Offerings in 2013

This data spotlight examines the stand-alone Part D drug plan options available to Medicare beneficiaries in 2013 during the open enrollment period, which runs from October 15 to December 7, 2012. The analysis is the first in a series of planned reports examining the private plan choices available to Medicare…

The Role of Health Coverage for People with Disabilities

People with disabilities are at risk in the health-care system because of their wide-ranging health-care needs, their relatively heavy use of prescription drugs, health-care and support services, and typically low incomes. A new survey of people with permanent mental and/or physical disabilities explores their health-care experiences and challenges in accessing…