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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: 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…

Medicare Advantage 2010 Data Spotlight: Benefits and Cost-Sharing

This data spotlight examines trends in benefits and cost-sharing for Medicare Advantage plans in 2010, including the wide variations found across plans and the rapid increase in cost sharing requirements for some benefits, including stays in skilled nursing facilities. It also examines the annual limits on out-of-pocket spending set by…

Medicare Advantage 2010 Data Spotlights

Now Available: 2011 Medicare Advantage Spotlight: Plan Availability and Premiums The Kaiser Family Foundation has issued a series of data spotlight looking at the 2010 Medicare Advantage plan options and trends around the Medicare Advantage plan. These spotlights were prepared by a team of researchers at Mathematica Policy Research Inc.…

Low-Income Assistance Under the Medicare Drug Benefit

This fact sheet provides an overview of the Medicare drug benefit and the additional subsidies available to certain eligible low-income beneficiaries. Fact Sheet – December 2009 (.pdf)

Medicare Part D 2010 Data Spotlight: Benefit Design and Cost Sharing

The Medicare Modernization Act established a defined standard drug benefit for Part D stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plans, while giving plans flexibility to offer alternative benefit designs. Only about one in 10 PDPs offer the standard benefit in 2010. Plan sponsors can offer…

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…

Medicare Advantage 2010 Data Spotlight: Plan Availability and Premiums

This data spotlight examines changes in the availability and premiums of private Medicare Advantage options for Medicare beneficiaries in 2010 as the annual open enrollment period begins. While the number of plans available in 2010 declined somewhat from 2009, the analysis finds that Medicare beneficiaries on average have 33 Medicare…