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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…

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 Spotlight: Part D Plan Availability in 2010 and Key Changes Since 2006

This initial analysis examines the stand-alone Medicare drug plan options that will be available to beneficiaries in 2010, including the number of available plans, premiums for those plans, and benefit designs. About two-thirds of the nearly 27 million Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in Part D plans get their coverage…

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…

Medicare Part D Update: Lessons Learned and Unfinished Business

Enacted in 2003, Medicare’s Part D prescription drug benefit reflected an unprecedented and controversial new approach for Medicare, relying exclusively on private plans to provide health coverage and including an unusual gap in coverage. This analysis by Kaiser researchers examines in detail how the new model has worked since its…

Medicare Part D 2009 Data Spotlight: Specialty Tiers

Most Medicare Part D prescription drug plans use tiers with different cost-sharing amounts for generic, preferred, and non-preferred drugs, and also include an additional “specialty” tier for very high cost and unique drugs. This 2009 Part D Data Spotlight examines use of the specialty tier, including the numbers and kinds…