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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.

Transforming Medicare into a Premium Support System: Implications for Beneficiary Premiums

This study illustrates why geography would matter for Medicare beneficiaries under a premium support system that relies on a competitive bidding process envisioned under several key Medicare reform proposals. It examines potential changes in the premiums paid by Medicare beneficiaries under a payment approach that caps federal contributions per beneficiary…

The Nuts and Bolts of Medicare Premium Support Proposals

In April 2011, as part of its 2012 budget resolution, the U.S. House included a proposal to reduce Medicare spending by transforming the program into a system sometimes called “premium support” or vouchers. Such an approach also has been a central element of other proposals by national leaders seeking to…

Restructuring Medicare’s Benefit Design: Implications for Beneficiaries and Spending

Several deficit-reduction plans have proposed combining Medicare’s separate deductibles for hospital and physician services, standardizing cost sharing across types of benefits, and establishing a new limit on annual out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries. A new Kaiser Family Foundation study examines the potential implications of proposals to revamp Medicare’s cost-sharing requirements as…

Making Ends Meet: The Medicare Generation

This short Kaiser Family Foundation documentary profiles the experiences of three Medicare families trying to pay for their health care costs with other household spending. The families are among 16 featured in a companion report examining the role Medicare now plays in the lives of beneficiaries and the challenges many…

Comparison of Medicare Premium Support Proposals

This brief provides a side-by-side comparison of recent proposals to transform Medicare into a premium support program and slow the future growth in Medicare spending. These proposals each would convert Medicare from a defined benefit program, in which beneficiaries are guaranteed coverage for a fixed set of benefits, to a…

Policy Options to Sustain Medicare for the Future

With Medicare expected to be a key part of Washington’s ongoing debate about solutions to reduce the federal budget and national debt, this report serves as a compendium of policy options that may be discussed in upcoming budget debates. The report presents a wide array of options in several areas and lays out the possible implications of these options for Medicare beneficiaries, health care providers, and others, as well as estimates of potential savings, when available.