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.
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Healthier and Wealthier, or Sicker and Poorer? Prospects for Medicare Beneficiaries Now and in the Future
This January 2014 briefing, co-sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Alliance for Health Reform, examines what is known about the health and economic security of Medicare beneficiaries today, as well as how current and future beneficiaries may be affected by the leading proposals that aim to achieve Medicare savings.
Medicare and the Federal Budget: Comparison of Medicare Provisions in Recent Federal Debt and Deficit Reduction Proposals
This brief provides a side-by-side comparison of Medicare provisions included in broad-based packages to reduce the deficit and debt put forward by the President and the Chairmen of the House and Senate Budget Committees. In addition, this brief summarizes Medicare provisions included in other deficit- and debt- reduction proposals released since January 2012 and describes recent activities that pertain to Medicare and the federal budget, including Medicare’s role in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the fiscal cliff and sequestration.
This data spotlight, co-authored by researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute, describes the income, savings, and home equity of current Medicare beneficiaries, considers variations by race, ethnicity and other demographic characteristics, and examines the extent to which income and assets are projected to be higher among the next generation of beneficiaries.
The Medicare program offers health and financial protection to nearly 50 million seniors and younger people with disabilities, though many beneficiaries still face significant out-of-pocket expenses. This analysis examines how much Medicare households spend on health-related expenses compared to other spending priorities and compared to non-Medicare households, the extent to which Medicare households’ health spending as a share of household budgets varies by age and poverty level, and changes in Medicare households’ health spending over time.
Comparing Poverty Rates under the Official Census Poverty Measure and the Supplemental Poverty Measure
This interactive graphic illustrates how poverty rates among seniors in each of the 50 states change under two different Census Bureau measures of poverty: the official poverty measure and an alternative supplemental poverty measure, which takes into account health care and housing costs among other factors.
Wide Disparities in the Income and Assets of People on Medicare by Race and Ethnicity: Now and in the Future
This report examines the income, savings, and home equity of current and future Medicare beneficiaries, focusing on racial/ethnic disparities. The report finds that these differences in the financial well-being of white, black and Hispanic beneficiaries persist across age, education level, marital status, and other demographic factors.
An Analysis of the Share of Medicare Beneficiaries Who Would Benefit from an Annual Out-of-Pocket Maximum under Traditional Medicare Over Multiple Years
This analysis examines the share of Medicare beneficiaries who would be helped over time if the program were to add a limit on out-of-pocket spending to traditional Medicare. This analysis was conducted jointly with the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) in response to a request made during a Feb. 26, 2013 hearing of the House Ways and Means’ Subcommittee on Health.
A State-by-State Snapshot of Poverty Among Seniors: Findings From Analysis of the Supplemental Poverty Measure
This brief analyzes poverty rates among seniors in each of the 50 states under two different Census Bureau measures of poverty: the official poverty measure and an alternative supplemental poverty measure, which takes into account health care and housing costs among other factors.
Juliette Cubanski, Associate Director of the Foundation’s Program on Medicare Policy, testified on Feb. 27, 2013 before the Senate Special Committee on Aging to provide an overview of the Medicare program and Medicare beneficiaries’ costs and service utilization. Testimony (.pdf)