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Fading Fast: Fewer Seniors Have Retiree Health Insurance

Employer- and union-sponsored retiree health benefits have served as an important source of supplemental coverage for people on Medicare, but over time, this coverage has been eroding. This Data Note draws upon five national surveys to document the decline in retirement health insurance coverage, and discusses the implications for seniors and retiring Boomers.

An Overview of Medicare

This issue brief provides an overview of Medicare, the health insurance program for people ages 65 and over and younger people with permanent disabilities. The brief review the characteristics of people on Medicare, what Medicare covers, benefit gaps and supplemental coverage, beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket health care spending, program spending and financing, payment and delivery system reform, and issues for the future of Medicare.

Profile of Medicare Beneficiaries by Race and Ethnicity: A Chartpack

This chartpack draws on data and analysis from a variety of sources to profile the Medicare population through the lens of race and ethnicity, describing life expectancy, demographic characteristics, income and savings, health status and chronic conditions, supplemental coverage, selected measures of access to care, and service utilization.

Medicaid Financial Eligibility for Seniors and People with Disabilities in 2015

This report describes state variation in financial eligibility criteria and adoption of different options in the major Medicaid state plan eligibility pathways related to age and disability based on a 50-state survey. It also discusses how the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion affects eligibility for people with disabilities, describes optional state take-up of the ACA’s streamlined eligibility renewal procedures for age and disability-related pathways to date, and identifies issues to watch related to state policy changes in these areas.

Searching for Savings in Medicare Drug Price Negotiations

In response to higher drug spending growth and heightened attention to drug prices, some policymakers and presidential candidates are proposing to allow Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. This issue brief provides a short history of this proposal, describes various approaches, and assessments of their potential savings from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and considers the prospects for action in the future.

Although a Small Share of Medicare Part D Enrollees Take Specialty Drugs, A New Analysis Finds Those Who Do Can Face Thousands of Dollars in Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs Despite Plan Limits on Catastrophic Expenses

Some Medicare Part D enrollees can expect to pay thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for a single specialty drug in 2016, even though Part D plans provide substantial protection against catastrophic costs, according to a new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The findings illustrate how high prescription drug prices, one…

It Pays to Shop: Variation in Out-of-Pocket Costs for Medicare Part D Enrollees in 2016

This analysis focuses on out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare Part D enrollees in 2016 for specialty, brand, and generic drugs. Part D drug plans differ considerably in the drugs they list on their formularies, their use of formulary tiers, and the level and structure of cost sharing applied to those tiers. Plan decisions affect different beneficiaries in different ways, depending on the drugs they use. The financial consequences for Part D plan enrollees can be substantial. In addition to examining costs for common drugs, we also examine profiles of multiple drugs for several hypothetical Part D enrollees.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.