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Searching for Savings in Medicare Drug Price Negotiations

In response to higher drug spending growth and heightened attention to drug prices, some policymakers have proposed allowing 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.

Medicare Part D: A First Look at Prescription Drug Plans in 2017

This issue brief provides an overview of the 2017 Medicare Part D stand-alone prescription drug plan marketplace, based on analysis of data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The brief focuses on data for 2017 and changes over time in plan availability, premiums, benefit design, cost sharing, and low-income subsidy plan availability.

The Gap in Medigap

This policy insight examines the low rate of Medigap coverage among people under age 65 with disabilities on Medicare and the federal law that governs consumer rights and protections related to Medigap open enrollment.

10 FAQs: Medicare’s Role in End-of-Life Care

About eight of 10 of the 2.6 million people who died in the US in 2014 were people on Medicare, making Medicare the largest insurer of health care provided during the last year of life. These Frequently Asked Questions explain Medicare’s role in or coverage of end-of-life care, advance care planning, advance directives, and hospice care. They also provide information on Medicare spending on end-of-life care, changes to the physician fee schedule, and how related issues arose prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

The Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit

This fact sheet includes the latest information and data for 2017 about the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit, including current plan information, the standard benefit parameters, low-income assistance, the latest available enrollment data, and Part D program spending and financing.

Medicare Part D in 2016 and Trends over Time

This chartpack presents a summary of Part D enrollment, premiums, cost sharing, benefit design and other key trends in 2016 and changes over time. For 2016, the analysis finds that 40% of Part D enrollees are now in Medicare Advantage drug plans, and over half of all enrollees are in plans offered by just three firms. The chartpack also highlights some concerning trends in the Low-Income Subsidy market, with the fewest number of premium-free plans available since Part D started, and 1.5 million LIS enrollees paying premiums for coverage, even though they have premium-free options available.

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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.