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Health Affairs Blog: Medicare Premium Support Proposals Could Increase Costs for Today’s Seniors, Despite Assurances

In a Health Affairs blog post, Tricia Neuman and Gretchen Jacobson of the Kaiser Family Foundation examine how proposals to convert Medicare to a premium support system could lead to higher Medicare premiums and cost-sharing for seniors currently enrolled in the program, even if today’s seniors are “grandfathered” and the new system is phased-in for people ages 55 and younger. The blog post explains how today’s seniors could face higher health care costs, if older beneficiaries are separated, at least actuarially, from younger ones. Lawmakers could implement policies to prevent cost increases for seniors, but doing so would reduce Medicare savings, a key objective of many premium support proposals.

Medicaid’s Role for Medicare Beneficiaries

This brief outlines Medicaid’s role for Medicare beneficiaries. It describes the role that Medicaid plays for 10 million Medicare beneficiaries to help inform upcoming debates about proposals to restructure Medicaid financing in ways that could reduce federal funding.

Data Note: Data Do Not Support Relationship Between States’ Medicaid Expansion Status and Home and Community-Based Services Waiver Waiting Lists

Some policymakers have been discussing whether state choices to adopt the ACA’s Medicaid expansion come at the expense of providing Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) to seniors and people with disabilities. This data note analyzes Medicaid HCBS waiver waiting list data for 2014 and 2015 and concludes that there does not appear to be a relationship between a state’s Medicaid expansion status and changes in its HCBS waiver waiting list.

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 Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
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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.