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What’s in Store for Medicare’s Part B Premiums and Deductible in 2016, and Why?

As a result of the recently-enacted Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, the Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $121.80 in 2016 according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an increase of 16 percent over the 2015 amount for 30 percent of beneficiaries —far lower than the 52 percent increase initially projected by the Medicare actuaries. This Issue Brief reviews how Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles are affected by the recent budget deal (including the premium surcharge that covers the costs) and explains the connection between the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), Medicare premiums, and the “hold harmless” provision that will keep premiums flat for 70 percent of beneficiaries in 2016.

Medicaid’s Role for People with Dementia

This issue brief describes Medicaid’s role for people with dementia, including how they qualify, what services Medicaid provides, and what their utilization and spending is, and builds on our work examining Medicaid’s role for vulnerable populations and Medicaid’s role in the provision of long-term services and supports.

Medicare Part D: A First Look at Plan Offerings in 2016

During the Medicare open enrollment period, beneficiaries have the opportunity to enroll in a plan that provides Part D prescription drug coverage, either a stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP) to supplement traditional Medicare, or a Medicare Advantage drug plan. This issue brief provides an overview of the 2016 PDP marketplace, focusing on key changes from 2015, based on analysis of data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It presents analysis of PDP availability, premiums, benefit design, and low-income subsidy plans.

What’s In and What’s Out? Medicare Advantage Market Entries and Exits for 2016

This Issue Brief examines the availability of Medicare Advantage plans nationwide and by state in 2016, and tracks changes in plan availability since 2012. It documents the number and share of Medicare Advantage enrollees affected by plan withdrawals each year, the characteristics of plans that will be entering or exiting the market in 2016, and the potential implications of these changes for Medicare Advantage enrollees.

Dual Eligible Demonstrations: The Beneficiary Perspective

This issue brief provides insights about initial implementation of the financial alignment demonstrations from the perspective of dual eligible beneficiaries in Massachusetts, Ohio, and Virginia, based on 12 individual interviews conducted in early 2015. Profiles of six beneficiaries are presented to illustrate representative program experiences, along with key findings from across all of the interviews.

Medicare and Medicaid at 50 Years: Perspectives of Beneficiaries, Health Care Professionals and Institutions, and Policy Makers

In this article for the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Drew Altman and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader William Frist examine the roles the Medicaid and Medicare play in the health system today from the perspectives of the public and beneficiaries, providers, and policymakers, and discusses the challenges they face in the future. The article is accompanied by an audio interview with Altman and Frist, who is a member of the Foundation’s board of trustees.

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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.