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How Much Is Enough? Out-of-Pocket Spending Among Medicare Beneficiaries: A Chartbook

This new analysis and chartbook examines out-of-pocket spending among Medicare beneficiaries, including spending on health and long-term care services and insurance premiums, using the most current year of data available from a nationally representative survey of people on Medicare. It explores which types of services account for a relatively large share of out-of-pocket spending, which groups of beneficiaries (including by age, gender, health status, and chronic conditions) are especially hard hit by high out-of-pocket costs, and trends in out-of-pocket spending between 2000 and 2010.

Medicaid Spending Growth in the Great Recession and Its Aftermath, FY 2007-2012

This report presents data on changes in Medicaid’s enrollment and spending between federal fiscal year 2007 and federal fiscal year 2012, a period which includes the worst economic downturn in the United States since the Great Depression. The paper also examines what factors drove Medicaid spending over the period, and concludes that overall spending growth from 2007 to 2012 was driven largely by the enrollment growth that resulted from many people losing jobs and income during the recession. However, on a per enrollee basis, Medicaid spending has grown more slowly than other sectors of the health system.

Paying for Prescribed Drugs in Medicaid: Current Policy and Upcoming Changes

The federal government has proposed new rules that aim to make Medicaid outpatient drug reimbursement policies more closely match the cost of obtaining and filling prescriptions. However, the change in policy may have varying effects on reimbursement, depending on the state’s current approach and the type of drug in question. This paper explains current Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement methodology and examines the potential effect of the proposed rule changes.

The Next Big Health-Care Issue

Drew Altman, in The Wall Street Journal‘s Think Tank, writes that the next big concern for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be how much premiums increase in exchanges for 2015. He discusses the factors to focus on to put this issue in perspective when states report premium increases.

The Health-Cost Problem Is Coming Back

Drew Altman, in The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, discusses how the conversation will soon shift back to health-care costs from health coverage, because they are rising more sharply again. And as the discussion turns back, he says that because there is no national agreement on a strategy to address increasing costs, current efforts in the public and private sector, however fragmented and uncoordinated, will need to step up their game.

Report Examines Current Role and Future Outlook of Retiree Health Coverage

A new Kaiser Family Foundation report examines the current role and future outlook of employer-sponsored retiree health benefits for pre-65 and Medicare-eligible retirees. Retiree Health Benefits At the Crossroads reviews recent trends and developments in employer-sponsored retiree health coverage and examines the impact of recent legislation, such as the Medicare…

Retiree Health Benefits At the Crossroads

This issue brief reviews recent trends and developments in employer-sponsored retiree health coverage and examines the impact of recent legislation, such as the Medicare drug benefit and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on retiree health coverage. The report describes leading strategies employers have been pursuing or considering to limit costs for retiree health benefits. In addition, the report considers the potential implications of proposals aimed at reducing federal spending for retiree health coverage and costs.