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Demand Effects of Recent Changes in Prescription Drug Promotion

The rapid increase in DTC advertising for prescription drugs has focused attention on its role in drug spending and prescribing. A new study by researchers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology looks at the effect of direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising on spending for prescription drugs. The study found…

Medicare Prescription Drugs Through Private Drug-Only Plans: A Discussion with Actuaries

Central to the current debate over Medicare prescription drug coverage is the role of private insurance plans in providing drug benefits to Medicare beneficiaries. This report offers views from health actuaries knowledgeable about the Medicare program and the prescription drug debate on key issues that emerge for potential plan sponsors,…

Medicare Cost-Sharing: Implications for Beneficiaries

Tricia Neuman, Vice President and Director of the Medicare Policy Project, testified on behalf of herself and Thomas Rice, Ph.D., of UCLA’s School of Public Health, before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health on cost-sharing requirements under Medicare and supplemental Medigap policies. The statement reviews Medicare beneficiaries’ current…

How Do M+C Plans Manage Pharmacy Benefits? Implications for Medicare Reform

Understanding how Medicare+Choice (M+C) plans manage their drug benefits may generate important lessons for Medicare. This report, based on interviews with both national and regional managed care firms, provides an in-depth look at how plans have managed their M+C outpatient pharmacy benefits in recent years. Findings show that plans rely…

Regulation of Private Long-Term Care Insurance: Implementation Experience and Key Issues

Regulation of Private Long-Term Care Insurance: Implementation Experience and Key IssuesWhile private long-term care insurance (LTCI) has been available since the mid-1970s, its popularity has grown rapidly in recent years, and Congress is considering proposals that would further encourage LTCI purchase through expanded tax subsidies. Yet there has been little…

Private Long-Term Care Insurance:  Who Should Buy It and What Should They Buy?

Private Long-Term Care Insurance: Who Should Buy It and What Should They Buy?Despite the growing interest in private long-term care insurance (LTCI), there has been little independent examination of how much protection LTCI policies provide consumers or whether LTCI policies are a worthwhile purchase for people of average means. This…

Paying for Choice: The Cost Implications of Health Plan Options For People on Medicare

This report illustrates the financial stakes for Medicare beneficiaries when making choices about supplemental insurance coverage, by examining how much people on Medicare could spend out-of-pocket including premiums and other cost-sharing requirements under different supplemental insurance options. To assess the cost implications of choosing between different Medigap and Medicare+Choice insurance…

A Guide to Developing Assistance Programs for Health Care Consumers

The Health Rights Hotline, based in Sacramento, California, wasestablished in 1997 as a model to demonstrate and assess how anindependent assistance program can help consumers successfully accesscare, navigate the health care system, and improve the system for allhealth care consumers. Based on the experiences of the Health Rights Hotline, this…

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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.