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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.

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.

Health Cost Growth Is Down, Or Not. It Depends Who You Ask.

In this Policy Insight, Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman explores the disconnect between experts, national studies and the public about whether health care costs are slowing or accelerating—it’s a matter of perspective.

How Much of the Medicare Spending Slowdown Can be Explained? Insights and Analysis from 2014

This paper identifies and quantifies, to the extent possible, the factors that explain the gap between actual Medicare spending in 2014 and CBO’s 2009 projections of what Medicare spending would be this year. The study synthesizes information from a variety of sources and presents new analysis to assess the extent to which lower-than-projected Medicare spending in 2014 can be explained by deliberate policy and program changes, unexpected trends, and other factors.

Visualizing Health Policy: Medicare Spending: A Look at Present, Short-Term and Long-Term Trends

This Visualizing Health Policy infographic with the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) provides an overview of Medicare spending trends in the present, short term and long term. In the long term, Medicare spending as a share of the economy is projected to grow, and Medicare is projected to lack sufficient funds to pay all hospital bills beginning in 2030.

Visualizing Health Policy: Medicare Spending: A Look at Present, Short-Term and Long-Term Trends

This Visualizing Health Policy infographic provides an overview of Medicare spending, including information on current federal spending relative to other government programs (e.g., Social Security) and percent-share of spending across Medicare services, as well as projected Medicare spending over the next decade and beyond. Recent federal spending on Medicare is…