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Harvard and Growth in Health Care Cost Sharing

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman explains why recent discussion of Harvard University’s introduction of new health insurance cost sharing measures amounted to “making a mountain out of a mole hill”.

New Report on the “Rising Cost of Living Longer” Details Medicare Spending by Age

A new report, The Rising Cost of Living Longer: Analysis of Medicare Spending by Age for Beneficiaries in Traditional Medicare, from the Kaiser Family Foundation takes a detailed look at per person Medicare spending by age and by service among the nearly 30 million people covered by traditional Medicare in 2011

The Rising Cost of Living Longer: Analysis of Medicare Spending by Age for Beneficiaries in Traditional Medicare

This analysis provides a detailed look at per person Medicare spending on the nearly 30 million beneficiaries over age 65 who are enrolled in the traditional Medicare program. Among the key findings of the report is that per person spending rises with age, peaking at age 96. But this rise is not entirely explained by Medicare spending on end of life care, which declines with age. What Medicare spends money on also changes as beneficiaries age. Hospital care is the largest component of Medicare spending throughout the age curve, up to age 100, but there is less spending on physician services and more on home health, skilled nursing and hospice care as beneficiaries age.

High Health-Care Prices: More Talk Than Action  

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman explores how price is the major factor that distinguishes the cost of our health care system from those in other developed nations, yet most efforts in the U.S. to address health-care costs don’t focus on price much…

High Health-Care Prices: More Talk Than Action

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman explores how price is the major factor that distinguishes the cost of our health care system from those in other developed nations, yet most efforts in the U.S. to address health-care costs don’t focus on price much at all.

New Policy Insight Examines Medical Debt Among Insured Consumers

In this new policy insight, Kaiser Family Foundation Senior Fellow Karen Pollitz explores how high cost sharing in health insurance plans can contribute to an individual’s medical debt, and explains how greater transparency in plan details could help consumers avoid some financial pitfalls. Medical Debt Among Insured Consumers: The Role…

Medical Debt Among Insured Consumers: The Role of Cost Sharing, Transparency, and Consumer Assistance

This policy insight examines medical debt among insured consumers, exploring how high cost sharing in health insurance plans can contribute, and explaining how greater transparency could help consumers avoid some financial pitfalls. It also provides an update on provisions of the Affordable Care Act meant to increase health plan transparency and bolster consumer assistance.

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…