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Briefing – Medicare: A Primer

This briefing provided an overview of the Medicare program and its role in the health care system. Panelists discussed who is eligible for Medicare, what benefits are covered and how the program is administered. Medicare financing and the program’s role in health reform was also explained. More information on Medicare…

Medicare Advantage Plan Star Ratings and Bonus Payments in 2012

This report looks at the star ratings that have been used for many years to help consumers compare plans, and examines how Medicare Advantage quality scores will interact with plan payments, beginning in 2012. To encourage Medicare Advantage plans to provide quality care, the 2010 health reform law authorized Medicare…

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll — February 2012

In the midst of continuing debate on the future of the Medicare program, the February Kaiser Family Foundation Tracking Poll finds most Americans and most seniors favor the status quo, though arguments about the program’s solvency have the potential to sway opinion toward new proposals. The survey also gauges public…

Prescription Drug Procurement and the Federal Budget

This brief commissioned by the Foundation considers areas where Medicare faces limited opportunity for market-based competition and price negotiation to drive down drug spending. These areas include drug purchasing for low-income people enrolled in Part D plans who face minimal cost-sharing requirements, and purchasing certain unique drugs, such as biologicals,…

How States Are Responding to the Challenge of Financing Health Care for Retirees

State governments are an important source of health insurance coverage for retired state employees. Confronted with rising health care costs, budget deficits, and an overall downturn in the economy, this report describes how states are responding to the challenge of financing health care for retirees who tend to be sicker…

Medicare Advantage Fact Sheet

This fact sheet provides an overview of the Medicare Advantage program, describes program changes made by the new health reform law in plan participation and beneficiary enrollment, presents data on benefits and premiums, and explains changes in Medicare payments to participating plans.

Medicaid Eligibility for Individuals with Disabilities

This issue paper updates the July 1999 report and provides a general overview of federal Medicaid eligibility policy for the low-income disabled population. This paper focuses on four broad groups of individuals with disabilities: children under 18; adults under 65 who are not living in institutions; adults under 65 who…

Variations in State Medicaid Buy-in Practices for Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries: A 1999 Update

This report updates a 1997 Foundation report to assess how states are implementing financial protections for the 16 million Medicare beneficiaries who are low-income. These protections, generally referred to as “buy-in programs,” help low-income Medicare beneficiaries meet Medicare's cost-sharing requirements by using state Medicaid programs to pay either all or…

Long-Term Care:  Medicaid’s Role and Challenges

Long-Term Care: Medicaid's Role and ChallengesThis Policy Brief examines Medicaid's role in providing long-term care services. It describes long-term care services, the population that needs these services, and how people get long-term care services. It provides an overview of health insurance coverage of persons with long-term care needs and describes…