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10 Essential Facts About Medicare’s Financial Outlook

Medicare, the nation’s federal health insurance program for 57 million people age 65 and over and younger people with disabilities, often plays a major role in federal health policy and budget discussions. Medicare is likely to be back on the federal policy agenda as Congress debates repealing and replacing the ACA, and also if policymakers turn their attention to reducing entitlement spending as part of efforts to reduce the growing federal budget deficit and debt. This issue brief presents 10 facts and figures about Medicare’s financial status today and the outlook for the future.

Searching for Savings in Medicare Drug Price Negotiations

In response to higher drug spending growth and heightened attention to drug prices, some policymakers have proposed allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. This issue brief provides a short history of this proposal, describes various approaches, and assessments of their potential savings from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and considers the prospects for action in the future.

Private Contracts Between Doctors and Medicare Patients: Key Questions and Implications of Proposed Policy Changes

Changes in Medicare’s private contracting laws could have significant implications for beneficiaries, doctors, and the Medicare program. This brief summarizes the three options that physicians and practitioners currently have for charging Medicare patients, explains how private contracting works in Medicare under current law, and reviews current proposals on changes to private contracting in Medicare, as well as their implications for patients, physicians, and the Medicare program.

Comparison of Medicare Provisions in Recent Bills and Proposals to Repeal and Replace the Affordable Care Act

Repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act is a top priority of the Trump Administration and the Republican leadership, which could have implications for the Medicare program. This brief provides a side-by-side comparison of the Medicare-related provisions in six bills and proposals that would repeal the ACA, excluding proposals that would not directly affect Medicare.

Turning the Spotlight on Medicare Advantage for 2017

Medicare Advantage plans, which consist primarily of HMOs and PPOs, now cover almost 18 million people – nearly one-third of all Medicare beneficiaries.  Medicare Advantage plans have been in the news lately because the proposed merger between Aetna and Humana, which together account for one-quarter of all Medicare Advantage enrollees,…

Medicare Advantage Plans in 2017: Short-term Outlook is Stable

This issue brief analyzes the number and variety of Medicare Advantage plan choices available to beneficiaries in 2017. It describes trends in number of Medicare Advantage plans and plan quality ratings, and new information on plan premiums, out-of-pocket expense limits, and other plan features. This spotlight is part of a series of spotlights tracking key changes in the Medicare Advantage program.

What Might a Repeal of the Affordable Care Act Mean for Medicare?

As Republican policymakers consider how to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they are likely to face a number of decisions about whether to retain any of the law’s changes to Medicare. Repealing the ACA has potential implications for Medicare spending, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders, according to a…

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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.