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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…

Kaiser Family Foundation Resources on Deficit-Reduction Debate

These Foundation resources shed light on how the ongoing national debate about deficit reduction may affect Medicare, Medicaid and other health-care programs. These resources include analysis of specific savings proposals, polling on the public’s views of deficit-reduction options, summaries and comparisons of relevant elements of major deficit-reduction plans, and explanatory…

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,…

One Year into Duals Demo Enrollment: Early Expectations Meet Reality

One year into initial enrollment in the Medicare-Medicaid financial alignment demonstrations for dual eligible beneficiaries, some initial insights are beginning to emerge. This policy insight highlights key challenges and trends emerging in states’ demonstrations.

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.

Visualizing Health Policy: The Role of Medicare Advantage

This September 2014 Visualizing Health Policy Infographic examines the role of private plans, such as HMOs and PPOs, in Medicare. These Medicare Advantage plans offer an alternative to traditional Medicare and provide all benefits covered under Medicare Parts A and B, and often Part D. The infographic includes data on Medicare Advantage penetration across the country. It shows the concentration of enrollment among a small number of firms and affiliates, and displays the extent to which Medicare pays more for Medicare Advantage enrollees than for beneficiaries in fee for service Medicare, on average, and that the payment differential is declining

Webinar for Journalists: How the Affordable Care Act Affects Baby Boomers and Medicare Beneficiaries

As part of the “Covering Health Reform” series, this webinar focused on the major changes facing older people. The Foundation’s Associate Director of the Program on Medicare Policy, Juliette Cubanski and Senior Fellow Karen Pollitz discussed how the Affordable Care Act impacts Medicare benefits and beneficiaries, as well as the ACA’s role for baby boomers who are not yet 65 and eligible for Medicare.