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Medicare And Medicaid At 50

Medicare and Medicaid were signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 30, 1965 in a bipartisan effort to provide health insurance coverage for low-income, disabled, and elderly Americans. In their 50 year history, each of these programs has come to play a key role in providing health coverage to millions of Americans today and make up a significant component of federal and state budgets. As major programs both in size and scope, their role and the ways in which they operate are often debated by policymakers and the public alike. As the programs reach their 50th year, the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a nationally representative survey of Americans to explore the public’s views of these programs, their experiences as beneficiaries, and their opinions on proposals for future changes.

Medicare and Medicaid at 50

With Medicare and Medicaid turning 50 this year, this updated video provides a brief history of both programs, including: an examination of the health care, social and political landscape that gave rise to them, the significant ways each program has evolved over five decades, and the important roles they play in the U.S. health care system. The video includes archival footage, as well as commentary and perspective from policymakers, government officials and experts.

Medigap Enrollment Among New Medicare Beneficiaries: How Many 65-Year Olds Enroll In Plans With First-Dollar Coverage?

On March 26, 2015, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which would replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, among other changes; the bill is currently pending in the U.S. Senate. H.R. 2 includes a provision that would prohibit Medicare supplemental insurance (Medigap) policies from covering the Part B deductible for people who become eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. This data note looks at the number and share of “new” Medicare beneficiaries who would be affected by the Medigap provision in H.R. 2, if it had been implemented in 2010, using the most current data sources available, and examines trends in Medigap enrollment among new beneficiaries since 2000.

Demonstrations to Improve the Coordination of Medicare and Medicaid for Dually Eligible Beneficiaries: What Prior Experience Did Health Plans and States Have with Capitated Arrangements?

This report examines the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) financial alignment demonstration for beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, with a focus on the extent to which participating states and health plans have prior experience with capitated managed care arrangements under Medicare or Medicaid, and specifically for this population. Under these capitated financial alignment demonstrations, health plans contract with the state and CMS (a three-way contract) to provide both Medicare and Medicaid benefits to dually eligible beneficiaries. These demonstrations aim to improve the quality of care and the coordination of benefits for people dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. The report finds considerable variation in the experience of states and health plans participating in these demonstrations, and discusses the potential implications for beneficiaries and plan oversight.

Medigap and the Medicare “Doc Fix”

The House-passed legislation to repeal the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) includes a provision that would prohibit Medicare supplemental insurance (Medigap) policies from covering the Part B deductible for people who become eligible for Medicare beginning in 2020. A new Kaiser Family Foundation Data Note explores the implications of this…

Public vs. Private Health Insurance on Controlling Spending

In his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman analyzes whether public or private health insurance does a better job of controlling costs. All previous columns by Drew Altman are available online. 

10 FAQs: Medicare’s Role in End-of-Life Care

About three-quarters of decedents in the US each year are ages 65 and older, making Medicare the largest insurer of health care provided during the last year of life. These Frequently Asked Questions explain Medicare’s role in or coverage of end-of-life care, advance care planning, advance directives, and hospice care. They also provide information on Medicare spending on end-of-life care, changes to the physician fee schedule, and how related issues arose prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Poverty Among Seniors: An Updated Analysis of National and State Level Poverty Rates Under the Official and Supplemental Poverty Measures

This brief presents data on poverty rates among seniors, as context for understanding the implications of potential changes to federal and state programs that help to bolster financial security among older adults. The analysis presents national and state-level poverty rates among people ages 65 and older, based on two measures from the U.S. Census Bureau, using data from the 2014 Current Population Survey (CPS): the official poverty measure and the Supplemental Poverty Measure.