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Turning Medicare Into a Premium Support System: Frequently Asked Questions

Premium support is a general term used to describe an approach to reform Medicare that aims to reduce the growth in Medicare spending. These FAQs raise and discuss basic questions about the possible effects of a premium support system for Medicare beneficiaries, the federal budget, health care providers, and private health plans.

Questions and Answers about Turning Medicare into a Premium Support System

With its inclusion in the House GOP health plan released last month, the idea of converting Medicare into a premium support system once again features prominently in Capitol Hill policy discussions about the future of Medicare, the federal health insurance program that covers 57 million seniors and people with disabilities.…

Analysis Finds End-of-Life Medicare Spending Declines With Age Among Seniors

Among beneficiaries who died in 2014, Medicare spent significantly more per person on medical services for seniors in their late sixties and early seventies than on older beneficiaries, according to a new data note from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The analysis comes at a time when physicians can now be…

10 Essential Facts About Medicare and Prescription Drug Spending

Prescription drugs play an important role in medical care for 57 million seniors and people with disabilities, and account for $1 out of every $6 in Medicare spending. This series of charts presents and explains basic facts about prescription drug spending specifically within the context of Medicare. These 10 charts include information on current and projected Medicare prescription drug spending, out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for beneficiaries, the effects of the closing Part D “doughnut hole” and introduction of costly specialty drugs on beneficiary costs, and public opinion on prescription drug-related policy options.

Modifying Traditional Medicare’s Benefit Design Could Reduce Federal Spending But With Cost Tradeoffs Between Beneficiaries and The Federal Government

Revamping traditional Medicare’s benefit design and restricting “first-dollar” supplemental coverage could reduce federal spending, simplify cost sharing, protect against high medical costs, decrease out-of-pocket spending for many beneficiaries, and provide more help to those with low incomes — but would be unlikely to achieve all of these goals simultaneously.

Modifying Medicare’s Benefit Design: What’s the Impact on Beneficiaries and Spending?

This report examines an approach to reforming Medicare that has been a focus of Congressional hearings and featured in several broader debt reduction and entitlement reform proposals, and was included in the June 2016 House Republican health plan. The analysis models four different options for modifying Medicare’s benefit design, all of which include a single deductible, modified cost-sharing requirements, a new cost-sharing limit, and a prohibition on first-dollar Medigap coverage. The analysis models the expected effects on out-of-pocket spending by beneficiaries in traditional Medicare, and assesses how each option is expected to affect spending by the federal government, state Medicaid programs, employers, and other payers, assuming full implementation in 2018.

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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.