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Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlights

To better understand changes in the private plans providing drug coverage to Medicare beneficiaries under the program's Part D benefit, the Kaiser Family Foundation is issuing a series of data spotlights analyzing key elements of Medicare's private drug plans. Each spotlight will focus on a key aspect of the drug…

Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlight: Premiums

This Medicare Part D data spotlight analyzes the premiums charged by the 1,824 stand-alone Medicare Part D plans that will be offered in markets across the country in 2008. The analysis finds premiums charged for Part D plans range widely, from $9.80 per month to $107.50 per month. The average…

Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlight: The Coverage Gap

This Medicare Part D data spotlight examines the coverage gap, or “doughnut hole,” in Medicare drug plans available in 2008. Part D enrollees (other than those receiving low-income subsidies) will reach the coverage gap after they incur $2,510 in total drug costs in 2008. At that point, enrollees are required…

Methodology Appendix to the Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlights

The Kaiser Family Foundation has also posted an appendix detailing the methodology used in the Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlight series. The series analyzes key aspects of the 2008 Medicare Part D prescription drug plan choices. All of the spotlights in this series were prepared by a team of…

Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlight: Utilization Management

This Medicare Part D data spotlight examines three common techniques used by Medicare stand-alone prescription drug plans in 2008 to manage enrollees’ use of formulary drugs, such as quantity limits, prior authorization, and step therapy rules. This is one in a series analyzing key aspects of the 2008 Medicare Part…

The Federal Government’s Authority To Regulate Advertising in Medicare

This policy brief, prepared for the Kaiser Family Foundation by Vicky Gottlich at the Center for Medicare Advocacy, explains the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ legal authority to regulate advertising and other information issued by the private companies that contract with the government to provide Medicare benefits. The brief…

Retiree Health VEBAs: A New Twist On An Old Paradigm

This issue brief provides an overview of stand-alone Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association trusts, through which employers have been able to rid themselves of future obligations to pay retiree health benefits in exchange for making a significant payment to designed to approximate the projected cost of these benefits. The paper include…

The Diversity of Dual Eligible Beneficiaries: An Examination of Services and Spending for People Eligible for Both Medicaid and Medicare

This issue brief analyzes linked Medicare and Medicaid data to examine dual eligibles’ utilization and spending in both programs in 2007. As a group, dual eligibles are costly—with per capita Medicare and Medicaid spending over four times Medicare spending for other beneficiaries. However, a small share of dual eligibles account…

Pulling it Together: About Kaiser Health News

There is lots of apocalyptic talk these days about the collapse of the newspaper industry and the challenges facing news organizations.  There is even talk of the unimaginable, my hometown paper The Boston Globe shutting down. Surely they know that Red Sox Nation cannot exist without the Globe Sports pages.…

Medicare Part D 2009 Data Spotlight: Ten Most Common Brand-Name Drugs

This Data Spotlight focuses on Part D plan coverage of the ten brand-name drugs that were most commonly prescribed for Medicare beneficiaries in 2006 and lack generic equivalents in 2009. Findings are based on an analysis of data for the 44 unique, national and near-national stand-alone prescription drug plans. The…