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Consumer Protection Issues Raised by the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003

This paper identifies and examines consumer protection issues that arise from the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. Key issue areas include: beneficiary information, marketing, enrollment and disenrollment, the drug benefit package and cost-sharing, the appeals process, concerns for low-income beneficiaries, challenges for nursing home issues, and…

The Role of Private Plans in Medicare

Enrollment in private health plans has grown sharply since the enactment of the Medicare Modernization Act in 2003, which created a Medicare drug benefit to be provided by private plans and created incentives for new private plans to enter the Medicare market. Today, virtually all Medicare beneficiaries–including those living in…

Medicare Payments and Beneficiary Costs for Prescription Drug Coverage

This March 2007 issue brief, commissioned by the Kaiser Family Foundation, provides a basic introduction to the reimbursement system for private Medicare drug plans. It explains the system of plan bidding and payment, including the special provisions for low-income enrollees, and considers how aspects of the payment system may affect…

Obamacare and You: If You Have Medicare…

This short explainer highlights some of the key information for people with Medicare about how Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, may affect them.

Obamacare and You

Obamacare and You is a series of one-page papers explaining how the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” will affect different groups of people. Click on the links below to learn more: If You Are Uninsured  Haga clic para leer en español  If You Are Low-Income and May Qualify for…

To Switch or Not to Switch: Are Medicare Beneficiaries Switching Drug Plans To Save Money?

This analysis finds that relatively few Medicare beneficiaries have switched Part D prescription drug plans voluntarily during the annual open enrollment period — even though those who do switch often lower their out-of-pocket costs as a result of changing plans. The vast majority (87% on average between 2006 and 2010) stayed in the same Part D plan, even though the plans can change premiums, deductibles, cost-sharing amounts, and their list of covered drugs each year. Higher rates of plan switching were observed in PDPs that increased premiums, increased deductibles, or dropped coverage of brand-name drugs in the coverage gap.

Medicare Part D: A First Look at Plan Offerings in 2014

The 2014 Part D Data Spotlight analyzes information about the Medicare Part D stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP) options available to beneficiaries in 2014. The analysis shows that Medicare beneficiaries on average will have a choice of 35 stand-alone prescription drug plans in 2014, and somewhat more “benchmark” plans available to Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) beneficiaries nationwide. The weighted average premium will increase by 5 percent between 2013 and 2014 if enrollees remain in the same plans next year. The analysis also finds more plans are using preferred pharmacy networks and adopting a growing number of cost-sharing formulary tiers for different drugs.

Medicare Quiz

Medicare provides health coverage to approximately 54 million beneficiaries ages 65 and over and younger people with permanent disabilities.  Medicare will cover an increasingly large number of people as the baby boom population reaches age 65, and the program remains an important topic in Washington and around the country as…

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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.