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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.

Medicare Advantage 2014 Spotlight: Plan Availability and Premiums

This data spotlight report examines trends in the Medicare Advantage marketplace, including the choices available to Medicare beneficiaries in 2014, premium levels and other plan features. Medicare beneficiaries, on average, will have 18 private Medicare Advantage plans available to them in 2014, reflecting both new plans entering the market and old plans exiting it. If Medicare Advantage enrollees remain in their current plans, average monthly premiums will rise by almost $5 per month, or 14 percent, to $39 per month. The analysis also examines some benefits provided by Medicare Advantage plans including drug coverage and caps on out-of-pocket spending, and finds that average out-of-pocket limits across all plans will climb 11 percent to $4,797 in 2014. Additionally, this analysis examines changes in the types of plans available (HMOs, PPOs, etc.), including special needs plans in 2014.

Summary of the Affordable Care Act

This document summarizes the comprehensive 2010 health reform law, often called the Affordable Care Act or ACA, including changes made to it by subsequent legislation, with a focus on provisions to expand coverage, control costs, and improve delivery systems.

Medicare Patients’ Access to Physicians: A Synthesis of the Evidence

Congressional debates about the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) raise questions about whether doctors are willing to see Medicare patients. This issue brief examines multiple data sources to assess beneficiaries’ access to physicians, particularly vulnerable beneficiaries with greater health needs and other disadvantages. It examines the share of doctors who are participating physicians as well as those who have opted-out of the Medicare program to privately contract with Medicare patients. It includes State analyses of rates of physicians who are accepting new Medicare patients as well as patients with private health insurance and Medicaid.

Webinar for Journalists: A Year-End Update on the ACA Rollout & Looking Ahead to 2014

Two and an half months into the open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act, where does the rollout of the law stand with marketplace coverage set to begin on January 1, 2014? Featuring two Kaiser Family Foundation experts–Larry Levitt, Co-Director of the Foundation’s Program for the Study of Health Reform and Private Insurance & Senior Vice President, and Jennifer Tolbert, State Health Policy Director–the webinar touched on some of the major questions as people start using ACA coverage and the end of the open enrollment period on March 31. Most of the hour was devoted to a question and answer session with the participating audience.

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans: The Marketplace in 2013 and Key Trends, 2006-2013

This report presents findings from an analysis of the Medicare Part D marketplace in 2013 and changes in drug coverage and costs since 2006. It presents key findings related to Medicare drug plan availability, enrollment, premiums, low-income subsidies, the coverage gap, benefit design, cost sharing, formularies, and utilization management, based on data from CMS for all plans participating in Part D. The analysis was conducted jointly by researchers at Georgetown University, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.