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Streamlining Cost Sharing in Medicare: The Impact on Beneficiaries

This July 22, 2013 briefing, Streamlining Cost Sharing in Medicare: The Impact on Beneficiaries, explored the impact on beneficiaries of recent proposals to combine the two main parts of Medicare.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Health Care on a Budget: An Analysis of Spending by Medicare Households

This report examines Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket health care costs, which comprise a significant share of their household expenses.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicare Timeline

In 1965, Medicare was created to provide health insurance for the nation’s seniors beginning in 1966. Fifty years later, the program covers over 54 million people – primarily seniors but also others under age 65 with permanent disabilities. Medicare helps pay for a range of medical services, including hospital stays, physician visits, preventive benefits, and starting in 2006, prescription drugs. This timeline provides an overview of changes that have shaped the Medicare program over the past five decades.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Wide Disparities in the Income and Assets of People on Medicare by Race and Ethnicity: Now and in the Future

This report examines the income, savings, and home equity of current and future Medicare beneficiaries, focusing on racial/ethnic disparities. The report finds that these differences in the financial well-being of white, black and Hispanic beneficiaries persist across age, education level, marital status, and other demographic factors.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Adding an Out-of-Pocket Spending Maximum to Medicare: Implementation Issues and Challenges

In an effort to simplify Medicare’s cost-sharing requirements, provide beneficiaries with catastrophic protection, and achieve program savings, some have proposed to restructure Medicare’s benefit design. Several recent proposals would create a unified deductible for Medicare Parts A and B, simplify cost-sharing requirements above the deductible, and add an annual limit on beneficiary out-of-pocket spending—a benefit feature typical of larger employer plans, but lacking in traditional Medicare. This issue brief describes the options for adding an out-of-pocket spending limit to Medicare and examines the operational issues that could arise in implementing both a uniform and an income-based out-of-pocket spending limit. Because the implementation of an income-related out-of-pocket maximum would pose somewhat greater complexity for Medicare, the operational issues associated with this approach are discussed in greater detail.

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Visualizing Health Policy: Physicians and Medicare

This infographic illustrates information about Medicare’s payment formula for physicians and about access to health care for people covered by Medicare.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Testimony: Income Security and the Elderly: Securing Gains Made in the War on Poverty

Senior Vice President Patricia Neuman testified before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging as part of its hearing entitled Income Security and the Elderly: Securing Gains Made in the War on Poverty. As part of her testimony, she presented segments from a Foundation-produced video that highlights what it means to be old and poor in our country.

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Old and Poor: America's Forgotten

Old and Poor: America’s Forgotten

While the Census Bureau’s official poverty measure shows 9 percent of seniors nationally live in poverty, the share climbs to about one in seven seniors (15 percent) under the Bureau’s alternative Supplemental Poverty Measure, which takes into account out-of-pocket health expenses and geographic differences in the cost of living. Produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Old and Poor: America’s Forgotten provides a portrait of seniors who are living in poverty, in both urban and rural areas across the United States.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Summary of Medicare Provisions in the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2015

On March 4, 2014, the Office of Management and Budget released President Obama’s budget for fiscal year (FY) 2015, which includes provisions related to federal spending and revenues, including Medicare savings. The President’s budget would use federal savings and revenues to reduce the federal debt and replace sequestration of Medicare and other federal programs for 2015 through 2024. This brief summarizes the Medicare provisions included in the President’s budget proposal for FY 2015.

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