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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…

Medicare Part D Spotlight: Part D Plan Availability in 2010 and Key Changes Since 2006

This Medicare Part D data spotlight examines the stand-alone Medicare drug plan options that will be available to beneficiaries in 2010, including the number of available plans, premiums for those plans, and benefit designs. About two-thirds of the nearly 27 million Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in Part D plans get…

Chartpack: Kaiser Health Tracking Poll — November 2009

This document contains the chartpack from the November Health Tracking Poll. The survey was designed and analyzed by public opinion researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation and was conducted November 5 through November 12, 2009, among a nationally representative random sample of 1,203 adults ages 18 and older. Telephone interviews…

Medicare Part D 2010 Data Spotlight: A Comparison of PDPs Offering Basic and Enhanced Benefits

This Part D Data Spotlight examines key differences between basic and enhanced Medicare stand-alone prescription drug plans (PDPs), including monthly premiums, cost sharing, and gap coverage. It also examines plan names to assess whether they convey meaningful differences between basic and enhanced PDPs. Companies that sponsor Medicare Part D prescription…

Making Ends Meet: The Medicare Generation

This short Kaiser Family Foundation documentary profiles the experiences of three Medicare families trying to pay for their health care costs with other household spending. The families are among 16 featured in a companion report examining the role Medicare now plays in the lives of beneficiaries and the challenges many…

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.