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Explaining Health Reform: Key Changes in the Medicare Advantage Program

This brief examines the changes in the 2010 health reform law affecting the Medicare Advantage program, which gives beneficiaries the option of enrolling in private insurance plans for their Medicare benefits, instead of the traditional fee-for-service program. The reform law will gradually reduce Medicare payments to these plans to bring…

Financial Alignment Models for Dual Eligibles: An Update

The nearly nine million dual eligibles who receive both Medicare and Medicaid benefits are a high cost, high need population, accounting for a disproportionate share of expenditures relative to their enrollment in both programs. In April 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the award of design…

Raising Medicare Premiums for Higher-Income Beneficiaries: Assessing the Implications

As policymakers consider ways to slow the growth in Medicare spending as part of broader efforts to reduce the federal debt or offset the cost of other spending priorities, some have proposed to increase beneficiary contributions through higher Medicare premiums. This issue brief explains provisions of current law that impose income-related premiums under Medicare Part B and Part D, describes recent proposals to modify these requirements, and analyzes the potential implications for the Medicare population.

The Role of National Firms in Medicare+Choice

This report addresses national managed care firms participation in M+C and the factors influencing their decision processes about M+C products. Based on interviews with executives and senior staff of national managed care firms, this report examines how eight national firms strategically position their M+C product, including the process that firms…

Medicare and Prescription Drugs, Fact Sheet

This fact sheet, updated in April 2003, profiles current sources of prescription drug coverage among the Medicare population, describes the characteristics of beneficiaries who lack drug coverage and the implications of being without such coverage, and provides current data on prescription drug use and spending. Fact Sheet (.pdf)

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: August 2012

This poll, conducted as the GOP prepares for its national convention, finds that the Affordable Care Act is not the top health care priority among Republicans. While jobs are still the number one issue for Republicans, when asked about the health care issues that will impact their vote this fall,…

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: September 2012

The September poll finds with the November election fast-approaching, Medicare trails only the economy and the federal budget deficit as key priorities for voters, and interest in the federal health program is even higher among seniors. More than a third (36%) of Americans say Medicare is “extremely” important to their…