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Medicare and the Federal Budget: Comparison of Medicare Provisions in Recent Federal Debt and Deficit Reduction Proposals

This brief provides a side-by-side comparison of Medicare provisions included in broad-based packages to reduce the deficit and debt put forward by the President and the Chairmen of the House and Senate Budget Committees. In addition, this brief summarizes Medicare provisions included in other deficit- and debt- reduction proposals released since January 2012 and describes recent activities that pertain to Medicare and the federal budget, including Medicare’s role in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the fiscal cliff and sequestration.

Visualizing Health Policy: The Public’s Health Care Agenda for 2013

This month’s Visualizing Health Policy infographic looks at the US public’s priorities for health care in 2013, including actions by state governments, Medicaid expansion, Medicare spending, and spending for specific types of public health activities. See the full-size infographic at The Journal of the American Medical Association The original public opinion poll…

The Story of Medicare: A Timeline

Written and produced by Foundation staff, The Story of Medicare: A Timeline serves as a visual timeline of Medicare’s history, including the debate that led to its creation in 1965 and subsequent changes, such as the passage and repeal of the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act in the 1980s, the Medicare Modernization Act in 2003, and the Affordable Care Act in 2012.

Report, Briefing Examine How Seniors Choose Among Their Medicare Plan Options

Report & Briefing Examine How Seniors Choose Among Their Medicare Plan Options Seniors appreciate having a wide range of Medicare private plan choices available to them but often feel unqualified to choose among them, a new Kaiser Family Foundation report concludes. Based on discussions with seniors in four cities around…

The Policy Implications of Medicare’s New Measure of Financial Health

This report examines a new measure of Medicare’s financial health established by the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA). The report, authored by Marilyn Moon, takes an in-depth look at the program’s new solvency test, which measures general revenues as a share of total Medicare spending and can trigger a “funding warning” that compels the President to propose and the Congress to consider a funding warning.

Medicare Advantage 2014 Spotlight: Enrollment Market Update

This Data Spotlight provides an overview of Medicare Advantage enrollment patterns in March 2014, and examines variations by plan type, state, and firm. It also analyzes trends in premiums paid by beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans and describes the changes in limits on out-of-pocket expenses and prescription drug coverage in the Part D “donut hole” provided by the plans in 2014.

How are Seniors Choosing and Changing Health Insurance Plans?

This report summarizes first-hand accounts of seniors’ Medicare private plan decision making strategies, based on focus groups conducted in four cities. Seniors found the initial plan selection process overwhelming due to the volume of information they received and their inability to organize it. Few used the government’s online comparison tool, and those that did cite several shortcomings. Many relied on advice from sources they trust, including insurance agents, plan representatives, friends, family members, doctor’s offices and pharmacists. After they enroll in a plan, many seniors did not revisit their initial decision or review plan options without the strong provocation of a substantial increase in cost, change in coverage, or shift in personal health care needs. Moreover, they feared that a change in plans may disrupt their care, or lead to an unforeseen increase in out-of-pocket costs, and require them to learn new rules and requirements. They are doubtful they would end up in a plan that is appreciatively different or better for them. Overall, seniors preferred to have numerous choices in plans but would like personalized help and advice from experts to ease the process.

Medicare Advantage: Take Another Look

This Policy Insight explores possible explanations for the continued rise in Medicare Advantage enrollment between 2010 and 2013 in spite of a projected decrease following payment changes in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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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.