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Voices of Beneficiaries: Early Experiences with the Medicare Drug Benefit

The Medicare Modernization Act established a voluntary prescription drug benefit for Medicare’s elderly and disabled beneficiaries provided by private plans that is open to all beneficiaries.This paper focuses on the decision-making process and the factors that influence decisions about Medicare drug plans, as well as beneficiaries’ early experiences and future…

Medicare at a Glance

This fact sheet provides a basic overview of the Medicare program, including how it is financed, who is eligible, and what benefits are covered under the program. In addition, it describes supplemental health insurance, out-of-pocket spending by people on Medicare, and data on Medicare expenditures and financing.

The Basics of Medicare and Medicaid

Together, Medicare and Medicaid provide health coverage to about 90 million Americans. To help explain the two programs, the Kaiser Family Foundation issued a new primer on the Medicare program and an updated version of its primer on the Medicaid program. Prepared by Kaiser staff, the primers provide an overview…

Perspectives on Medicare Part D and Dual Eligibles: Key Informants’ Views From Three States

In 2006, low-income individuals receiving health coverage through both the Medicaid and Medicare programs, “dual eligibles,” experienced a change in their prescription drug benefit when their Medicaid prescription coverage was replaced by the Medicare prescription drug program known as Medicare Part D. This study provides information on the ongoing successes…

Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlight: Premiums

This spotlight analyzes the premiums charged by the 1,824 stand-alone Medicare Part D plans that will be offered in markets across the country in 2008. The analysis finds premiums charged for Part D plans range widely, from $9.80 per month to $107.50 per month. The average monthly premium would increase…

Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlight: Utilization Management

This spotlight examines three common techniques used by stand-alone prescription drug plans to manage enrollees’ use of formulary drugs, such as quantity limits, prior authorization, and step therapy rules. This is one in a series analyzing key aspects of the 2008 Medicare Part D prescription drug plan choices. It analyzes…

Retiree Health VEBAs: A New Twist On An Old Paradigm

This issue brief provides an overview of stand-alone Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association trusts, through which employers have been able to rid themselves of future obligations to pay retiree health benefits in exchange for making a significant payment to designed to approximate the projected cost of these benefits. The paper include…

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.…