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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicare Part D 2010 Data Spotlight: Prices for Brand-Name Drugs in the Coverage Gap

This Medicare Part D data spotlight finds prices for some commonly used brand-name drugs rising in 2010 for beneficiaries who reach the coverage gap (or “doughnut hole”), with increases since 2006 far exceeding the growth in inflation.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

The Medicare Part D Coverage Gap: Costs and Consequences in 2007

This study quantifies the number of Medicare Part D plan enrollees in 2007 who reached a gap in their prescription drug coverage known as the “doughnut hole,” as well as the changes in beneficiaries’ use of medications and out-of-pocket spending after they reached that gap.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

One Year into Duals Demo Enrollment: Early Expectations Meet Reality

One year into initial enrollment in the Medicare-Medicaid financial alignment demonstrations for dual eligible beneficiaries, some initial insights are beginning to emerge. This policy insight highlights key challenges and trends emerging in states’ demonstrations.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Obamacare and You

Obamacare and You is a series of one-page papers explaining how the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” will affect different groups of people. Click on the links below to learn more: If You Are Uninsured  Haga clic para leer en español  If You Are Low-Income and May Qualify for…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

To Switch or Not to Switch: Are Medicare Beneficiaries Switching Drug Plans To Save Money?

This analysis finds that relatively few Medicare beneficiaries have switched Part D prescription drug plans voluntarily during the annual open enrollment period — even though those who do switch often lower their out-of-pocket costs as a result of changing plans. The vast majority (87% on average between 2006 and 2010) stayed in the same Part D plan, even though the plans can change premiums, deductibles, cost-sharing amounts, and their list of covered drugs each year. Higher rates of plan switching were observed in PDPs that increased premiums, increased deductibles, or dropped coverage of brand-name drugs in the coverage gap.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicare Part D: A First Look at Plan Offerings in 2014

The 2014 Part D Data Spotlight analyzes information about the Medicare Part D stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP) options available to beneficiaries in 2014. The analysis shows that Medicare beneficiaries on average will have a choice of 35 stand-alone prescription drug plans in 2014, and somewhat more “benchmark” plans available to Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) beneficiaries nationwide. The weighted average premium will increase by 5 percent between 2013 and 2014 if enrollees remain in the same plans next year. The analysis also finds more plans are using preferred pharmacy networks and adopting a growing number of cost-sharing formulary tiers for different drugs.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Obamacare y Usted: Si tiene Medicare

Si usted tiene Medicare, su cobertura de salud no tiene cambios como consecuencia del Obamacare. Usted puede seguir confiando en el Medicare para ayudar a pagar su hospital, doctores y otros gastos médicos. Usted todavía tiene la opción de elegir entre el Medicare tradicional o el Medicare Advantage Plan (como…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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.

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Figure 1: Medicare Advantage Enrollment in 2014 Exceeds Projections by 6 Million Beneficiaries

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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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

New Data Spotlight Tracks Rising Enrollment in Medicare Advantage Plan

A new brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation documents the continuing climb in Medicare Advantage plan enrollment, even at a time when payments to such plans are being reduced under the Affordable Care Act. Despite spending reductions enacted in the ACA to reduce historical overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans, from…

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