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Visualizing Health Policy: Medicare Spending: A Look at Present, Short-Term and Long-Term Trends

This Visualizing Health Policy infographic provides an overview of Medicare spending, including information on current federal spending relative to other government programs (e.g., Social Security) and percent-share of spending across Medicare services, as well as projected Medicare spending over the next decade and beyond. Recent federal spending on Medicare is…

New Study Provides Insight and Analysis to Help Explain the Medicare Spending Slowdown

Medicare, the federal health program that provides health care and coverage to 54 million seniors and younger adults with permanent disabilities, is in the midst of an unprecedented slowdown in spending growth.  A new issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation, How Much of the Medicare Spending Slowdown Can be…

Health Affairs Article: At Least Half of New Medicare Advantage Enrollees Had Switched From Traditional Medicare During 2006-11

In an article in Health Affairs, researchers from the Kaiser Family Foundation counter the popular misperception that the steady rise in Medicare Advantage enrollment has been driven by members of the Baby Boom generation overwhelmingly choosing the private plans as they become eligible for Medicare. Their study examines the 2006-2011 growth in Medicare Advantage enrollment and finds that a majority of new enrollees in Medicare Advantage in each year were, in fact, seniors switching from traditional Medicare.

Amid Merger Talk, a Look at Health Insurers’ Medicare Business

With recent news about possible health insurance company mergers, Drew Altman looks beyond the impact on Wall Street to how mergers could affect Medicare beneficiaries in his latest column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank. All previous columns by Drew Altman are available.

To Switch or Be Switched: Examining Changes in Drug Plan Enrollment among Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy Enrollees

During the Medicare Part D annual enrollment period, people on Medicare can review and compare stand-alone prescription drug plans (PDPs) and Medicare Advantage plans and switch plans if they choose. Low-income beneficiaries who receive premium and cost-sharing assistance through the Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) program have a subset of premium-free PDPs (benchmark plans) available to them, but can also choose to enroll in a non-benchmark plan and pay a premium. This analysis examines plan changes among LIS enrollees in PDPs between 2006 and 2010.

Data Note: Medicare Advantage Enrollment, by Firm, 2015

A number of potential mergers and acquisitions between large firms that offer health insurance have been reported in the press. These mergers could affect consumers in the individual market, enrollees in the new federal and state Marketplaces, employees with employer-sponsored insurance, as well as people covered by public programs such as Medicare. This Data Note examines the Medicare Advantage market share of large firms that have reportedly engaged in merger and acquisition discussions: Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, Humana, and UnitedHealthcare.

Visualizing Health Policy: Medicaid and Medicare at 50: Trends and Challenges

These Visualizing Health Policy infographics commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Medicaid and Medicare programs. This infographic provides details about the reach and demographics of the programs, as well as the Federal and total US health-care spending associated with them. This infographic illustrates trends and challenges going forward. Together, Medicaid and Medicare provide…