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Program on Medicare Policy

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The Facts on Medicare Spending and Financing

This issue brief examines the latest facts about Medicare spending and financing, including the most recent historical and projected Medicare spending data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary (OACT), the 2017 annual report of the Boards of Medicare Trustees, and the 2017 Medicare baseline and projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). It discusses historical and projected spending trends, program financing, Medicare’s financial condition, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), and the future outlook.

What Are the Implications for Medicare of the American Health Care Act and the Better Care Reconciliation Act?

This issue brief highlights a major implication of the American Health Care Act and Better Care Reconciliation Act for Medicare. Both bills would repeal the Affordable Care Act provision to increase the payroll tax on high-income earners. Repealing this surtax would move up the insolvency date of the Medicare Part A trust fund by 2 years, from 2028 to 2026, and also worsens the program’s long-term financial outlook.

Medicare Advantage 2017 Spotlight: Enrollment Market Update

This Data Spotlight reviews national and state-level enrollment trends as of March 2017 and examines variation in enrollment by plan type and firm. It analyzes the most recent data on premiums, out-of-pocket limits, Part D cost-sharing for drugs, and plans’ quality ratings for Medicare Advantage enrollees.

How ACA Repeal and Replace Proposals Could Affect Coverage and Premiums for Older Adults and Have Spillover Effects for Medicare

This brief explains the key AHCA provisions that would reshape the private market to more closely resemble the pre-Affordable Care Act period, and the effects of these changes on adults ages 50-64. The brief also discusses how changes to Medicaid could affect older, low-income adults, and how an increase in the number of uninsured older adults could have implications for the Medicare program in the future.

What Could a Medicaid Per Capita Cap Mean for Low-Income People on Medicare?

Policymakers are currently considering proposals that would fundamentally change the structure and financing of Medicaid, and potentially affect 11 million people on Medicare. This brief discusses the potential implications of Medicaid per capita cap or block grant proposals for the 11 million low-income seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare. It also describes how the per capita cap model proposed in the American Health Care Act could potentially affect low-income people on Medicare who receive assistance from Medicaid.

10 Essential Facts About Medicare’s Financial Outlook

Medicare, the nation’s federal health insurance program for 57 million people age 65 and over and younger people with disabilities, often plays a major role in federal health policy and budget discussions. Medicare is likely to be back on the federal policy agenda as Congress debates repealing and replacing the ACA, and also if policymakers turn their attention to reducing entitlement spending as part of efforts to reduce the growing federal budget deficit and debt. This issue brief presents 10 facts and figures about Medicare’s financial status today and the outlook for the future.

Searching for Savings in Medicare Drug Price Negotiations

In response to higher drug spending growth and heightened attention to drug prices, some policymakers have proposed allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. This issue brief provides a short history of this proposal, describes various approaches, and assessments of their potential savings from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and considers the prospects for action in the future.

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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.