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Health Care Costs: What You Need To Know

On Wednesday, April 1, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Alliance for Health Reform presented a briefing to explore the trends in health care costs in both the public and private sectors.

It Pays to Shop: Variation in Out-of-Pocket Costs for Medicare Part D Enrollees in 2016

This analysis focuses on out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare Part D enrollees in 2016 for specialty, brand, and generic drugs. Part D drug plans differ considerably in the drugs they list on their formularies, their use of formulary tiers, and the level and structure of cost sharing applied to those tiers. Plan decisions affect different beneficiaries in different ways, depending on the drugs they use. The financial consequences for Part D plan enrollees can be substantial. In addition to examining costs for common drugs, we also examine profiles of multiple drugs for several hypothetical Part D enrollees.

Although a Small Share of Medicare Part D Enrollees Take Specialty Drugs, A New Analysis Finds Those Who Do Can Face Thousands of Dollars in Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs Despite Plan Limits on Catastrophic Expenses

Some Medicare Part D enrollees can expect to pay thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for a single specialty drug in 2016, even though Part D plans provide substantial protection against catastrophic costs, according to a new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The findings illustrate how high prescription drug prices, one…

The Burden of Medical Debt: Results from the Kaiser Family Foundation/New York Times Medical Bills Survey

To date, there has been little research providing a quantitative look at the causes of medical bill problems and the impacts they have on people’s families, their finances, and their access to health care. To fill this gap, the Kaiser Family Foundation and The New York Times conducted an in-depth survey with 1,204 adults ages 18-64 who report that they or someone in their household had problems paying or an inability to pay medical bills in the previous 12 months.

How Much Is Enough? Out-of-Pocket Spending Among Medicare Beneficiaries: A Chartbook

This new analysis and chartbook examines out-of-pocket spending among Medicare beneficiaries, including spending on health and long-term care services and insurance premiums, using the most current year of data available from a nationally representative survey of people on Medicare. It explores which types of services account for a relatively large share of out-of-pocket spending, which groups of beneficiaries (including by age, gender, health status, and chronic conditions) are especially hard hit by high out-of-pocket costs, and trends in out-of-pocket spending between 2000 and 2010.

Health Cost Growth Is Down, Or Not. It Depends Who You Ask.

In this Policy Insight, Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman explores the disconnect between experts, national studies and the public about whether health care costs are slowing or accelerating—it’s a matter of perspective.

The Impact of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): What Does the Research Tell Us?

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was established in 1997 to provide coverage for uninsured children who are low-income but above the threshold for Medicaid eligibility. In 2009, and again in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Congress extended federal funding for CHIP, but funding will expire a little over a year from now. Decisions about CHIP’s future funding will be consequential as more than 8 million low-income children were covered by CHIP at some point during 2012. To help inform the policy debate about CHIP, this brief reviews key data and evidence from the large body of research on the impact of children’s coverage.

The Missing Debate Over Rising Health-Care Deductibles

In this Wall Street Journal Think Tank column, Drew Altman discusses what may be the most important change in the American health system—hint it’s not the Affordable Care Act—which has occurred without much discussion.

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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.