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Medicare and Medicaid at 50

With Medicare and Medicaid turning 50 this year, this updated video provides a brief history of both programs, including: an examination of the health care, social and political landscape that gave rise to them, the significant ways each program has evolved over five decades, and the important roles they play in the U.S. health care system. The video includes archival footage, as well as commentary and perspective from policymakers, government officials and experts.

Contraceptive Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has changed access to health coverage for millions of women across the nation, including a provision requiring most private health insurance plans to provide coverage for prescription contraceptives and services. On Thursday, April 16 at 9:30 a.m. ET, the Kaiser Family Foundation hosted a briefing to…

Retiree Health Benefits At the Crossroads

This issue brief reviews recent trends and developments in employer-sponsored retiree health coverage and examines the impact of recent legislation, such as the Medicare drug benefit and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on retiree health coverage. The report describes leading strategies employers have been pursuing or considering to limit costs for retiree health benefits. In addition, the report considers the potential implications of proposals aimed at reducing federal spending for retiree health coverage and costs.

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.

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans: The Marketplace in 2013 and Key Trends, 2006-2013

This report presents findings from an analysis of the Medicare Part D marketplace in 2013 and changes in drug coverage and costs since 2006. It presents key findings related to Medicare drug plan availability, enrollment, premiums, low-income subsidies, the coverage gap, benefit design, cost sharing, formularies, and utilization management, based on data from CMS for all plans participating in Part D. The analysis was conducted jointly by researchers at Georgetown University, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

Managing Medicaid Pharmacy Benefits: Current Issues and Options

This report examines reimbursement, benefit management and cost sharing issues in Medicaid pharmacy programs. The analysis, conducted by researchers from the Foundation’s Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and Health Management Associates, focuses on the potential of several measures recently highlighted by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius…

Medicare Part D: A First Look at Prescription Drug Plans in 2017

This issue brief provides an overview of the 2017 Medicare Part D stand-alone prescription drug plan marketplace, based on analysis of data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The brief focuses on data for 2017 and changes over time in plan availability, premiums, benefit design, cost sharing, and low-income subsidy plan availability.

Implementing Coverage and Payment Initiatives: Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017

This report provides an in-depth examination of the changes taking place in Medicaid programs across the country. The findings in this report are drawn from the 16th annual budget survey of Medicaid officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia conducted by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and Health Management Associates (HMA), in collaboration with the National Association of Medicaid Directors. This report highlights policy changes implemented in state Medicaid programs in FY 2016 and those implemented or planned for FY 2017 based on information provided by the nation’s state Medicaid directors. Key areas covered include changes in eligibility and enrollment, managed care and delivery system reforms, long-term services and supports, provider payment rates and taxes, and covered benefits (including prescription drug policies).

Modifying Medicare’s Benefit Design: What’s the Impact on Beneficiaries and Spending?

This report examines an approach to reforming Medicare that has been a focus of Congressional hearings and featured in several broader debt reduction and entitlement reform proposals, and was included in the June 2016 House Republican health plan. The analysis models four different options for modifying Medicare’s benefit design, all of which include a single deductible, modified cost-sharing requirements, a new cost-sharing limit, and a prohibition on first-dollar Medigap coverage. The analysis models the expected effects on out-of-pocket spending by beneficiaries in traditional Medicare, and assesses how each option is expected to affect spending by the federal government, state Medicaid programs, employers, and other payers, assuming full implementation in 2018.

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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.