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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.

Medigap Enrollment Among New Medicare Beneficiaries: How Many 65-Year Olds Enroll In Plans With First-Dollar Coverage?

On March 26, 2015, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which would replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, among other changes; the bill is currently pending in the U.S. Senate. H.R. 2 includes a provision that would prohibit Medicare supplemental insurance (Medigap) policies from covering the Part B deductible for people who become eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. This data note looks at the number and share of “new” Medicare beneficiaries who would be affected by the Medigap provision in H.R. 2, if it had been implemented in 2010, using the most current data sources available, and examines trends in Medigap enrollment among new beneficiaries since 2000.

Demonstrations to Improve the Coordination of Medicare and Medicaid for Dually Eligible Beneficiaries: What Prior Experience Did Health Plans and States Have with Capitated Arrangements?

This report examines the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) financial alignment demonstration for beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, with a focus on the extent to which participating states and health plans have prior experience with capitated managed care arrangements under Medicare or Medicaid, and specifically for this population. Under these capitated financial alignment demonstrations, health plans contract with the state and CMS (a three-way contract) to provide both Medicare and Medicaid benefits to dually eligible beneficiaries. These demonstrations aim to improve the quality of care and the coordination of benefits for people dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. The report finds considerable variation in the experience of states and health plans participating in these demonstrations, and discusses the potential implications for beneficiaries and plan oversight.

Medigap and the Medicare “Doc Fix”

The House-passed legislation to repeal the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) includes a provision that would prohibit Medicare supplemental insurance (Medigap) policies from covering the Part B deductible for people who become eligible for Medicare beginning in 2020. A new Kaiser Family Foundation Data Note explores the implications of this…

Comparison of Consumer Protections in Three Health Insurance Markets: Medicare Advantage, Qualified Health Plans and Medicaid Managed Care Organizations

This report examines similarities and differences in federal consumer protection standards for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, Qualified Health Plans (QHPs), and Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs). It focuses on rules established at the federal level, though some states have chosen to go above the federal minimums and impose additional requirements for QHPs and Medicaid MCOs.

What’s In and What’s Out? Medicare Advantage Market Entries and Exits for 2016

This Issue Brief examines the availability of Medicare Advantage plans nationwide and by state in 2016, and tracks changes in plan availability since 2012. It documents the number and share of Medicare Advantage enrollees affected by plan withdrawals each year, the characteristics of plans that will be entering or exiting the market in 2016, and the potential implications of these changes for Medicare Advantage enrollees.

Medicare Advantage and Traditional Medicare: Is the Balance Tipping?

In this brief, we look beneath national trends to examine Medicare Advantage penetration rates and growth rates in counties across the country to assess the extent to which Medicare Advantage plans are poised to cover more beneficiaries than traditional Medicare across the country.

A Primer on Medicare: Key Facts About the Medicare Program and the People it Covers

This primer explains key elements of the Medicare program, which now provides health coverage to 55 million people — including 46 million people age 65 and older and another 9 million younger adults with permanent disabilities. It looks at the characteristics of the Medicare population, what benefits are covered, how much people with Medicare pay for their benefits and the program’s overall costs and future financing challenges.

Medicare Advantage 2016 Data Spotlight: Overview of Plan Changes

This issue brief analyzes the number and variety of Medicare Advantage plan choices available to beneficiaries in 2016. It describes trends in number of Medicare Advantage plans, plan premiums, and plan quality ratings, including changes in prescription drug coverage and limits on out-of-pocket expenses. This spotlight is part of a series of spotlights tracking key changes in the Medicare Advantage program.

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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.