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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.

Modifying Traditional Medicare’s Benefit Design Could Reduce Federal Spending But With Cost Tradeoffs Between Beneficiaries and The Federal Government

Revamping traditional Medicare’s benefit design and restricting “first-dollar” supplemental coverage could reduce federal spending, simplify cost sharing, protect against high medical costs, decrease out-of-pocket spending for many beneficiaries, and provide more help to those with low incomes — but would be unlikely to achieve all of these goals simultaneously.

Medicare Advantage Hospital Networks: How Much Do They Vary?

This report takes an in-depth look at Medicare Advantage plans’ hospital networks. The analysis draws upon data from 409 Medicare Advantage plans serving beneficiaries in 20 diverse counties that together accounted for about one in seven (14%) Medicare Advantage enrollees nationwide in 2015. The report examines the size and composition of plans’ hospital networks, the variation across counties, the inclusion of Academic Medical Centers and NCI-Designated Cancer Centers, and the relationship between network size and other plan features, including premiums, quality star ratings, per capita Medicare spending, parent organization, and plan tax status.

Resources for Medicare & Medicaid’s 50th Anniversary

On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the law creating the Medicare and Medicaid programs.  As the programs’ 50th anniversary nears, the Kaiser Family Foundation offers several resources that look at the programs’ past and future, including videos that are available to share at in-person events or with online…

What is Medicare’s Role in End-of-Life Care?

Medicare plays an integral role in end-of-life care, an issue that is emotionally-charged and easily politicized.  About three-quarters of the 2.5 million Americans who die each year are ages 65 and older, and covered by Medicare at the time of their death, yet policy issues related to Medicare and end-of-life…

Profile of Medicare Beneficiaries by Race and Ethnicity: A Chartpack

This chartpack draws on data and analysis from a variety of sources to profile the Medicare population through the lens of race and ethnicity, describing life expectancy, demographic characteristics, income and savings, health status and chronic conditions, supplemental coverage, selected measures of access to care, and service utilization.

10 Essential Facts About Medicare and Prescription Drug Spending

Prescription drugs play an important role in medical care for 57 million seniors and people with disabilities, and account for $1 out of every $6 in Medicare spending. This series of charts presents and explains basic facts about prescription drug spending specifically within the context of Medicare. These 10 charts include information on current and projected Medicare prescription drug spending, out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for beneficiaries, the effects of the closing Part D “doughnut hole” and introduction of costly specialty drugs on beneficiary costs, and public opinion on prescription drug-related policy options.

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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.