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What’s in Store for Medicare’s Part B Premiums and Deductible in 2016, and Why?

As a result of the recently-enacted Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, the Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $121.80 in 2016 according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an increase of 16 percent over the 2015 amount for 30 percent of beneficiaries —far lower than the 52 percent increase initially projected by the Medicare actuaries. This Issue Brief reviews how Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles are affected by the recent budget deal (including the premium surcharge that covers the costs) and explains the connection between the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), Medicare premiums, and the “hold harmless” provision that will keep premiums flat for 70 percent of beneficiaries in 2016.

An Overview of Medicare

This issue brief provides an overview of Medicare, the health insurance program for people ages 65 and over and younger people with permanent disabilities. The brief review the characteristics of people on Medicare, what Medicare covers, benefit gaps and supplemental coverage, beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket health care spending, program spending and financing, payment and delivery system reform, and issues for the future of Medicare.

Traditional Medicare…Disadvantaged?

In this new policy insight, Tricia Neuman examines current rules that may discourage seniors from switching from Medicare Advantage to traditional Medicare. The issue is explored through the lens of a 67-year-old beneficiary who faced difficult financial and health coverage choices in the aftermath of a serious biking accident.

Policy Insight Examines How Current Rules May Deter Seniors From Switching from Medicare Advantage to Traditional Medicare and Implications for Medicare’s Future

In this new policy insight, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Tricia Neuman examines current rules that may discourage seniors from switching from Medicare Advantage to traditional Medicare.Traditional Medicare…Disadvantaged? explores this issue through the lens of a 67-year old Boomer who faced difficult financial and health coverage choices in the aftermath of…

Medicare Payment System Reforms: What Do We Know?

Medicare is testing new ways to pay for medical services, emphasizing value rather than volume, and evidence is beginning to build about successes and challenges. On Monday, April 11, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and the Alliance for Health Reform will host a briefing to examine what we know so far…

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.

How High Drug Prices Weigh on the Sickest Americans

In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman explores the data behind public concern about prescription drug costs and highlights that the people most in need are the most burdened by the problem.

Financial Incentives in the Long-Term Care Context: A First Look at Relevant Information

Financial Incentives in the Long-Term Care Context: A First Look at Relevant Information This report reviews Medicare’s payment policies as they may affect medical care for residents in long-term care environments, including a look at the financial incentives that could play a role in hospital and skilled nursing facility admissions.…

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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.