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State Profiles Highlight Variations in How Many Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries Get Additional Help with Their Medicare Costs

Medicare beneficiaries with low incomes and modest assets can qualify for additional financial help with Medicare premiums and cost sharing through both the Medicare Savings Programs and Medicare’s Part D Low-Income Subsidy for prescription drug coverage. A new analysis and collection of interactive profiles highlight variations across states in the…

Medicare State Profiles

These state profiles capture the variations across states in the number and characteristics of Medicare beneficiaries through the Medicare Savings Programs and Medicare’s Part D Low-Income Subsidy.

What Happens When COVID-19 Emergency Declarations End? Implications for Coverage, Costs, and Access

This brief provides an overview of the major health-related COVID-19 federal emergency declarations that have been made since early on in the pandemic, summarizes the flexibilities triggered by each, and identifies the implications for their ending, related to coverage, costs, and payment for COVID-19 testing, treatments, and vaccines; Medicaid coverage and federal match rates; telehealth; access to medical countermeasures through FDA emergency use authorization (EUA); and other Medicaid, Medicare and private health insurance flexibilities.

Are Medicare Advantage Insurers Covering the Cost of At-Home COVID-19 Tests?

The Biden Administration’s requirement for private insurers to cover the cost of at-home rapid COVID-19 tests for their enrollees does not apply to Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans (offered by private insurers) have the option to cover at-home tests but are not required to do so. This policy watch examines whether some of the largest private Medicare Advantage plans are covering the cost of at-home rapid tests for COVID-19.

Medicare Advantage 2022 Spotlight: First Look

For 2022, the average Medicare beneficiary has access to 39 Medicare Advantage plans, the largest number of options available in the last decade, and can choose from plans offered by nine firms. Among the majority of Medicare Advantage plans that cover prescription drugs, 59 percent will charge no premium in addition to the monthly Medicare Part B premium. As in previous years, the vast majority of Medicare Advantage plans will offer supplemental fitness, dental, vision, and hearing benefits. In addition, virtually all will also offer telehealth benefits in 2022.

Many Medicare Beneficiaries Face High Out-of-Pocket Costs for Dental and Hearing Care, Whether in Traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage

Many Medicare beneficiaries face high annual out-of-pocket costs for dental and hearing care — services that generally aren’t covered in traditional Medicare, but typically are covered by Medicare Advantage plans though the scope and value of these benefits vary, finds a new KFF analysis. The analysis shows that, among beneficiaries…

Dental, Hearing, and Vision Costs and Coverage Among Medicare Beneficiaries in Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage

This analysis builds on our prior work – Medicare and Dental Coverage: A Closer Look – by analyzing hearing and vision use, out-of-pocket spending and cost-related barriers to care among Medicare beneficiaries as well as hearing and vision benefits in Medicare Advantage plans. It also incorporates top-level findings from the analysis of dental services to provide a comprehensive profile of dental, hearing, and vision benefits in Medicare.

Medicare Advantage in 2021: Premiums, Cost Sharing, Out-of-Pocket Limits and Supplemental Benefits

In 2021, nearly two-thirds of Medicare Advantage enrollees are in plans that do not charge a premium (other than the Part B premium), although the remaining third do pay a premium, averaging about $60 per month. Most enrollees are in plans that provide access to a variety of supplemental benefits, such as eye exams, dental and fitness benefits. Nearly all enrollees are in plans that require prior authorization for some services. Medicare Advantage cost sharing varies across plans and can be lower than traditional Medicare, but that is not always the case. Slightly more than half of all Medicare Advantage enrollees would incur higher costs than beneficiaries in traditional Medicare with no supplemental coverage for a 6-day hospital stay, though cost are generally lower in Medicare Advantage for shorter stays.

Key Facts About Medicare Part D Enrollment, Premiums, and Cost Sharing in 2021

The Medicare Part D program provides an outpatient prescription drug benefit to older adults and people with long-term disabilities in Medicare who enroll in private plans, including stand-alone drug plans and Medicare Advantage drug plans. This analysis provides the latest data about Part D enrollment, premiums, and cost sharing in 2021 and trends over time.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.