The Build Back Better Act includes several provisions that would lower prescription drug costs for people with Medicare and private insurance and reduce drug spending by the federal government and private payers. This brief summarizes these provisions and discusses the expected effects on people, program spending, and drug prices and innovation.
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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.
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.
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.
This brief examines how leading federal and state policy options related to changes in Medicaid Drug Rebate Program (MDRP), drug pricing, and payment and management of the Medicaid prescription drug would affect state and federal governments as well as private industry (including drug manufacturers, managed care organizations, and pharmacies).
Medicare Advantage enrollment has grown rapidly over the past decade, and Medicare Advantage plans have taken on a larger role in the Medicare program. More than 24 million Medicare beneficiaries (36%) are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2020. This data analysis provides updated information about Medicare Advantage enrollment trends, premiums, and out-of-pocket limits. It also includes analyses of Medicare Advantage plans’ extra benefits and prior authorization requirements. The analysis also highlights changes pertaining to Medicare Advantage coverage that have occurred in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Medicare provides significant health and financial protections to more than 60 million Americans, but there are gaps in coverage and high cost-sharing requirements that can make health care difficult to afford. This report analyzes several policy options that could help make health care more affordable for people covered by Medicare, especially beneficiaries with relatively low incomes: adding an out-of-pocket limit to traditional Medicare, adding a hard out-of-pocket cap to Part D, expanding financial assistance through the Medicare Savings Programs, and expanding financial assistance through the Part D low-income subsidy program.
For 2021, the average Medicare beneficiary has access to 33 Medicare Advantage plans, the largest number of options available in the last decade, and can choose from plans offered by eight firms. Among the majority of Medicare Advantage plans that cover prescription drugs, 54 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 2021.