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Why it Matters: Tennessee’s Medicaid Block Grant Waiver Proposal

On November 20, 2019, Tennessee submitted an amendment to its longstanding Section 1115 Waiver that would make major financing and administrative changes to its Medicaid program. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) certified the waiver as complete and opened a federal public comment period through December 27, 2019. Most significantly, Tennessee is requesting to receive federal funds in the form of a “modified block grant” and to retain half of any federal “savings” achieved under the block grant demonstration. This brief provides a high-level overview of the proposed waiver changes and context for why these changes matter.

Management and Delivery of the Medicaid Pharmacy Benefit

States are limited in their leverage when it comes to controlling drug spending and use a variety of strategies to manage utilization, including an increased reliance on managed care and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). As policymakers debate proposals that include provisions related to Medicaid pharmacy benefits, it is important to understand the challenges state Medicaid programs face and how policy proposals may impact Medicaid beneficiaries and costs.

An Overview of the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit

This fact sheet includes the latest information and data about the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit, including current plan information, the standard benefit parameters, low-income assistance, the latest available enrollment data, and Part D program spending and financing.

Medicare Beneficiaries Spent an Average of $5,460 Out-of-Pocket for Health Care in 2016, With Some Groups Spending Substantially More 

The average person with traditional Medicare coverage paid $5,460 out of their own pocket for health care in 2016, according to a new KFF analysis and interactive tool. This $5,460 includes about $1,000 in out-of-pocket spending for long-term care facility services, averaged across all traditional Medicare beneficiaries.  Such services are…

How Much Do Medicare Beneficiaries Spend Out of Pocket on Health Care?

This analysis presents the most current data on out-of-pocket health care spending by Medicare beneficiaries, both overall and among different groups of beneficiaries. The analysis explores how much Medicare beneficiaries spend out of pocket in total on health care premiums and health-related services, on average; how much beneficiaries spend out of pocket on different types of health-related services; and what share of income beneficiaries spend on out-of-pocket health care costs.

Medicare Open Enrollment FAQs

This list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Medicare Open Enrollment covers a range of topics related to Medicare enrollment, Medicare Advantage, Part D, Medigap, employer/retiree coverage, Medicaid and other low-income assistance, Medicare and the Marketplaces, and more.

Financial Performance of Medicare Advantage, Individual, and Group Health Insurance Markets

Three key private health insurance markets — Medicare Advantage, the individual market and the fully-insured group market — appear to be financially healthy and attractive to insurers. The private Medicare Advantage market generates significantly larger gross margins per person than the individual market or fully-insured market. The future of these markets has become a focus for policymakers amid the debate over Medicare for All.

A Dozen Facts About Medicare Advantage in 2019

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 22 million Medicare beneficiaries (34%) are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2019. This data note 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.