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Insulin Costs and Coverage in Medicare Part D

In light of heightened attention to insulin and the Trump Administration’s new Part D model to address out-of-pocket costs for insulin for Medicare beneficiaries, we analyzed out-of-pocket spending on insulin by beneficiaries enrolled in Part D drug plans, variation in Part D plan formulary coverage and tier placement of insulin products, and trends in prices for insulin.

A Dozen Facts About Medicare Advantage in 2020

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.

Implications of CMS’s New “Healthy Adult Opportunity” Demonstrations for Medicaid

On January 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance inviting states to apply for new Section 1115 demonstrations known as the “Healthy Adult Opportunity” (HAO). These demonstrations would permit states “extensive flexibility” to use Medicaid funds to cover Affordable Care Act (ACA) expansion adults and other nonelderly adults covered at state option who do not qualify on the basis of disability, without being bound by many federal standards related to Medicaid eligibility, benefits, delivery systems, and program oversight. In exchange, states would agree to a limit on federal financing in the form of a per capita or aggregate cap. States that opt for the aggregate cap and meet performance standards could access a portion of federal savings if actual spending is under the cap. This issue brief explains the key elements of the HAO guidance and considers the implications of the new demonstrations.

Medicaid: What to Watch in 2020

Medicaid, the provider of health insurance coverage for about one in five Americans and the largest payer for long-term care services in the community and nursing homes, continues to be a key part of health policy debates at the federal and state level. Key Medicaid issues to watch in 2020 include: Medicaid expansion developments; Section 1115 waiver activity; enrollment and spending trends; benefits, payment and delivery system reforms, and the implications of the 2020 elections.

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…