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Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlight: Formularies

This Medicare Part D data spotlight examines the formularies (list of covered drugs) of Medicare stand-alone prescription drug plans in 2008, changes since 2006, and differences in how plans cover brand-name and generic drugs. This is one in a series analyzing key aspects of the 2008 Medicare Part D prescription…

Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlight: The Coverage Gap

This Medicare Part D data spotlight examines the coverage gap, or “doughnut hole,” in Medicare drug plans available in 2008. Part D enrollees (other than those receiving low-income subsidies) will reach the coverage gap after they incur $2,510 in total drug costs in 2008. At that point, enrollees are required…

Workplace Wellness Programs, Healthy Behaviors and Health Reform

Many large employers offer financial incentives to their employees to exercise regularly, improve their diets, lose weight and quit smoking. Health reform proposals would write some of these incentives into law. But some patient advocates say that, depending on how the incentives are structured, they can make coverage more expensive…

Essential Health Benefits: Balancing Affordability and Adequacy

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), insurance plans offered through state insurance exchanges as well as non-grandfathered plans offered in the individual and small group markets – will be required to cover a set of health benefits and services called the “essential health benefits” package. Guidance issued…

Medicare Part D 2010 Data Spotlight: Benefit Design and Cost Sharing

The Medicare Modernization Act established a defined standard drug benefit for Part D stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plans, while giving plans flexibility to offer alternative benefit designs. Only about one in 10 PDPs offer the standard benefit in 2010. Plan sponsors can offer…

The Role of Clinical and Cost Information in Medicaid Pharmacy Benefit Decisions: Experience in Seven States

This policy brief provides perspective on the potential for using comparative effectiveness research in Medicaid pharmacy programs by looking at seven states to determine how they currently evaluate relative clinical and cost information about prescription drugs when making coverage decisions for their Medicaid pharmacy benefits. The brief was prepared by…

Medicaid: A Primer – Key Information on the Nation’s Health Coverage Program for Low-Income People

This Medicaid primer provides an overview of the nation’s largest health coverage program, which covers more than 62 million low-income individuals, including children and families, people with disabilities and seniors who are also covered by Medicare. Medicaid also is the dominant source of the country’s long-term care financing. The program will expand significantly under the Affordable Care Act in 2014.

Briefing – Medicare: A Primer

This briefing provided an overview of the Medicare program and its role in the health care system. Panelists discussed who is eligible for Medicare, what benefits are covered and how the program is administered. Medicare financing and the program’s role in health reform was also explained. More information on Medicare…

Preventing Chronic Disease: The New Public Health

There is a groundswell of activity in local communities to support healthier lifestyles and help people make long-lasting and sustainable changes that can reduce their risk for chronic diseases. A number of provisions in the health reform law are aimed directly at improving population health by addressing conditions where Americans…

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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.