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The Out-of-Pocket Cost Burden for Specialty Drugs in Medicare Part D in 2019

Medicare Part D has helped to make prescription drugs more affordable for people with Medicare, yet many beneficiaries continue to face high out-of-pocket costs for their medications. Specialty tier drugs are a particular concern for Part D enrollees in this context. This analysis draws on data from Medicare’s Plan Finder website to calculate expected annual 2019 out-of-pocket costs for 30 specialty tier drugs used to treat four health conditions—cancer, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Medicare Part D Enrollees with Serious Health Conditions Can Face Thousands of Dollars in Out-of-Pocket Costs Annually for Specialty Drugs

Despite Medicare’s protections, Part D enrollees with serious health conditions can face thousands of dollars in annual out-of-pocket costs for expensive specialty drugs, a new KFF anaylsis finds. The analysis draws on data from Medicare’s Plan Finder website to calculate expected annual 2019 costs for more than two dozen specialty tier…

The Washington Post/KFF Survey: Nearly a Year After Hurricane Maria, Over 8 in 10 Residents of Puerto Rico Report That the Storm Affected Their Lives in Major Ways, Including Losing Power for Months, Job Losses, Major Housing Damage, Drinking Water Shortages and New or Worsening Health Problems

Nearly a year after Hurricane Maria swamped their island, eighty-three percent of the residents of Puerto Rico say the storm affected their lives in major and lasting ways, from months-long power outages to employment losses, damaged or destroyed homes, drinking water shortages and new or worsening health problems, finds a…

Views and Experiences of Puerto Ricans One Year After Hurricane Maria

This partnership survey from The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation explores how Puerto Ricans are faring one year after Hurricane Maria struck the U.S. territory. This face-to-face survey of those living in Puerto Rico examines the impact the hurricane had on their lives, including their housing situation, financial status, and mental and physical health. It also covers issues of access to water and electricity and Puerto Ricans’ views of the government’s response to the storm and its recovery. This is the first, and only, comprehensive, island-wide representative survey to assess a broad array of impacts from Hurricane Maria and hear directly from the people of Puerto Rico about what they experienced and what the ongoing needs are.

Loneliness and Social Isolation in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan: An International Survey

To understand more about how people view the issue of loneliness and social isolation, the Kaiser Family Foundation, in partnership with The Economist, conducted a cross-country survey of adults in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan. The survey included additional interviews with individuals who report always or often feeling lonely, left out, isolated or that they lack companionship to better understand the personal characteristics and life circumstances associated with these feelings, the reported causes of loneliness, and how people are coping. More than a fifth of adults in the United States and the United Kingdom as well as one in ten adults in Japan say they often or always feel lonely, feel that they lack companionship, feel left out, or feel isolated from others, and many of them say their loneliness has had a negative impact on various aspects of their life. About six in ten say there is a specific cause of their loneliness, and they are also more likely to report experiencing negative life events in the past two years, such as a negative change in financial status. Those reporting loneliness in each country report having fewer confidants than others and two-thirds or more say they have just a few or no relatives or friends living nearby who they can rely on for support. Many in the U.S. and U.K. view the increased use of technology as a major reason why people are lonely or socially isolated, whereas fewer people in Japan say the same. But, for those experiencing loneliness or social isolation personally, they are divided as to whether they think social media makes their feelings of loneliness better or worse.

Public Opinion on Chronic Illness in America

The April 2018 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds six in ten say they or someone in their immediate family have a chronic health condition that requires ongoing medical treatment, and a third of those dealing with a chronic condition requiring ongoing medical care say they or their household have had problems paying medical bills in the past 12 months. This poll finding also looks at how the public views policies aimed at preventing chronic disease in America.

No Limit: Medicare Part D Enrollees Exposed to High Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs Without a Hard Cap on Spending

The Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit has helped improve the affordability of medications for people with Medicare, but enrollees can face relatively high out-of-pocket drug costs because there is no hard cap on out-of-pocket spending under Part D. This analysis examines out-of-pocket prescription drug spending among Medicare Part D enrollees with costs above the catastrophic coverage threshold.

Data Note: Medicaid’s Role in Providing Access to Preventive Care for Adults

Chronic illness is prevalent in the adult Medicaid population. Preventive care, including immunizations and regular screenings that permit early detection and treatment of chronic conditions, improves the prospects for better health outcomes. This Data Note focuses on Medicaid’s role in providing access to preventive care for low-income adults.

Medicaid’s Role for Medicare Beneficiaries

This brief outlines Medicaid’s role for Medicare beneficiaries. It describes the role that Medicaid plays for 10 million Medicare beneficiaries to help inform upcoming debates about proposals to restructure Medicaid financing in ways that could reduce federal funding.