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The Silent Affordability Crisis Facing Sick People

In this Axios column, Drew Altman shows that employer coverage for lower wage workers is much worse than ACA marketplace coverage for similar populations. It’s a bigger problem we need to talk about more, he says.

Kaiser Family Foundation/LA Times Survey Of Adults With Employer-Sponsored Insurance

This KFF/LA Times survey explores the attitudes and experiences of adults with employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI), including views of their health plans and affordability challenges related to premiums, deductibles, and unexpected medical bills. The survey takes a special look at those in high deductible plans (including those paired with a health savings account or HSA), those with chronic health conditions, and those with lower incomes. It also examines factors related to health plan decision-making and cost-conscious health care shopping behaviors, as well as overall views of the U.S. health care system.

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.