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COVID-19 Test Prices and Payment Policy

This analysis examines list prices for COVID-19 testing at the largest hospitals in every state and finds they range widely from $20 to $850. Federal law now requires private insurers to cover COVID-19 tests at no cost to the patient and provides funding for people without health insurance.

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A Status Report on Prescription Drug Policies and Proposals at the Start of the Biden Administration

This brief provides a status update on prescription drug final rules advanced by the Trump Administration in its final months related to Medicare, importation, and 340B pricing for insulin and epinephrine, and an overview of key drug pricing proposals related to Medicare and prescription drug prices generally that were voted on but not enacted in the previous Congress that may return to the forefront of health policy discussions in the coming years.

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Surprise Medical Bills: New Protections for Consumers Take Effect in 2022

This summarizes key provisions of the No Surprises Act, enacted in December 2020 to address the problem of unexpected medical bills, and issues that could arise during implementation ahead of its Jan. 1, 2022 effective date.

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The Language of Health Care Reform

Published in the Jan. 19 edition of JAMA, this article from KFF Executive Vice President for Health Policy Larry Levitt lays out the major health policy challenges that will confront President-elect Biden and potential approaches to major reform. While a big reform debate may not be likely this year, one…

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Options to Make Medicare More Affordable For Beneficiaries Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

Medicare provides significant health and financial protections to more than 60 million Americans, but there are gaps in coverage and high cost-sharing requirements that can make health care difficult to afford. This report analyzes several policy options that could help make health care more affordable for people covered by Medicare: adding an out-of-pocket limit to traditional Medicare, adding a hard out-of-pocket cap to Part D, expanding financial assistance through the Medicare Savings Programs, and expanding financial assistance through the Part D low-income subsidy program.

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FAQs on Medicare Coverage and Costs Related to COVID-19 Testing and Treatment

These FAQs provide the latest guidance on testing and treatment related to COVID-19 for Medicare beneficiaries.

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Cost-Sharing Waivers and Premium Relief by Private Plans in Response to COVID-19 (Nov. 2020 Update)

An updated issue brief estimates the number of enrollees in individual and fully-insured group market plans that have waived cost-sharing – out-of-pocket costs including coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles – for COVID-19 treatment. The analysis also estimates the number of enrollees whose insurer is offering various forms of premium payment relief.…

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Tracking Section 1332 State Innovation Waivers

This interactive map shows the status of all Section 1332 waivers requested by states. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows states to apply for innovation waivers to alter key ACA requirements in the individual and small group insurance markets and can be used to shore up fragile insurance markets, address unique state insurance market issues, or experiment with alternative models of providing coverage to state residents.

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Medicare Advantage 2021 Spotlight: First Look

For 2021, the average Medicare beneficiary has access to 33 Medicare Advantage plans, the largest number of options available in the last decade, and can choose from plans offered by eight firms. Among the majority of Medicare Advantage plans that cover prescription drugs, 54 percent will charge no premium in addition to the monthly Medicare Part B premium. As in previous years, the vast majority of Medicare Advantage plans will offer supplemental fitness, dental, vision, and hearing benefits. In addition, virtually all will also offer telehealth benefits in 2021.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.