In this commentary for Barron’s, Cynthia Cox explores the impact to the American public as the U.S. health insurance system adjusts to the COVID-19 pandemic. She uses the experience of the past year and a half to raise questions about broader issues of fairness in the distribution of health care costs in the country.
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Potential Savings for Medicare Part D Enrollees Under Proposals to Add a Hard Cap on Out-of-Pocket Spending
Medicare Part D, the outpatient prescription drug benefit for Medicare beneficiaries, provides coverage above a catastrophic threshold for high out-of-pocket drug costs, but there is no cap on total out-of-pocket drug costs that beneficiaries pay each year. Recent legislative proposals would add a cap on out-of-pocket spending under Part D. This analysis focuses on the potential impact of different out-of-pocket spending caps in terms of how many beneficiaries would be affected and how much they could save.
Understanding the Impact of Medicaid Premiums & Cost-Sharing: Updated Evidence from the Literature and Section 1115 Waivers
Our review of recent literature on premiums and cost-sharing is based on studies and reports published between 2017 and 2021. Our analysis of premiums in post-Affordable Care Act (ACA) Section 1115 waivers (approved under the Obama and Trump administrations) is based on available interim and final waiver evaluations as well as annual and quarterly state data reports posted on Medicaid.gov.
This analysis finds nearly three quarters of the largest health plans in each state are no longer waiving enrollees’ cost-sharing requirements for COVID-19 treatment as of August 2021. Insurers largely waived those costs early in the pandemic, before safe and effetive vaccines were available.
Millions of Medicare Part D Enrollees Have Had Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs High Enough to Exceed the Catastrophic Threshold Over Time
Nearly 3 million Medicare Part D enrollees had out-of-pocket drug spending above the catastrophic threshold in a recent five-year period, finds a new KFF analysis that takes a comprehensive look at how many people on Medicare have drug expenses high enough to push them above that limit. While the Part…
Millions of Medicare Part D Enrollees Have Had Out-of-Pocket Drug Spending Above the Catastrophic Threshold Over Time
Medicare Part D, the outpatient prescription drug benefit for Medicare beneficiaries, provides catastrophic coverage for high out-of-pocket drug costs, but there is no limit on the total amount that beneficiaries have to pay out of pocket each year. Policymakers on both sides of the aisle support proposals to modify the design of the Part D benefit and establish a hard cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug spending by Part D enrollees. This analysis shows the number of Part D enrollees without low-income subsidies who have exceeded the catastrophic coverage threshold annually, and over multiple years, based on 2007-2019 Part D claims data.
The brief examines the potential impact of Aduhelm, a newly approved drug for Alzheimer’s disease, on state and federal Medicaid costs and looks at potential policy actions that could limit Medicaid’s potential costs.
Few Americans realize that starting this year hospitals are required to post prices of common health services on their websites in a format patients can access and use, data from the KFF Health Tracking poll shows. Federal regulations that took effect January 1 require this price transparency for hospitals to…
This data note for the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker shows that few Americans realize that starting this year hospitals are required to post prices of common health services on their websites in a format patients can access and use.
Analysis: Half of Emergency Ambulance Rides Lead to Out-of-Network Bills for Privately Insured Patients
About half of emergency ground ambulance rides result in an out-of-network charge for people with private health insurance, potentially leaving patients at risk of getting a surprise bill, a new KFF analysis for the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker finds. Congress last year enacted the “No Surprises Act,” which prohibits most…