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Ground Ambulance Rides and Potential for Surprise Billing

This analysis for the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker finds that 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.

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Although Their Share of the Market Varies By State, Enrollment in Medicare Advantage Plans Has More Than Doubled Over the Past Decade, with More than 4 in 10 Medicare Beneficiaries Now Enrolled in the Private Plans

The private plans known as Medicare Advantage now cover more than 4 in 10 Medicare beneficiaries, reflecting a more than doubling of enrollment over the past decade even as the plans remain a far larger presence in some states than others, according to a new KFF analysis. More than 26…

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Medicare Advantage in 2021: Premiums, Cost Sharing, Out-of-Pocket Limits and Supplemental Benefits

In 2021, nearly two-thirds of Medicare Advantage enrollees are in plans that do not charge a premium (other than the Part B premium), although the remaining third do pay a premium, averaging about $60 per month. Most enrollees are in plans that provide access to a variety of supplemental benefits, such as eye exams, dental and fitness benefits. Nearly all enrollees are in plans that require prior authorization for some services. Medicare Advantage cost sharing varies across plans and can be lower than traditional Medicare, but that is not always the case. Slightly more than half of all Medicare Advantage enrollees would incur higher costs than beneficiaries in traditional Medicare with no supplemental coverage for a 6-day hospital stay, though cost are generally lower in Medicare Advantage for shorter stays.

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Key Facts About Medicare Part D Enrollment, Premiums, and Cost Sharing in 2021

The Medicare Part D program provides an outpatient prescription drug benefit to older adults and people with long-term disabilities in Medicare who enroll in private plans, including stand-alone drug plans and Medicare Advantage drug plans. This analysis provides the latest data about Part D enrollment, premiums, and cost sharing in 2021 and trends over time.

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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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Women’s Health Care Utilization and Costs: Findings from the 2020 KFF Women’s Health Survey

This brief presents findings from the 2020 KFF Women’s Health Survey on women’s use of health care services, costs, and experiences accessing health care.

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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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