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What the Actuarial Values in the Affordable Care Act Mean

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) establishes four levels of coverage based on the concept of “actuarial value,” which represents the share of health care expenses the plan covers for a typical group of enrollees. As plans increase in actuarial value – bronze, silver, gold, and platinum –…

Federal Core Requirements And State Options In Medicaid: Current Policies And Key Issues

Medicaid is a jointly financed partnership between the federal government and states. The federal-state financing and administrative structure of Medicaid provides a framework of federal core requirements along with broad state options for program design and administration. This issue brief presents an overview of the current Medicaid program framework, with…

Restructuring Medicare’s Benefit Design: Implications for Beneficiaries and Spending

Several deficit-reduction plans have proposed combining Medicare’s separate deductibles for hospital and physician services, standardizing cost sharing across types of benefits, and establishing a new limit on annual out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries. A new Kaiser Family Foundation study examines the potential implications of proposals to revamp Medicare’s cost-sharing requirements as…

Medicare Part D 2011 Data Spotlight: The Coverage Gap

This data spotlight examines the availability of gap coverage in the private Medicare Part D drug plans offered to beneficiaries in 2011, the first year of the phase-out of the gap, as required under the 2010 health reform law. The changes for 2011 include a 50 percent discount on brand-name…

Performing Under Pressure: Annual Findings of a 50-State Survey of Eligibility, Enrollment, Renewal, and Cost-Sharing Policies in Medicaid and CHIP, 2011-2012

The annual 50-state survey of Medicaid and CHIP eligibility rules, enrollment and renewal procedures and cost-sharing practices, conducted by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured with the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, found that, despite continued fiscal pressures on states, eligibility policies remained stable in nearly…

Medicare Part D 2010 Data Spotlight: Benefit Design and Cost Sharing

The Medicare Modernization Act established a defined standard drug benefit for Part D stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plans, while giving plans flexibility to offer alternative benefit designs. Only about one in 10 PDPs offer the standard benefit in 2010. Plan sponsors can offer…

Medicare Part D Data Spotlight: A First Look at Part D Plan Offerings in 2012

This data spotlight examines the stand-alone Part D drug plan options available to Medicare beneficiaries in 2012. Medicare beneficiaries will, on average, be able to choose from 31 stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans to choose from, a new Kaiser analysis finds. Average premiums would increase by 4 percent…

Oral Health and Medicare Beneficiaries: Coverage, Out-of-Pocket Spending, and Unmet Need

This brief describes the oral health of Medicare beneficiaries, examines sources of dental coverage for the Medicare population, and examines the utilization of dental services, out-of-pocket spending on dental care, and access problems. This analysis uses data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the Medicare Current Beneficiary…

Accountable Care Organizations: A New Paradigm for Health Care Delivery?

The health reform law of 2010 authorizes Medicare, beginning next year, to contract with accountable care organizations (ACOs) in a Medicare Shared Savings Program. ACOs provide financial incentives to improve the coordination and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries, while reducing costs. But providers have raised red flags, saying the…

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