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Kaiser Family Foundation

Medical Debt Among Insured Consumers: The Role of Cost Sharing, Transparency, and Consumer Assistance

This policy insight examines medical debt among insured consumers, exploring how high cost sharing in health insurance plans can contribute, and explaining how greater transparency could help consumers avoid some financial pitfalls. It also provides an update on provisions of the Affordable Care Act meant to increase health plan transparency and bolster consumer assistance.

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Current Flexibility in Medicaid: An Overview of Federal Standards and State Options

The Trump Administration and new Congress have indicated that they will seek to cap Medicaid financing through a block grant or per capita cap, reduce federal funding for the program, and offer states increased flexibility to manage their programs within this more limited financing structure. The size of the federal reductions as well as which federal program standards would remain in place and what increased flexibility might be provided to states under such proposals would have significant implications. To help inform discussion around increased flexibility, this brief provides an overview of current federal standards and state options in Medicaid and how states have responded to these options in four key areas: eligibility, benefits, premiums and cost sharing, and provider payments and delivery systems.

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Kaiser Family Foundation

Early Implementation Experience of Medicaid Expansion Waivers in Michigan and Indiana Can Help Inform Future Medicaid Waivers

Michigan and Indiana, led by Republican governors, each obtained a waiver from the Obama Administration to expand Medicaid in ways that differ from the terms of the Affordable Care Act. Notably, both states’ expansions include provisions related to charging enrollees premiums, requiring them to contribute to health accounts and providing…

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Kaiser Family Foundation

Surprise Medical Bills

This brief explores the problem of “surprise medical bills” — charges arising when an insured individual inadvertently receives care from an out-of-network provider. It reviews studies on the extent of the issue, including Kaiser Family Foundation polling data, and outlines state and federal policy responses, including rules and proposed rules for Medicare and plans in Affordable Care Act marketplaces.

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An Overview of Medicare

This issue brief provides an overview of Medicare, the health insurance program for people ages 65 and over and younger people with long-term disabilities. The brief review the characteristics of people on Medicare, what Medicare covers, benefit gaps and supplemental coverage, beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket health care spending, program spending and financing, payment and delivery system reform, and issues for the future of Medicare.

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Kaiser Family Foundation

The Burden of Medical Debt: Results from the Kaiser Family Foundation/New York Times Medical Bills Survey

To date, there has been little research providing a quantitative look at the causes of medical bill problems and the impacts they have on people’s families, their finances, and their access to health care. To fill this gap, the Kaiser Family Foundation and The New York Times conducted an in-depth survey with 1,204 adults ages 18-64 who report that they or someone in their household had problems paying or an inability to pay medical bills in the previous 12 months.

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Kaiser Family Foundation

Patient Cost-Sharing in Marketplace Plans, 2016

This brief and accompanying slides examine cost sharing – deductibles, copayments and coinsurance – in 2016 insurance plans sold on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) federally-facilitated marketplaces. The analysis looks at out-of-pocket limits, as well as cost sharing for hospital stays, physician visits, emergency room visits, and prescription drugs, for plans across the metal levels (platinum, gold, silver and bronze).

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Kaiser Family Foundation

It Pays to Shop: Variation in Out-of-Pocket Costs for Medicare Part D Enrollees in 2016

This analysis focuses on out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare Part D enrollees in 2016 for specialty, brand, and generic drugs. Part D drug plans differ considerably in the drugs they list on their formularies, their use of formulary tiers, and the level and structure of cost sharing applied to those tiers. Plan decisions affect different beneficiaries in different ways, depending on the drugs they use. The financial consequences for Part D plan enrollees can be substantial. In addition to examining costs for common drugs, we also examine profiles of multiple drugs for several hypothetical Part D enrollees.

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Kaiser Family Foundation

What’s in Store for Medicare’s Part B Premiums and Deductible in 2016, and Why?

As a result of the recently-enacted Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, the Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $121.80 in 2016 according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an increase of 16 percent over the 2015 amount for 30 percent of beneficiaries —far lower than the 52 percent increase initially projected by the Medicare actuaries. This Issue Brief reviews how Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles are affected by the recent budget deal (including the premium surcharge that covers the costs) and explains the connection between the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), Medicare premiums, and the “hold harmless” provision that will keep premiums flat for 70 percent of beneficiaries in 2016.

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Kaiser Family Foundation

Brief Explains Why Medicare Part B Premiums Will Increase by 16 percent, not 52 percent, in 2016 for 3 in 10 Beneficiaries Due to the Recent Budget Deal

As a result of the recently enacted budget deal in Congress, the 2016 Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $121.80, increasing by 16 percent over the 2015 amount—far lower than the increase initially projected by the Medicare actuaries, a new brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation explains. The Part…

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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.