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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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Medicaid in the Territories: Program Features, Challenges, and Changes

This brief draws on a survey of and interviews with Medicaid officials in U.S. Territories, as well as other research, to examine key issues and trends in their Medicaid programs. Territories differ from the states on key demographic, economic, and health status indicators. Unlike in the states, where federal Medicaid funding is not capped, and the federal share varies based on states’ per capita income, Medicaid in the territories is subject to a statutory cap and a fixed federal matching rate.

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CMS’s 2018 Proposed Medicaid Managed Care Rule: A Summary of Major Provisions

On November 14, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed revisions to the Medicaid managed care regulations with public comments due by January 14, 2019. CMS previously finalized a major revision to these regulations in 2016. The November 2018 proposed rule is not a wholesale revision of the 2016 final rule but proposes changes in the following key areas: network adequacy, beneficiary protections, quality oversight, and rate setting and payment.

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Medicaid: What to Watch in 2019 from the Administration, Congress, and the States

Medicaid, the provider of health insurance coverage for about one in five Americans and the largest payer for long-term care services in the community and nursing homes, continues to be a key part of health policy debates at the federal and state level. Important Medicaid issues to watch in 2019 include Medicaid expansion developments amid ongoing litigation about the ACA’s constitutionality as well as Medicaid demonstration waiver activities, including those focused on work requirements and other eligibility restrictions. States are also likely to continue to pursue initiatives to address the opioid crisis, and the recent passage of bi-partisan legislation with new tools and financing could bolster these efforts. Primary areas of federal policy to watch in 2019 with implications for Medicaid include the expiration of temporary funding for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands in the absence of legislative action as well as potential regulatory changes to public charge policies that would likely lead to Medicaid enrollment declines among immigrant families. Finally, reforms in benefits, payment and delivery systems continue to evolve as states and the federal government focus on managed care, social determinants of health, prescription drugs, and community based long-term care. While beyond the scope of this brief, Congress and states could also consider broader health reform that could expand the role of public programs in health care including Medicare for All or Medicaid buy-in programs that could have significant implications for Medicaid.

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States Focus on Quality and Outcomes Amid Waiver Changes: Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019

This report provides an in-depth examination of the changes taking place in Medicaid programs across the country. Report findings are drawn from the annual budget survey of Medicaid officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This report examines the reforms, policy changes, and initiatives that occurred in FY 2018 and those adopted for implementation for FY 2019 (which began for most states on July 1, 2018). Key areas covered include changes in eligibility, managed care and delivery system reforms, long-term services and supports, provider payment rates and taxes, covered benefits, and pharmacy and opioid strategies.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

50-State Survey Finds Flat Medicaid Enrollment Tied to a Stronger Economy and New Eligibility Systems

For the first time in a decade, states are reporting no overall growth in Medicaid enrollment last year and expecting minimal growth this year amid a stronger economy, a new Kaiser Family Foundation survey finds. The 18th annual 50-state survey of Medicaid directors reveals that enrollment was flat in state…

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Medicare Open Enrollment FAQs

This list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Medicare Open Enrollment covers a range of topics related to Medicare enrollment, Medicare Advantage, Part D, Medigap, employer/retiree coverage, Medicaid and other low-income assistance, Medicare and the Marketplaces, and more.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Un año después de las tormentas: la recuperación y la atención de salud en Puerto Rico y las Islas Vírgenes de EE.UU. (Informe)

Un año después que los huracanes Irma y María tocaran tierra, Puerto Rico y las Islas Vírgenes de EE.UU. (USVI) todavía sienten los efectos de las tormentas. Basándose en entrevistas con partes interesadas clave y en informes públicos, este reporte proporciona una visión general del estado de recuperación y los esfuerzos de preparación para la actual temporada de huracanes, un año después de las tormentas, enfocándose en los sistemas de atención de salud de los territorios.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

One Year after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Recovery Has Progressed Slowly in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and Health Care Challenges Remain, Particularly in Mental Health

One year after Hurricanes Irma and Maria made landfall, recovery has progressed slowly and unevenly in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The territories’ health care systems continue to face capacity, infrastructure and financial challenges even as health needs have increased, especially in mental health, according to two new…

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One Year after the Storms: Recovery and Health Care in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

One year after Hurricanes Irma and Maria made landfall, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) are still feeling the storms’ effects. Drawing on key stakeholder interviews and public reports, this brief provides an overview of recovery status and preparation efforts for the current hurricane season one year after the storms, with a focus on the territories’ health care systems.

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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.