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The Latest on Geographic Variation in Medicare Spending: A Demographic Divide Persists But Variation Has Narrowed

This report uses the most current data available to analyze Medicare per beneficiary spending, by county, in 2013; the growth in Medicare per beneficiary spending between 2007 and 2013, by county; and the extent to which geographic variation in Medicare per beneficiary spending has increased or decreased over time. The analysis finds that beneficiaries living in counties with relatively high Medicare per beneficiary spending tend to be sicker and poorer than beneficiaries living in lower-spending counties and that the gap between high and low-spending counties narrows but does not close after adjustments are made for differences in prices and beneficiaries’ health status. The analysis also shows that the amount of variation between the highest- and lowest-spending counties appears to have narrowed in recent years, raising questions as to whether these changes are due to specific shifts in payment policy. An interactive U.S. map showing county-level Medicare spending is also available.

Texans’ Experiences with Health Care Affordability and Access

Using data from the Kaiser Family Foundation/Episcopal Health Foundation 2018 Texas Health Policy Survey, this brief explores Texas residents’ experiences with health care affordability and access to care. It examines Texans’ difficulty affording health care compared to other basic needs, problems paying medical bills, and skipping or postponing care because of costs. It also explores the experiences of vulnerable groups like the uninsured and those with lower incomes.

Coloradans’ Perspectives on Health, Quality of Life, and Midterm Elections

The Kaiser Family Foundation and Colorado Health Foundation conducted a survey of Coloradans examining a wide range of topics leading into the 2018 midterm elections that include voters’ top issues for candidates, residents’ future outlook and priorities for the state, quality of life in Colorado and the affordability of housing, as well as health care concerns over cost, mental health, and substance abuse.

Election 2020: State Health Care Snapshots

Health care is a top issue for voters in the 2020 election. To understand the health care landscape in which the 2020 election policy debates will unfold, these state health care snapshots provide data across a variety of health policy subjects, including health care costs, health coverage—Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance—and the uninsured, women’s health, health status, and access to care.

Medicaid: A Primer on the Federal-State Partnership

This briefing provided an overview of the Medicaid program and its role in the health care system. Panelists discussed who is eligible for Medicaid, what benefits are covered, how the program is administered. Medicaid financing and the program’s role in health reform was also explained. More information on Medicaid from…

The Affordable Care Act and Insurance Coverage in Rural Areas

Rural populations face disparities compared to metropolitan populations in health care. While rural individuals were not more likely to be uninsured than metropolitan counterparts pre-Affordable Care Act, they were poorer and less likely to have private insurance. With coverage changes in the ACA involving an expansion of Medicaid for poor and near-poor populations, decisions by states with large rural populations may cause rural residents to have disparate access to coverage, which may exacerbate cost and access barriers to health care.

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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.