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Medicaid’s Role for Medicare Beneficiaries

This brief outlines Medicaid’s role for Medicare beneficiaries. It describes the role that Medicaid plays for 10 million Medicare beneficiaries to help inform upcoming debates about proposals to restructure Medicaid financing in ways that could reduce federal funding.

Data Note: Data Do Not Support Relationship Between States’ Medicaid Expansion Status and Home and Community-Based Services Waiver Waiting Lists

Some policymakers have been discussing whether state choices to adopt the ACA’s Medicaid expansion come at the expense of providing Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) to seniors and people with disabilities. This data note analyzes Medicaid HCBS waiver waiting list data for 2014 and 2015 and concludes that there does not appear to be a relationship between a state’s Medicaid expansion status and changes in its HCBS waiver waiting list.

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.

The Gap in Medigap

This policy insight examines the low rate of Medigap coverage among people under age 65 with disabilities on Medicare and the federal law that governs consumer rights and protections related to Medigap open enrollment.

Medicare’s Role for People Under Age 65 with Disabilities

This issue brief examines the role of Medicare for people under age 65 with disabilities, including how this group qualifies for Medicare, the characteristics of people under age 65 with disabilities compared to those age 65 or older, and how sources of supplemental coverage and prescription drug coverage, spending and use of services, and access to care differ for Medicare beneficiaries under age 65 with disabilities and older beneficiaries.

Summary of HHS’s Final Rule on Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities

On May 18, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule to implement Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which prohibits discrimination in health coverage and care based on race, color, national origin, age or disability, and, for the first time sex. This Issue Brief provides a technical summary of Section 1557 and the final rule and highlights new protections and provisions included in the law and rule. Notably, Section 1557 is the first federal civil rights law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in health care. Moreover, the proposed rule extends the definition of sex discrimination to include discrimination on the basis of gender identity. In addition, the final rule establishes regulations related to the provision of language assistance services based on long-standing HHS policy guidance.

Analysis Finds End-of-Life Medicare Spending Declines With Age Among Seniors

Among beneficiaries who died in 2014, Medicare spent significantly more per person on medical services for seniors in their late sixties and early seventies than on older beneficiaries, according to a new data note from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The analysis comes at a time when physicians can now be…

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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.