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Options to Make Medicare More Affordable For Beneficiaries Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

Medicare provides significant health and financial protections to more than 60 million Americans, but there are gaps in coverage and high cost-sharing requirements that can make health care difficult to afford. This report analyzes several policy options that could help make health care more affordable for people covered by Medicare, especially beneficiaries with relatively low incomes: adding an out-of-pocket limit to traditional Medicare, adding a hard out-of-pocket cap to Part D, expanding financial assistance through the Medicare Savings Programs, and expanding financial assistance through the Part D low-income subsidy program.

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Key Facts about the Uninsured Population

This issue brief describes trends in health coverage prior to the pandemic, examines the characteristics of the uninsured population in 2019, and summarizes the access and financial implications of not having coverage.

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Explaining Health Care Reform: Questions About Health Insurance Subsidies

This brief describes health insurance subsidies available through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces, including premium subsidies that would be provided in the form of tax credits, as well as other subsidies that would lower cost sharing to eligible Americans. It provides details on who is eligible for the assistance, the maximum repayment limits for the credits, and out-of-pocket spending limits.

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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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Taking Stock of Essential Workers

The COVID-19 outbreak has changed the reality of working life for most of the U.S. workforce, with essential workers at the forefront of performing crucial services for the public in the midst of the pandemic. This post examines who essential workers are and what challenges they are facing in light of coronavirus.

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Medicare Beneficiaries’ Financial Security Before the Coronavirus Pandemic

This analysis examines the income, savings, and home equity of Medicare beneficiaries in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic. We look at the overall population, and variations by age, gender and race/ethnicity.

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COVID-19 and Workers at Risk: Examining the Long-Term Care Workforce

The highly transmissible nature of the coronavirus combined with the congregate nature of long-term care facility settings and the close and personal contact that many long-term care workers have with patients puts them at elevated risk of infection. This analysis focuses on the characteristics of the 4.5 million people who work in long-term care settings, based on the 2018 American Community Survey.

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Brief Examines the COVID-19 Crisis’ Implications for Americans’ Mental Health

Nearly half (45%) of adults across the country say that worry and stress related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are hurting their mental health, an early sign that the health and economic crises is likely to increase mental health problems and further stretch the system’s capacity. A new issue brief…

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Problems Getting Care Due to Cost or Paying Medical Bills Among Medicare Beneficiaries

There is ongoing discussion as to whether Congress should waive COVID-19 treatment costs. To inform these discussions, this analysis examines the extent of health care cost-related problems among Medicare beneficiaries. The analysis is based on a composite measure of cost-related burdens that includes problems getting care due to cost, delays seeking care due to cost, and problems paying medical bills among people with Medicare.

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Millions of Medicare Part D Enrollees Face Increases in Premiums and Other Costs in 2020 if They Do Not Switch Plans During Open Enrollment 

Millions of current enrollees in stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans will face premium and other cost increases next year unless they switch to lower-cost plans during the open enrollment period that began Oct. 15 and ends on Dec. 7, a new KFF analysis finds. This includes two-thirds of…

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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.