Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues…

Since the 1970s, Medicare beneficiaries have had the option to receive their Medicare benefits through private health plans, mainly Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), as an alternative to the federally administered traditional Medicare program. The Balanced Budget Act (BBA) of 1997 named Medicare’s managed care program “Medicare+Choice” and the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003 renamed it “Medicare Advantage.”  In 2017, the majority of the 57 million people on Medicare are covered by traditional Medicare, with one-third (33%) enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. Since 2004, the number of beneficiaries enrolled in private plans has more than tripled from 5.3 million (13%) to 19.0 million in 2017 (33%).

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The Facts on Medicare Spending and Financing

This issue brief examines the latest facts about Medicare spending and financing, including the most recent historical and projected Medicare spending data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary (OACT), the 2018 annual report of the Boards of Medicare Trustees, and the 2018 Medicare baseline and projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). It discusses historical and projected spending trends, program financing, Medicare’s financial condition, and the future outlook.

Medicare Part D in 2018: The Latest on Enrollment, Premiums, and Cost Sharing

This brief about the 2018 Medicare Part D marketplace analyzes the latest data on Medicare drug coverage and trends over time, including both stand-alone prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage drug plans. The analysis focuses on enrollment, premiums, cost sharing, and the low-income subsidy.

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 permanent 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.

Medicare Advantage 2018 Data Spotlight: First Look

This data note analyzes the number and variety of Medicare Advantage plan choices available to beneficiaries, and also describes changes in the health care insurers offering private health plans in 2018. This spotlight is part of a series of spotlights tracking key changes in the Medicare Advantage program.

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.

Medicare Advantage

This fact sheet includes the latest information and data about the Medicare Advantage program, including enrollment, plan information, spending and financing for the program, and payment and program changes made by the Affordable Care Act as well as other laws.

Medicare Advantage Networks Included 46 Percent of Physicians in a County, On Average  

Medicare Advantage plan networks included 46 percent of all physicians in a county, on average, according to a new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The study, using 2015 data, is the first to examine the size and composition of physician networks among increasingly popular Medicare Advantage private plans, which…

Medicare Advantage: How Robust Are Plans’ Physician Networks?

This report takes an in-depth look at Medicare Advantage plans’ physician networks. The analysis draws upon data from 391 Medicare Advantage plans serving beneficiaries in 20 diverse counties in 2015. The report examines the size and composition of plans’ physician networks, the variation across counties, the inclusion of physicians by specialty, and the relationship between network size and other plan features, such as premiums and quality star ratings.

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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.