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What Happens When COVID-19 Emergency Declarations End? Implications for Coverage, Costs, and Access

This brief provides an overview of the major health-related COVID-19 federal emergency declarations that have been made since early on in the pandemic, summarizes the flexibilities triggered by each, and identifies the implications for their ending, related to coverage, costs, and payment for COVID-19 testing, treatments, and vaccines; Medicaid coverage and federal match rates; telehealth; access to medical countermeasures through FDA emergency use authorization (EUA); and other Medicaid, Medicare and private health insurance flexibilities.

Medicare Part B Drugs: Cost Implications for Beneficiaries in Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage

In the face of rising prescription drug costs, a large majority of the public supports federal efforts to lower drug spending. Policymakers are considering several proposals that would lower prescription drug costs. To better understand the potential out-of-pocket cost exposure that Medicare beneficiaries may face for Part B drugs, which are typically administered by physicians and other health care providers, we analyzed cost-sharing liability for these drugs in traditional Medicare and cost-sharing requirements in Medicare Advantage plans.

Are Medicare Advantage Insurers Covering the Cost of At-Home COVID-19 Tests?

The Biden Administration’s requirement for private insurers to cover the cost of at-home rapid COVID-19 tests for their enrollees does not apply to Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans (offered by private insurers) have the option to cover at-home tests but are not required to do so. This policy watch examines whether some of the largest private Medicare Advantage plans are covering the cost of at-home rapid tests for COVID-19.

FAQs on Medicare Coverage and Costs Related to COVID-19 Testing and Treatment

These FAQs provide the latest guidance on testing and treatment related to COVID-19 for Medicare beneficiaries, including questions related to out-of-pocket costs, the COVID-19 vaccine, telehealth, extended supplies of medication, skilled nursing facility stays, and issues for people in private Medicare Advantage plans.

A Record 3,834 Medicare Advantage Plans Will be Available in 2022, Up 8 Percent From 2021, While the Number of Medicare Part D Stand-Alone Plans is Decreasing Mainly Due to Firm Consolidations

A record 3,834 Medicare Advantage plans will be available across the country as alternatives to traditional Medicare for 2022, a new KFF analysis finds. That’s an increase of 8 percent from 2021, and the largest number of plans available in more than a decade. At the same time, the number…

Medicare Advantage 2022 Spotlight: First Look

For 2022, the average Medicare beneficiary has access to 39 Medicare Advantage plans, the largest number of options available in the last decade, and can choose from plans offered by nine firms. Among the majority of Medicare Advantage plans that cover prescription drugs, 59 percent will charge no premium in addition to the monthly Medicare Part B premium. As in previous years, the vast majority of Medicare Advantage plans will offer supplemental fitness, dental, vision, and hearing benefits. In addition, virtually all will also offer telehealth benefits in 2022.

Medicare Part D: A First Look at Medicare Prescription Drug Plans in 2022

This issue brief provides an overview of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit market for 2022, with a primary focus on stand-alone drug plans. It includes national and state-level data on plan availability, premiums, benefit design, cost sharing, information about premium-free plans for low-income beneficiaries, and information about the national Part D drug plans available in 2022.

Many Medicare Beneficiaries Face High Out-of-Pocket Costs for Dental and Hearing Care, Whether in Traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage

Many Medicare beneficiaries face high annual out-of-pocket costs for dental and hearing care — services that generally aren’t covered in traditional Medicare, but typically are covered by Medicare Advantage plans though the scope and value of these benefits vary, finds a new KFF analysis. The analysis shows that, among beneficiaries…

Dental, Hearing, and Vision Costs and Coverage Among Medicare Beneficiaries in Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage

This analysis builds on our prior work – Medicare and Dental Coverage: A Closer Look – by analyzing hearing and vision use, out-of-pocket spending and cost-related barriers to care among Medicare beneficiaries as well as hearing and vision benefits in Medicare Advantage plans. It also incorporates top-level findings from the analysis of dental services to provide a comprehensive profile of dental, hearing, and vision benefits in Medicare.

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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.