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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 Landscape of Private Firms Offering Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage in 2006

describes key characteristics of the organizations that offer the new Medicare drug benefit and analyzes how companies are positioning themselves to attract Medicare enrollees.• Seven of the 10 organizations that sponsor stand-alone prescription drug plans nationwide are based in commercial insurance firms with substantial Medicare Advantage experience, and three of…

Issue Briefs Describe Changes in Private Plan Market and Effects on Medicare Beneficiaries

These two issue briefs describe the different types of private plan options available to people on Medicare, identify key characteristics of the organizations offering the new Medicare drug benefit, and analyze how companies are positioning themselves to attract Medicare enrollees.The Growth of Private Plans in Medicare, 2006The Landscape of Private…

The Growth of Private Plans in Medicare, 2006

, details the different types of private plan options available to people on Medicare. These include Medicare Advantage plans (such as Medicare HMOs, PPOs and private fee-for-service plans) and new stand-alone prescription drug plans.• In 2006, all Medicare beneficiaries have access to at least one type of private Medicare Advantage…

Hispanics and the New Medicare Drug Benefit

In a few short weeks, Medicare will undergo big changes that will have a major impact on more than 3 million Hispanic seniors and younger people with permanent disabilities who rely on Medicare for their health coverage. More than one in three Hispanics with Medicare lack coverage for their prescription…

Displaced by Hurricane Katrina: Issues and Options for Medicare Beneficiaries

An estimated 200,000 Medicare beneficiaries were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Medicare played a key role in meeting the health care needs of the elderly and disabled beneficiaries who were displaced by the hurricane. Many of these beneficiaries face new challenges as a direct result of the hurricane. This issue brief…

Profile and Analysis of the 26 Medicare Advantage Regions

This issue brief examines the 26 new Medicare Advantage PPO regions and their implications for beneficiaries. The paper describes the characteristics of the new Medicare Advantage regions and the extent to which Medicare Advantage plans are already available in each region. It highlights the substantial gap between the current availability…

Summary of Final Regulations Implementing the New Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit

This document summarizes the final regulations to implement the new Medicare prescription drug benefit. The regulations were published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as a final rule in the Jan. 28 Federal Register. It provides an overview that allows interested parties to obtain information about specific…

Summary of the Proposed Rule to Implement the New Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit

In August 2004, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published a proposed rule to implement the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit (Title I of the Medicare Modernization Act). Given the high level of interest in the proposed rules for implementing the Medicare drug benefit, the Kaiser Family Foundation commissioned Health…

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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.