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Do People Who Sign Up for Medicare Advantage Plans Have Lower Medicare Spending?

The analysis finds that people who switched from traditional Medicare to Medicare Advantage in 2016 had health spending in 2015 that was $1,253 less, on average, than the average spending for beneficiaries who remained in traditional Medicare (after adjusting for health risk). The findings suggest that the current payment method may systematically overestimate expected costs of Medicare Advantage enrollees. Adjusting payments to reflect Medicare Advantage enrollees’ prior use of health services could potentially lower total Medicare spending by billions of dollars over a decade.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Most Medicare Beneficiaries Lack Dental Coverage, and Many Go Without Needed Care

Almost two-thirds of Medicare beneficiaries (65%), or nearly 37 million people, do not have dental coverage and many go without needed care, according to a new KFF brief on dental coverage and costs for Medicare beneficiaries. Rates are even higher among black and Hispanic beneficiaries, and those with low incomes. Medicare…

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Drilling Down on Dental Coverage and Costs for Medicare Beneficiaries

Medicare does not cover routine dental care and the majority of Medicare beneficiaries do not have dental coverage. Some beneficiaries have dental coverage through other sources, including Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and private plans, but almost half of all beneficiaries have not been to the dentist in the past year and many older adults face high out-of-pocket costs for needed dental care. The brief reviews the state of oral health for people on Medicare, describing the consequences of foregoing dental care, current sources of dental insurance, use of dental services, and beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket spending.

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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 long-term 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.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

New England Journal of Medicine: Medicare Advantage Checkup

In this November 2018 New England Journal of Medicine article, KFF’s Tricia Neuman and Gretchen Jacobson examine the extent to which Medicare Advantage plans are achieving goals with respect to benefits, out-of-pocket costs, plan choice, federal spending and quality.

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A Dozen Facts About Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage plans have played an increasingly larger role in the Medicare program over the past decade. More than 20 million Medicare beneficiaries (34%) are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2018. This data note provides updated information about Medicare Advantage enrollment trends, premiums, and out-of-pocket limits. It also includes new analyses of Medicare Advantage plans’ extra benefits, use of prior authorization, and bonus payments paid by Medicare.

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Prior Authorization in Medicare Advantage Plans: How Often Is It Used?

Medicare Advantage enrollees are encouraged to select their plan based on a number of factors, including premiums, cost-sharing, extra benefits, drug coverage, quality of care, and provider networks, but a potentially overlooked factor is access to covered services and the potential impact of prior authorization requirements. In this data note, we examine the share of Medicare Advantage enrollees that are in plans requiring prior authorization and approval before covering the costs of services.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

People on Medicare Will Be Able to Choose Among 24 Medicare Advantage Plans and 27 Medicare Part D Drug Plans, on Average, During the Open Enrollment Period for 2019, New Analyses Find

With Medicare Advantage playing an increasingly larger role in Medicare, the average person on Medicare will be able to choose among 24 plans during the annual Medicare open enrollment period that began Oct. 15, finds a new analysis from KFF (the Kaiser Family Foundation). The new analysis, Medicare Advantage Plans…

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Medicare Advantage 2019 Spotlight: First Look

In 2019, more than 20 million Medicare beneficiaries (34%) are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, which are mainly HMOs and PPOs offered by private insurers as an alternative to the traditional Medicare program. This issue brief provides an overview of the Medicare Advantage plans that will be available in 2019, including the variation in the number of plans available by county and plan type. The brief also examines the insurers entering the Medicare Advantage market for the first time and also examines the insurers exiting the market.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Three firms Account for Over Half of All Medicare Part D Enrollees in 2018, and Pending Mergers Would Further Consolidate the Marketplace

In 2018, three Medicare Part D plan sponsors—UnitedHealth, Humana, and CVS Health—account for more than half of the program’s 43 million Part D enrollees (55%) and two-thirds of all stand-alone drug plan enrollees, indicating a marketplace that is dominated by a handful of major insurers, according to a new Kaiser…

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