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A Primer on Medicare Financing

As Congress and the Administration increasingly focus on the nation’s budget deficit, many policy experts and several bipartisan deficit reduction panels have proposed significant changes to Medicare to reduce federal spending and address rising health care costs. This primer provides an overview of Medicare spending trends, how the program is…

The Emerging Role of Group Medicare Private Fee-for-Service Plans

This issue brief examines the recent boom in Medicare Advantage enrollment attributable to employers contracting with Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans to cover their Medicare-eligible retirees. Between 2006 and 2008, the number of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage group plans nearly doubled from 900,000 to nearly 1.7 million as of…

Medicare Advantage 2012 Data Spotlight: Enrollment Market Update

This data spotlight examines the growth in private Medicare Advantage plan enrollment in 2012, with a record 13 million Medicare beneficiaries enrolled as of March, representing 27 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries. Enrollment jumped by more than 1 million enrollees from the previous year and increased in every state except…

Medicare Advantage 2010 Data Spotlight: Plan Availability and Premiums

This data spotlight examines changes in the availability and premiums of private Medicare Advantage options for Medicare beneficiaries in 2010 as the annual open enrollment period begins. While the number of plans available in 2010 declined somewhat from 2009, the analysis finds that Medicare beneficiaries on average have 33 Medicare…

Medicare Advantage 2010 Data Spotlight: Plan Enrollment Patterns and Trends

This data spotlight examines at enrollment trends in Medicare Advantage plans, including Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) and Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans. These plans are paid by the government to provide Medicare-covered benefits to those who choose to enroll in them.As of March 2010, a record 11.1…

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…

Explaining Health Reform: Medicare and the New Independent Payment Advisory Board

This brief describes how the new board created under the 2010 health reform law is expected to limit the growth in Medicare spending over time. Starting in 2014, if projected per capita Medicare spending exceeds targets set in the law, the board must recommend ways to reduce Medicare spending, while…

Explaining Health Reform: Key Changes in the Medicare Advantage Program

This brief examines the changes in the 2010 health reform law affecting the Medicare Advantage program, which gives beneficiaries the option of enrolling in private insurance plans for their Medicare benefits, instead of the traditional fee-for-service program. The reform law will gradually reduce Medicare payments to these plans to bring…

Early Experiences of Medicare Beneficiaries in Prescription Drug Plans

This report offers insights into Medicare beneficiaries’ experiences with the new drug benefit, based on observations of State Health Insurance Assistance Plan (SHIP) directors convened for a moderated focus group discussion. Because SHIP directors work closely with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and are on the front lines…

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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.