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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.

The Out-of-Pocket Cost Burden for Specialty Drugs in Medicare Part D in 2019

Medicare Part D has helped to make prescription drugs more affordable for people with Medicare, yet many beneficiaries continue to face high out-of-pocket costs for their medications. Specialty tier drugs are a particular concern for Part D enrollees in this context. This analysis draws on data from Medicare’s Plan Finder website to calculate expected annual 2019 out-of-pocket costs for 30 specialty tier drugs used to treat four health conditions—cancer, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Medicare Part D Enrollees with Serious Health Conditions Can Face Thousands of Dollars in Out-of-Pocket Costs Annually for Specialty Drugs

Despite Medicare’s protections, Part D enrollees with serious health conditions can face thousands of dollars in annual out-of-pocket costs for expensive specialty drugs, a new KFF anaylsis finds. The analysis draws on data from Medicare’s Plan Finder website to calculate expected annual 2019 costs for more than two dozen specialty tier…

10 Essential Facts About Medicare and Prescription Drug Spending

Prescription drugs play an important role in medical care for 60 million seniors and people with disabilities, and account for nearly $1 out of every $5 in Medicare spending. This chart series examines trends in Medicare and beneficiary out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs, and what the public thinks about different options for keeping drug costs down.

Medicare’s Income-Related Premiums Under Current Law and Changes for 2019

Most people with Medicare pay the standard monthly premium for Part B and Part D coverage, which is set to cover 25 percent of per capita program costs, but a relatively small share of beneficiaries with higher incomes are required to pay higher premiums. This issue brief describes the legislative history of Medicare’s income-related premiums and changes to these premiums that will take effect in 2019, based on a provision in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.

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…

Medicare Part D: A First Look at Prescription Drug Plans in 2019

This issue brief provides an overview of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit plan landscape, with a focus on stand-alone drug plans, the largest segment of the Part D market. 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 top ten Part D plans for 2019.

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.

An Overview of the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit

This fact sheet includes the latest information and data about the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit, including current plan information, the standard benefit parameters, low-income assistance, the latest available enrollment data, and Part D program spending and financing.

Closing the Medicare Part D Coverage Gap: Trends, Recent Changes, and What’s Ahead

This data note examines the latest data and trends in the Medicare Part D coverage gap, where enrollees must pay a greater share of their prescription drug costs. The note includes data about how many Part D enrollees reached the coverage gap, their average out-of-pocket spending, the value of manufacturer discounts, and recent and proposed changes affecting out-of-pocket costs for Part D enrollees who reach the gap.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
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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.