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Understanding The Effects of The Medicare Part D Coverage Gap in 2008 and 2009

This Kaiser Family Foundation study examines how the coverage gap in Medicare’s drug benefit known as the “doughnut hole” affects Medicare beneficiaries and their prescribing patterns. Based on actual claims data from 2008 and 2009, before the 2010 health reform law began to close the gap, the study finds that…

A Profile of African Americans, Latinos, and Whites with Medicare:

This chartpack highlights demographic data about African Americans, Hispanics and whites with Medicare to highlight potential implications for outreach efforts under the new Medicare drug benefit. The information is being used in a series of November 2005 briefings at the start of the first open-enrollment period for the new benefit.…

Transitions 2006

On January 1, 2006, the six million Americans who are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid saw a change in how their prescription drugs are covered. The dual eligible population was transitioned from Medicaid into the Medicare prescription drug benefit. As a group, these beneficiaries are poorer and sicker than…

Transitions 2005

Transitions is a video that explores some of the issues and challenges “dual eligibles” may face during the transition from Medicaid drug coverage to Medicare. To download the video, right-click here and select “Save as…”

Medicare Advantage 2014 Spotlight: Enrollment Market Update

This Data Spotlight provides an overview of Medicare Advantage enrollment patterns in March 2014, and examines variations by plan type, state, and firm. It also analyzes trends in premiums paid by beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans and describes the changes in limits on out-of-pocket expenses and prescription drug coverage in the Part D “donut hole” provided by the plans in 2014.

Report, Briefing Examine How Seniors Choose Among Their Medicare Plan Options

Report & Briefing Examine How Seniors Choose Among Their Medicare Plan Options Seniors appreciate having a wide range of Medicare private plan choices available to them but often feel unqualified to choose among them, a new Kaiser Family Foundation report concludes. Based on discussions with seniors in four cities around…

How are Seniors Choosing and Changing Health Insurance Plans?

This report summarizes first-hand accounts of seniors’ Medicare private plan decision making strategies, based on focus groups conducted in four cities. Seniors found the initial plan selection process overwhelming due to the volume of information they received and their inability to organize it. Few used the government’s online comparison tool, and those that did cite several shortcomings. Many relied on advice from sources they trust, including insurance agents, plan representatives, friends, family members, doctor’s offices and pharmacists. After they enroll in a plan, many seniors did not revisit their initial decision or review plan options without the strong provocation of a substantial increase in cost, change in coverage, or shift in personal health care needs. Moreover, they feared that a change in plans may disrupt their care, or lead to an unforeseen increase in out-of-pocket costs, and require them to learn new rules and requirements. They are doubtful they would end up in a plan that is appreciatively different or better for them. Overall, seniors preferred to have numerous choices in plans but would like personalized help and advice from experts to ease the process.

Savings for Medicare Beneficiaries from the Use of Prescription Drug Discount Cards

This article, published online by Health Affairs on April 14, 2004, estimates the extent to which prescription drug discount cards could affect out-of-pocket spending by Medicare beneficiaries who lack drug coverage, based on an analysis of the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. The Medicare discount card program is scheduled to go…

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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.