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Medicare Prescription Drugs Through Private Drug-Only Plans: A Discussion with Actuaries

Central to the current debate over Medicare prescription drug coverage is the role of private insurance plans in providing drug benefits to Medicare beneficiaries. This report offers views from health actuaries knowledgeable about the Medicare program and the prescription drug debate on key issues that emerge for potential plan sponsors,…

Medicare Part D 2010 Data Spotlight: Coverage of Top Brand-Name and Specialty Drugs

This Part D Data Spotlight documents the wide variations across the private stand-alone drug plans with respect to coverage of drugs, what enrollees pay for those drugs, and restrictions and limitations placed on their use. These variations have potentially significant implications for beneficiaries’ access to medications and out-of-pocket costs. The…

Reaching for the Stars: Quality Ratings of Medicare Advantage Plans, 2011

New: Medicare Advantage Plan Star Ratings and Bonus Payments in 2012 In 2012, Medicare Advantage plans will be awarded additional payments based on their quality ratings as a result of the 2010 health reform law. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has proposed a demonstration that would modify the…

Medicare Part D 2011 Data Spotlight: The Coverage Gap

This data spotlight examines the availability of gap coverage in the private Medicare Part D drug plans offered to beneficiaries in 2011, the first year of the phase-out of the gap, as required under the 2010 health reform law. The changes for 2011 include a 50 percent discount on brand-name…

Medicare Part D Spending Trends: Understanding Key Drivers and the Role of Competition

This brief commissioned by the Foundation examines factors that contributed to Medicare’s lower-than-expected spending on prescription drugs under the Medicare Part D drug benefit that started in 2006. Since its launch, Medicare has spent about 30 percent less on Part D benefits than the Congressional Budget Office originally projected. Some…

The Part D Experience: What are the Lessons for Broader Medicare Reform?

Launched in 2006, Medicare added a prescription drug benefit that relies entirely on private plans, while, for other benefits, beneficiaries have a choice between private health plans and traditional fee-for-service Medicare. As policymakers consider changes to Medicare that would give an even greater role to private health plans in caring…

Policy Workshop on Formularies and Medicare

The Kaiser Family Foundation hosted a March 14, 2005 policy workshop on the use of drug formularies in the private sector and their potential implications for beneficiaries under the new Medicare drug benefit, set to go into effect January 1, 2006. The workshop involved an expert panel, including perspectives from…

Medicare Part D Issue Briefs

These issue briefs, prepared by the Centers for Medicare Advocacy, Inc., provide information about how the Medicare drug benefit will affect beneficiaries. The briefs address issues related to dual eligibles, residents of nursing home and assisted living facilities, and the Part D exceptions and appeals processes.Medicare Part D: Issues for…

Insights on Transitioning From Medicaid to the New Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit

The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured convened a focus group of state Medicaid officials in November 2005 to discuss the impact of the new Medicare drug program on states and Medicaid enrollees. State insights on the transition of dual eligibles and some beneficiary experiences are discussed in new…

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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.