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Financial Performance of Medicare Advantage, Individual, and Group Health Insurance Markets

Three key private health insurance markets — Medicare Advantage, the individual market and the fully-insured group market — appear to be financially healthy and attractive to insurers. The private Medicare Advantage market generates significantly larger gross margins per person than the individual market or fully-insured market. The future of these markets has become a focus for policymakers amid the debate over Medicare for All.

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.

Medicare Advantage Plan Switching: Exception or Norm?

The Medicare open enrollment period allows enrollees to compare plans, stick with their current plan, switch to another plan, or shift to traditional Medicare. This analysis examines the extent to which Medicare Advantage enrollees change plans when given the opportunity. It also analyzes the variation in the rate of plan switching by enrollee and plan characteristics and whether people who voluntarily switch plans tend to move to plans with lower premiums, lower out-of-pocket limits, or higher quality ratings.

The Facts on Medicare Spending and Financing

This issue brief examines the latest facts about Medicare spending and financing, including the most recent historical and projected Medicare spending data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary, the 2019 annual report of the Boards of Medicare Trustees, and the 2019 Medicare baseline and projections from the Congressional Budget Office. It discusses historical and projected spending trends, program financing, Medicare’s financial condition, and the future outlook.

KFF Health Tracking Poll – February 2019: Prescription Drugs

With increased national attention towards prescription drug costs, this poll examines the public’s experiences with prescription medicine and their views on current policy proposals brought forth by congressional lawmakers and the Trump administration, including international reference pricing, transparency in drug advertisements, and negotiations with drug companies. The survey also dives into the attitudes and experiences of adults, 65 and older – a group that is more likely to report taking prescription medication and shopped for prescription drug coverage.

A Look at Recent Proposals to Control Drug Spending by Medicare and its Beneficiaries

In response to higher drug spending growth and heightened attention to drug prices, policymakers have proposed a variety of policy initiatives to lower the cost of prescription drugs in Medicare. This brief examines in detail the range of proposals offered by the Trump Administration and members of Congress for lowering the cost of prescription drugs, their known effects on the federal budget, and their potential implications for beneficiaries and other stakeholders.

Insulin Costs and Coverage in Medicare Part D

In light of heightened attention to insulin and the Trump Administration’s new Part D model to address out-of-pocket costs for insulin for Medicare beneficiaries, we analyzed out-of-pocket spending on insulin by beneficiaries enrolled in Part D drug plans, variation in Part D plan formulary coverage and tier placement of insulin products, and trends in prices for insulin.