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What Happens When COVID-19 Emergency Declarations End? Implications for Coverage, Costs, and Access

This brief provides an overview of the major health-related COVID-19 federal emergency declarations that have been made since early on in the pandemic, summarizes the flexibilities triggered by each, and identifies the implications for their ending, related to coverage, costs, and payment for COVID-19 testing, treatments, and vaccines; Medicaid coverage and federal match rates; telehealth; access to medical countermeasures through FDA emergency use authorization (EUA); and other Medicaid, Medicare and private health insurance flexibilities.

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Prices Increased Faster Than Inflation for Half of all Drugs Covered by Medicare in 2020

Recent legislation would require drug companies to pay rebates to the federal government when annual increases in prescription drug prices for Medicare and private insurance exceed the rate of inflation. As context for understanding the possible impact of this proposal, this analysis compares price changes for drugs covered by Medicare Part B (administered by physicians) and Part D (retail prescription drugs) between 2019 and 2020 to the inflation rate over the same period.

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FAQs on Medicare Coverage and Costs Related to COVID-19 Testing and Treatment

These FAQs provide the latest guidance on testing and treatment related to COVID-19 for Medicare beneficiaries, including questions related to out-of-pocket costs, the COVID-19 vaccine, telehealth, extended supplies of medication, skilled nursing facility stays, and issues for people in private Medicare Advantage plans.

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Millions of Medicare Beneficiaries Use Prescription Drugs That Could Be Subject to Price Negotiation, But Build Back Better Act Provision Exempts Many Drugs With High Federal Spending

Twenty drugs and dozens of insulin products used by 8.5 million Medicare beneficiaries would be subject to government drug price negotiation if the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) were enacted and fully implemented in 2022, according to a new KFF analysis. The 20 drugs include 18 drugs available to beneficiaries…

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Simulating the Impact of the Drug Price Negotiation Proposal in the Build Back Better Act

The Build Back Better Act (BBBA) includes a range of health and other proposals supported by President Biden, including a proposal to allow the federal government to negotiate the price of some prescription drugs covered under Medicare Part B (administered by physicians) and Medicare Part D (retail outpatient drugs). This brief illustrates the potential scope of the drug price negotiation proposal in the BBBA. This analysis is designed to highlight the types of Medicare-covered drugs that could be subject to negotiation, and which of the current top-spending drugs covered by Part B and Part D could be subject to price negotiation, and in what years, if the BBBA is enacted.

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Summary of Costs and Impact of the Prescription Drug Provisions in the Build Back Better Act

As the House-passed Build Back Better Act moves to the Senate, a new explainer from KFF summarizes the key prescription drug provisions within the broader budget reconciliation bill. These provisions would lower prescription drug costs paid by people with Medicare and private insurance and curb drug spending by the federal…

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Potential Costs and Impact of Health Provisions in the Build Back Better Act

A summary of 10 of the major health coverage and financing provisions of the current Build Back Better Act, with discussion of the potential implications for people and the federal budget.

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Explaining the Prescription Drug Provisions in the Build Back Better Act

The Build Back Better Act includes several provisions that would lower prescription drug costs for people with Medicare and private insurance and reduce drug spending by the federal government and private payers. This brief summarizes these provisions and discusses the expected effects on people, program spending, and drug prices and innovation.

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A Record 3,834 Medicare Advantage Plans Will be Available in 2022, Up 8 Percent From 2021, While the Number of Medicare Part D Stand-Alone Plans is Decreasing Mainly Due to Firm Consolidations

A record 3,834 Medicare Advantage plans will be available across the country as alternatives to traditional Medicare for 2022, a new KFF analysis finds. That’s an increase of 8 percent from 2021, and the largest number of plans available in more than a decade. At the same time, the number…

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Medicare Advantage 2022 Spotlight: First Look

For 2022, the average Medicare beneficiary has access to 39 Medicare Advantage plans, the largest number of options available in the last decade, and can choose from plans offered by nine firms. Among the majority of Medicare Advantage plans that cover prescription drugs, 59 percent will charge no premium in addition to the monthly Medicare Part B premium. As in previous years, the vast majority of Medicare Advantage plans will offer supplemental fitness, dental, vision, and hearing benefits. In addition, virtually all will also offer telehealth benefits in 2022.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.