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Medicare Advantage Plans in 2017: Short-term Outlook is Stable

This issue brief analyzes the number and variety of Medicare Advantage plan choices available to beneficiaries in 2017. It describes trends in number of Medicare Advantage plans and plan quality ratings, and new information on plan premiums, out-of-pocket expense limits, and other plan features. This spotlight is part of a series of spotlights tracking key changes in the Medicare Advantage program.

Medicare Part D: A First Look at Prescription Drug Plans in 2017

This issue brief provides an overview of the 2017 Medicare Part D stand-alone prescription drug plan marketplace, based on analysis of data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The brief focuses on data for 2017 and changes over time in plan availability, premiums, benefit design, cost sharing, and low-income subsidy plan availability.

CMS’s Denial of Proposed Changes to Medicaid Expansion in Ohio

This fact sheet discusses CMS’s denial of Ohio’s proposed changes to its existing Medicaid expansion . It also provides an overview of the proposed changes as included in the state’s Section 1115 demonstration waiver application.

Medicare Part D in 2016 and Trends over Time

This chartpack presents a summary of Part D enrollment, premiums, cost sharing, benefit design and other key trends in 2016 and changes over time. For 2016, the analysis finds that 40% of Part D enrollees are now in Medicare Advantage drug plans, and over half of all enrollees are in plans offered by just three firms. The chartpack also highlights some concerning trends in the Low-Income Subsidy market, with the fewest number of premium-free plans available since Part D started, and 1.5 million LIS enrollees paying premiums for coverage, even though they have premium-free options available.

The ACA Marketplace Problems in Context (and Why They Don’t Mean Obamacare Is ‘Failing’)

In this Wall Street Journal Think Tank column, Drew Altman discusses the latest challenges faced by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces and why they should be kept in perspective: “If Obamacare had bipartisan support, they would be treated much more like mundane implementation issues to be addressed by Congress than glaring headlines about Obamacare failure.”

Explaining Health Care Reform: Risk Adjustment, Reinsurance, and Risk Corridors

This brief explains three provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – risk adjustment, reinsurance, and risk corridors – that were intended to promote insurer competition on the basis of quality and value and promote insurance market stability, particularly in the early years of reform as the ACA marketplaces, also known as exchanges, were established.

How ACA Marketplace Premiums Measure Up to Expectations

Premium increases in the health insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will likely be higher in 2017 than in recent years; however, the actual average benchmark premium in the ACA marketplaces in 2016 is below what the Congressional Budget Office projected for 2016 before the health law was passed. How actual marketplace premiums compare to what CBO expected in doing those budget projections is an important factor in determining whether the ACA continues to be on track to reducing the deficit.

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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.