Amid heightened public concern, the cost of prescription drugs is the focus of renewed attention by the Trump administration, the Biden campaign and lawmakers in Congress and state capitals. Proposed actions range from sweeping health care system changes to targeted initiatives that could affect Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. See KFF’s research, analysis and public opinion data, as well as Kaiser Health News’ journalism, related to prescription drugs and their costs.

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2019 Employer Health Benefits Survey

Annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached $20,576 this year, up 5% from last year, with workers on average paying $6,015 toward the cost of their coverage. The average deductible among covered workers in a plan with a general annual deductible is $1,655 for single coverage. Fifty-six percent of small firms and 99% of large firms offer health benefits to at least some of their workers, with an overall offer rate of 57%.

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KFF Health Tracking Poll – November 2019: Health Care In The 2020 Election, Medicare-for-all, And The State Of The ACA

This poll examines the issues Democrats most want to hear in the debates, their trust of the Democratic candidates on health care, attitudes towards Medicare-for-all and a public option, perceptions of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces, and prospects of legislation to address prescription drug costs.

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How State Medicaid Programs are Managing Prescription Drug Costs: Results from a State Medicaid Pharmacy Survey for State Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020

This report summarizes results from a Medicaid pharmacy benefit survey of all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC) conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Management Associates in 2019.

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JAMA Forum: Don’t Be Surprised if the Next Big Health Care Debate Is About Drug Prices

In this post for The JAMA Forum, Larry Levitt examines both the Democratic candidates’ proposals and the Trump administration’s record on lowering drug prices, which remains a top issue for the public with bi-partisan support. 

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Medicare Part D Enrollees with Serious Health Conditions Can Face Thousands of Dollars in Out-of-Pocket Costs Annually for Specialty Drugs

Despite Medicare’s protections, Part D enrollees with serious health conditions can face thousands of dollars in annual out-of-pocket costs for expensive specialty drugs, a new KFF anaylsis finds. The analysis draws on data from Medicare’s Plan Finder website to calculate expected annual 2019 costs for more than two dozen specialty tier…

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Poll: Nearly 1 in 4 Americans Taking Prescription Drugs Say It’s Difficult to Afford Their Medicines, including Larger Shares Among Those with Health Issues, with Low Incomes and Nearing Medicare Age

As the Trump Administration and Congress weigh policy options to address high prescription drug prices, a fourth of people taking prescription drugs (24%) and seniors taking drugs (23%) say it is difficult for them to afford their medications, the latest KFF Health Tracking Poll finds. The groups most likely to report difficulties affording their…

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How Much Does Medicare Spend on Insulin?

The price of insulin, used by people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes to control blood glucose levels, has come under increasing scrutiny as policymakers grapple with rising drug costs. This data note finds spending on insulin by Medicare and beneficiaries enrolled in private Part D drug plans has increased sharply between 2007 and 2017.

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New Analysis Compares Prescription Drug Spending and Use Across Large Employer Plans, Medicare, and Medicaid

As policymakers debate how to address the high cost of prescription drugs, a new KFF analysis compares data on prescription drug spending and use across large employer plans, Medicare Part D and Medicaid, and provides context for policy discussions about different approaches to curb rising drug costs that would affect…

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Do People Who Sign Up for Medicare Advantage Plans Have Lower Medicare Spending?

The analysis finds that people who switched from traditional Medicare to Medicare Advantage in 2016 had health spending in 2015 that was $1,253 less, on average, than the average spending for beneficiaries who remained in traditional Medicare (after adjusting for health risk). The findings suggest that the current payment method may systematically overestimate expected costs of Medicare Advantage enrollees. Adjusting payments to reflect Medicare Advantage enrollees’ prior use of health services could potentially lower total Medicare spending by billions of dollars over a decade.

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Medicaid’s Prescription Drug Benefit: Key Facts

Medicaid provides health coverage for millions of Americans, including prescription drug coverage for many people with substantial health needs. This fact sheet provides an overview of Medicaid’s prescription drug benefit and recent trends in spending and utilization

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