Amid heightened public concern, the cost of prescription drugs is a focus of attention by the Biden administration and lawmakers in Congress and state capitals. Proposed actions range from allowing Medicare to negotiate the prices of certain drugs to limiting some drug price increases to inflation and capping out of pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries in Part D, among other initiatives. 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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Medicare Beneficiaries Spent an Average of $5,460 Out-of-Pocket for Health Care in 2016, With Some Groups Spending Substantially More 

The average person with traditional Medicare coverage paid $5,460 out of their own pocket for health care in 2016, according to a new KFF analysis and interactive tool. This $5,460 includes about $1,000 in out-of-pocket spending for long-term care facility services, averaged across all traditional Medicare beneficiaries.  Such services are…

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Pricing and Payment for Medicaid Prescription Drugs

Attention to high list prices continues at both the state and federal levels with a number of policy proposals aimed at lowering drug prices and there is renewed interest in drug prices and reimbursement within Medicaid. Changes made in 2016 to federal rules governing how state Medicaid programs pay for drugs aimed to make the prices paid more accurate, but increased reliance on pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) pose challenges to drug price transparency. This brief explains Medicaid prescription drug prices to help policymakers and others understand Medicaid’s role in drug pricing and any potential consequences of policy changes for the program.

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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.

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Explainer Video Breaks Down Prescription Drug Rebates and Why They Matter in the Debate About Prescription Drug Costs

A new KFF animation explains how rebates for prescription drugs work, including how they are determined, who benefits from them, how they affect spending by insurers and consumers and the role of pharmacy benefit managers in the process. The Trump Administration had proposed banning such rebates in Medicare Part D,…

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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.

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Employer Health Benefits Annual Survey Archives

The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust have conducted this annual survey since 1999. The archives of the Employer Health Benefits Survey include these surveys and a small business supplement of the 1998 survey conducted by the Foundation. The survey was previously conducted by KPMG from…

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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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Strategies To Lower Drug Costs Top the Public’s Health Priorities for Congress

Against the backdrop of public concern about inflation and rising gas prices, proposals to lower what people pay out-of-pocket for drugs tops the public’s list of health care priorities for Congress, a new KFF Health Tracking Poll finds. Most (55%) of the public say inflation is the biggest problem facing…

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Two-Thirds of the Public Say the U.S. Should Play a Major Role in Distributing COVID-19 Vaccines Globally, But Not Most Republicans

With increased attention to the global need for COVID-19 vaccines and the Biden administration’s announcement today about how it plans to distribute the first portion of the 80 million doses it will share by the end of this month, the latest KFF Health Tracking Poll finds that two-thirds of the…

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