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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2021 Employer Health Benefits Survey

This annual survey of employers provides a detailed look at trends in employer-sponsored health coverage, including premiums, worker contributions, cost-sharing provisions, offer rates, and more. This year’s report also looks at how employers changed their mental health, telemedicine and other benefits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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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 Part D: A First Look at Medicare Prescription Drug Plans in 2022

This issue brief provides an overview of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit market for 2022, with a primary focus on stand-alone drug plans. It includes national and state-level data on plan availability, premiums, benefit design, cost sharing, information about premium-free plans for low-income beneficiaries, and information about the national Part D drug plans available in 2022.

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Large Majorities Across Parties Favor Allowing the Federal Government to Negotiate Drug Prices, Even After Hearing Common Arguments About It

Most of the Public Lacks Confidence that President Biden, Congressional Democrats or Republicans Will Do the Right Thing on Drug Prices Allowing the federal government to negotiate with drug companies to lower drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries and people enrolled in private plans – a key cost-saving proposal in the…

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Drug Price Negotiation Doesn’t Mean the Government Will Restrict Access to Medicines

This policy watch evaluates the pharmaceutical industry’s claims that allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices would restrict access to medications in Medicare. It explains what the current proposal to allow drug price negotiation would and wouldn’t do.

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Potential Savings for Medicare Part D Enrollees Under Proposals to Add a Hard Cap on Out-of-Pocket Spending

Medicare Part D, the outpatient prescription drug benefit for Medicare beneficiaries, provides coverage above a catastrophic threshold for high out-of-pocket drug costs, but there is no cap on total out-of-pocket drug costs that beneficiaries pay each year. Recent legislative proposals would add a cap on out-of-pocket spending under Part D. This analysis focuses on the potential impact of different out-of-pocket spending caps in terms of how many beneficiaries would be affected and how much they could save.

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How Would Drug Price Negotiation Affect Medicare Part D Premiums?

Proposals to allow the federal government to negotiate prescription drug prices, such as H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, aim to lower out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries and private plan enrollees and achieve savings for Medicare. This data note estimates average premium savings attributable to the negotiations provision of H.R. 3 on a per capita basis for Part D enrollees who pay premiums in dollar amounts and as a share of the base beneficiary premium, based on aggregate premium reductions and baseline premiums projected by Medicare’s actuaries through 2029.

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10 FAQs on Prescription Drug Importation

These FAQs discuss recent efforts related to prescription drug importation, the history of this approach, challenges that previous efforts to carry out importation proposals have faced, and stakeholder views.

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Millions of Medicare Part D Enrollees Have Had Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs High Enough to Exceed the Catastrophic Threshold Over Time

Nearly 3 million Medicare Part D enrollees had out-of-pocket drug spending above the catastrophic threshold in a recent five-year period, finds a new KFF analysis that takes a comprehensive look at how many people on Medicare have drug expenses high enough to push them above that limit. While the Part…

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What’s the Latest on Medicare Drug Price Negotiations?

In response to prescription drug spending growth and heightened attention to drug prices, some policymakers have proposed allowing the federal government to negotiate the price of prescription drugs for Medicare and private payers. This brief describes the current status of drug price negotiation proposals, looks back at the history of proposals to give the federal government the authority to negotiate drug prices in Medicare, describes the negotiation provisions in key legislation (H.R. 3), and discusses the potential spending effects for the federal government, beneficiaries, and private payers.

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