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Summary of Recent and Proposed Changes to Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage and Reimbursement

On February 9, 2018 the President signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which included some provisions related to Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. Shortly thereafter, the Office of Management and Budget released the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget, which also included several proposals related to Medicare Part D drug coverage and Part B drug reimbursement. This brief summarizes these recently enacted and proposed changes.

10 Essential Facts About Medicare and Prescription Drug Spending

Prescription drugs play an important role in medical care for 59 million seniors and people with disabilities, and account for $1 out of every $6 in Medicare spending. This series of charts presents and explains basic facts about prescription drug spending specifically within the context of Medicare. These 10 charts include information on current and projected Medicare prescription drug spending, out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for beneficiaries, and public opinion on prescription drug-related policy options.

No Limit: Medicare Part D Enrollees Exposed to High Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs Without a Hard Cap on Spending

The Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit has helped improve the affordability of medications for people with Medicare, but enrollees can face relatively high out-of-pocket drug costs because there is no hard cap on out-of-pocket spending under Part D. This analysis examines out-of-pocket prescription drug spending among Medicare Part D enrollees with costs above the catastrophic coverage threshold.

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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.