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Amid heightened public concern, the cost of prescription drugs is the focus of renewed attention by the Trump administration 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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The Out-of-Pocket Cost Burden for Specialty Drugs in Medicare Part D in 2019

Medicare Part D has helped to make prescription drugs more affordable for people with Medicare, yet many beneficiaries continue to face high out-of-pocket costs for their medications. Specialty tier drugs are a particular concern for Part D enrollees in this context. This analysis draws on data from Medicare’s Plan Finder website to calculate expected annual 2019 out-of-pocket costs for 30 specialty tier drugs used to treat four health conditions—cancer, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

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…

Initiative 18|11: What Can We Do About The Cost Of Health Care?

This conference report summarizes discussions at a March 2018 conference in Washington with 30 leaders from the health care community to launch Initiative 18/11, a partnership between the Society of Actuaries and KFF to address the rising cost of health care in the United States. It also lays out the next steps for the initiative.

KFF Health Tracking Poll – November 2018: Priorities for New Congress and the Future of the ACA and Medicaid Expansion

Fielded a week after the 2018 midterm elections, this poll examines the public’s priorities for the next Congress, measures favorability for ACA provisions including Medicaid expansion, and takes a look at knowledge of the current open enrollment period among adults ages 18-64 who purchase their own insurance or are currently uninsured. With the impending Texas v. United States lawsuit, in addition to several Trump administration policy actions aimed at different aspects of the U.S. health care system, this KFF survey also examines the public’s position on pre-existing conditions protections, prescription drug advertisements, and employer exemptions from covering birth control.

States Focus on Quality and Outcomes Amid Waiver Changes: Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019

This report provides an in-depth examination of the changes taking place in Medicaid programs across the country. Report findings are drawn from the annual budget survey of Medicaid officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This report examines the reforms, policy changes, and initiatives that occurred in FY 2018 and those adopted for implementation for FY 2019 (which began for most states on July 1, 2018). Key areas covered include changes in eligibility, managed care and delivery system reforms, long-term services and supports, provider payment rates and taxes, covered benefits, and pharmacy and opioid strategies.

Medicare Part D: A First Look at Prescription Drug Plans in 2019

This issue brief provides an overview of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit plan landscape, with a focus on stand-alone drug plans, the largest segment of the Part D market. 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 top ten Part D plans for 2019.

Medicare Open Enrollment FAQs

This list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Medicare Open Enrollment covers a range of topics related to Medicare enrollment, Medicare Advantage, Part D, Medigap, employer/retiree coverage, Medicaid and other low-income assistance, Medicare and the Marketplaces, and more.

An Overview of the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit

This fact sheet includes the latest information and data about the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit, including current plan information, the standard benefit parameters, low-income assistance, the latest available enrollment data, and Part D program spending and financing.