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Many Medicare Beneficiaries Face High Out-of-Pocket Costs for Dental and Hearing Care, Whether in Traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage

Many Medicare beneficiaries face high annual out-of-pocket costs for dental and hearing care — services that generally aren’t covered in traditional Medicare, but typically are covered by Medicare Advantage plans though the scope and value of these benefits vary, finds a new KFF analysis. The analysis shows that, among beneficiaries…

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Dental, Hearing, and Vision Costs and Coverage Among Medicare Beneficiaries in Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage

This analysis builds on our prior work – Medicare and Dental Coverage: A Closer Look – by analyzing hearing and vision use, out-of-pocket spending and cost-related barriers to care among Medicare beneficiaries as well as hearing and vision benefits in Medicare Advantage plans. It also incorporates top-level findings from the analysis of dental services to provide a comprehensive profile of dental, hearing, and vision benefits in Medicare.

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Vaccines Are Free. Covid Care Is Not. Who Should Pay?

In this commentary for Barron’s, Cynthia Cox explores the impact to the American public as the U.S. health insurance system adjusts to the COVID-19 pandemic. She uses the experience of the past year and a half to raise questions about broader issues of fairness in the distribution of health care costs in the country.

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Preventable Costs of Unvaccinated COVID-19 Patients Rise Sharply in August as Hospitalizations Surge

A surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations among people who have not been vaccinated in August is adding billions of dollars in preventable costs to the nation’s health-care system, an updated KFF analysis finds. In August, the new analysis estimates that the preventable costs of treating unvaccinated patients in  hospitals total $3.7…

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Unvaccinated COVID patients cost the U.S. health system billions of dollars

This updated analysis for the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker estimates that the preventable costs of treating unvaccinated patients in hospitals total $3.7 billion in August, almost twice the estimates for June and July combined. The three-month total now stand at an estimated $5.7 billion.

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COVID-19 continues to be a leading cause of death in the U.S. in August 2021

With the rapid uptake in vaccinations in recent months, COVID-19 deaths have fallen sharply. COVID-19 is now the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. This updated analysis looks at the pandemic’s effect on mortality rates.

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Most private insurers are no longer waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment

This analysis finds nearly three quarters of the largest health plans in each state are no longer waiving enrollees’ cost-sharing requirements for COVID-19 treatment as of August 2021. Insurers largely waived those costs early in the pandemic, before safe and effetive vaccines were available.

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Early 2021 Data Show No Rebound in Health Care Utilization

This analysis finds hospital admissions remained below expected levels in early 2021, suggesting much of the care people put off during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic may have been forgone altogether.

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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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The Sleeper Health Cost Policy

In this Axios column, Drew Altman unpacks President Biden’s recent executive order on promoting competition, exploring its significance for new efforts to control health costs by addressing consolidation in the health care industry.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.